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fawnridge69

The Ultimate Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

Gosh, I hope you didn't open this thread, expecting to find a link to the subject. No, dear friends, this is just your humble cook asking the question so that he can please his girlfriend with her favorite sammich.


What would be the best peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the world?


For my tastes, and hopefully hers, it's gotta be grilled white bread. Grilled in a cast iron skillet with butter and just a sprinkle of salt and garlic powder. Crunchy peanut butter, and not some weird organic splurge, Skippy - the stuff we grew up on. Grape jelly, and here I'd go organic only because it's in the pantry. Quality stuff that's not loaded with extra sugar and chemicals.


But then what? What else could I do to gussy up the most common sammich known to mankind? Would fancy bread really improve the flavor profile? I've used raisin bread before, but she doesn't like it. (I thought it was amazing!) What else goes with PB&J?

Comments (51)

  • party_music50
    last month

    Ricky, I was willing to try it grilled, but I balked when you put the garlic powder on it. Seriously?! :p


    My perfect PBJ is made with Biaggio Asti Italian bread (made someplace in CNY), Smucker's natural peanut butter, and my homemade wild grape jelly. It's perfect. ;)

  • sushipup2
    last month

    Add sliced banana.

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  • Lars
    last month

    I would start with 100% whole wheat bread that I make myself, then add almond butter, and if it HAS to have jelly, I would add raspberry preserves - but then I would not eat it.

    I used to make fig preserves when I had fig trees, but I left those behind in Venice. I don't think figs would go with nut butters, however.

    I never buy jelly or jam, since I don't eat it, except in cookies, and I make small amounts when I want it. I used to make huge amounts of fig preserves, and I actually liked those, but I gave most of it away.

  • colleenoz
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I like my PB & J with crunchy PB and cherry jam. I’m pretty sure I would not care for garlic powder.

  • dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m
    last month

    1. 2 slices of plain white bread toasted, cut in four quarters.

    2. Make 4 small sandwiches, one with peanut butter, one with walnut butter, one with almond butter, and one with pistachio butter.


    Assemble the small sandwiches on a plate, and sprinkle roasted mixed nut around.

    No jam and no jelly.


    dcarch

  • agmss15
    last month

    I am ok with the toasted bread. PB - I grew up on the organic gloop. Preferably crunchy. I dislike jam and jelly but I do like fresh fruit. Bananas are good but berries are the best.


    Garlic would mean I was going a whole other direction. More savory.

  • plllog
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I'm also not a PB person, but almond butter (just almonds, with the fat stirred back in before spreading) on a thick cut slice of hearty, close textured multigrain bread, openface, with a thin topping of blackcurrant jam is really good.

    It depends on what you're going for. In mine, the jam adds a lot of flavor and cuts the stickiness. With the thick slice, one is essentially putting both slices on the bottom, which gives more tooth and heft. Those I know who want spongy white bread are looking more for the candy aspect, and want sweetened peanut butter and jelly not jam, and they want both to kind of soak into the bread. Many people I know, want whole wheat bread, the speckled kind. None want toast. I might like a little toasting. :) For me, to be good, grape jelly has to be kind of crystalized---not sugar crystals like honey or jam when they sit too long, but liquid crystals in the structure of the actual jelly that show as you remove some.

    Can't you just ask her what she likes?

  • pigeen
    last month

    Growing up, I enjoyed peanut butter and honey on lightly toasted white bread.

  • JoanM
    last month

    I despise peanut butter so I have nothing to contribute. I just wanted to ask Ricky, WTF?


    Grape jelly and garlic powder? I just can’t picture this and I would put garlic on most anything, including just my fingers. Things that make you go, hmmm?

  • annie1992
    last month

    Oh man, I love peanut butter and jelly, grilled until the bread is crunchy and the peanut butter is all melty. Yum.


    Mine would be on my own homemade oatmeal maple bread, with homemade raspberry jam, or blackberry jam if I have some. Peanut butter depends on my mood but I mostly like the very small batch Koeze's Cream Nut peanut butter, the only ingredients are peanuts and salt. Even the creamy is slightly crunchy, and it's made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They use only Virginia peanuts, and grind small batches, one pallet at a time.


    Yes, I know, very specific, but that's what I like. I can buy the peanut butter at grocery stores here, but you can buy it on line here: Cream-Nut | Koeze's Best All Natural Peanut Butter


    Annie



  • fawnridge (Ricky)
    Original Author
    last month

    I started using a minute amount of garlic powder in the butter a couple of years ago. It makes the PB&J sammich seem like it's on garlic bread. Don't knock it unless you've tried it!

  • Sooz
    last month

    I agree with plllog—Can't you just ask her what she likes?

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Organic, salted creamy peanut butter, strawberry jam/preserves, on honey wheat bread.



    And Bac'uns (veggie bacon flavored bits) and peanut butter on pita bread is a good combo too. I prefer soft breads.

    I'm reminded of this saying...



  • Rho Dodendron
    last month

    Heavy on the Peanut Butter. Think double stuff Oreo. More peanut butter than bread. There used to be a restaurant in downtown Peoria, IL Peanut Butter Haven and guess what was on every sandwich with different add ons?

  • plllog
    last month

    Vegemite

    Natto

    Liverwurst

    Et cetera

    The world has horrors everywhere.

  • floraluk2
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Islay, yesterday I had a slice of fresh sourdough with thick, organic crunchy pnb topped with homemade thick cut marmalade. Pnb and marmalade is a great combo. As is marmite and marmalade!!!!

  • foodonastump
    last month

    Marmite, peanut butter, jams, all best eaten by spoon as far as I’m concerned!

    Beyond that, I like PB best on toasted English muffin that has been cooled enough that it's not totally goopy. Strawberry jam, or raspberry, would be my favorite addition. Whatever bread product I use, it must be openfaced. I'm struggling with how to describe it, but while I eat plenty of sandwiches, I decidedly dislike PB topped with more bread.

    fawnridge (Ricky) thanked foodonastump
  • sweet_betsy No AL Z7
    last month

    Nutty oat bread smeared with PBJ alongside a bowl of clam chowder. Perfect!

    fawnridge (Ricky) thanked sweet_betsy No AL Z7
  • seagrass_gw Cape Cod
    last month

    Toasted rustic whole grain bread with Teddie Super Chunky natural peanut butter and Bonne Maman strawberry preserves. I'm with Foodonastump with cooling the toast a bit before spreading, and I like to eat mine open-faced, too. I put too much peanut butter and jam on the toast to fit between two slices!

    fawnridge (Ricky) thanked seagrass_gw Cape Cod
  • floraluk2
    last month

    It requires a pretty strong constitution to eat marmite by the spoonful!

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last month

    I just realized I haven't actually eaten a PB&J in a very long time. Nowadays, I just put plain peanut butter on a thick slice of soft home made bread and fold it over to eat.

    And I often will eat just a big spoonful of PB - one of my fave snacks since I was a kid 🙂

  • party_music50
    last month

    I discovered last year that peanut butter and jelly makes a great dip for potato chips. :)

  • annie1992
    last month

    Carol, that used to be a regular breakfast for me when I was still working. My secretary called it a "peanut butter sucker", just a spoonful of peanut butter eaten plain, stick the spoon in your mouth and pour the coffee, LOL.


    PM, I've never tried that, but I would!


    Annie

  • BlueberryBundtcake - 6a/5b MA
    last month

    My peanut butter sandwich has often been described as being closer to breaded peanut butter ... I used to use very thin white bread and load it with about 3/4" of JIF creamy peanut butter. The purpose of the bread was obviously to make the peanut butter portable and easier to eat. I generally cut off the crust, too.

    I'm not sure how to modify your sammich, as I hate garlic (not just in this combination; I won't eat regular garlic bread either and omit garlic from most recipes), so I have no idea what would compliment your creation. Maybe caramalized onion instead of jam or with fig jam?

    My sister used to make peanut butter and salami on cinnamon bread.

  • claudia valentine
    last month

    I like to peel carrots and julienne them into long shreds then put them in a iron skillet at low heat and let them slowly cook a bit as they carmalize at bit. You can add a bit of oil or butter, but you dont need very much, at all, or none. I suppose you could even add a bit of sweet if you wanted, but I dont. I love these carmalized carrots on my sandwich. Not only are they good on peanut butter, but the are good for any sandwich and are wonderfully tantalizing on top of a dressed salad. Great on a good burger, too! I use them all the time in the winter when the fresh produce is not available.

    Never thought of grilling a peanut butter sandwich but it sounds good. I would skip the garlic.

    On the other hand, bacon is soooo good with peanut butter. But I buy bacon maybe once every few years. Bacon and carmalized carrots would be my recommendation for something completely different . Also, a piece of good smoked ham would be good, but not the kind you by as cold cuts. Ham and bacon both lend well to peanut butter.

    I use peanut butter in a number of things, not just for sandwiches . Always only the real stuff with none of the shortening or sugar added to it. It is a kitchen staple in my kitchen.

    fawnridge (Ricky) thanked claudia valentine
  • bpath
    last month

    The best peanut butter and jelly sandwich is the one our sweeties make for us. Or the one we make for our sweeties. Love is the secret ingredient. (oh, and butter.)

  • plllog
    last month

    Butter? You mean on the outside for grilling? Otherwise I'm not imagining where it comes in...

  • bpath
    last month

    Bread, butter, peanut butter, jelly(/jam/preserve/etc), bread. My mom made them that way, I make them that way, my kids don’t like it.

  • plllog
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Thank-you for the details.

    My father made me cream cheese and butter sandwiches when I was a tot. I suppose that came from a similar place as PB and butter. My mother halted that when she found out. He switched to cream cheese and jam, which she tolerated. At least that was fat and sugar, rather than fat and fat. We didn't have peanut butter, which would have been more nutritious, but cream cheese and jam, or salami (just salami—the bread soaks up fat (plus salt, garlic, pepper, etc.) and becomes coated as if spead with a condiment), if there was any, was for when there wasn't anything much to make sandwiches out of. I don't think I ever saw peanut butter until I was five.

  • neely
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I thought when talking about any kind of sandwich whether a bread slice or a bread roll, it was accepted that nearly everyone butters the two inner slices before filling with whatever ( maybe there is the odd exception ) UNLESS grilling, then the butter would go on the outside. Maybe I am wrong but certainly the case here in Australia and the UK. The butter is not thought of as an ingredient, rather there to stop the bread getting soggy from the filling.

    I do recall there are sandwich bars here where you can get your sandwich made in front of you and the server will ask ’do you want butter’ but the butter is always there ready to go, as those who don’t want it are the exception.

    Curious!!!

  • plllog
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I had a college roommate from Australia who thought the same thing. ;) I had never seen butter used that way before knowing her. The USA is very big, with a quarter of a billion adults, so I'm sure there must be plenty of Americans who standardly butter their sandwich bread. I've never met any of them---or, I should say, I've never met their sandwiches. Here, some sandwich breads are purposefully baked not to need a moisture barrier, and some folks are careful about drying their fillings, but, in general, we use mayonnaise for the same function--though some people hate mayo and must defend their sandwiches from it. It also brings moisture if the bread is particularly dry. A standard deli sandwich has mustard and mayonnaise, but if they're premade they come with little packets of those to add to your own liking, because customization rules and people are picky about their sandwiches. And fancy sandwich shops invent their own condiments and spreads but most will also have mayonnaise and mustard (possibly house made) for those are just want familiar.

    At home is as variable as the sky, and I'm sure there are some butter advocates too. I was a big fan of a local honey habanero mustard (the mustard was a supporting player and mostly it had the amazing flavor of habanero peppers without the knock your socks off and tickle your feet). I wonder, though, if our sandwich style doesn't come from Jewish delis. We don't have milk bars. We have delis or sandwich shops that might as well be delis, and sandwich counters in supermarkets, groceries, butcher shops and liquor stores which are kind of based on deli counters (my Aussie roommate was offended when she asked where to buy a sandwich nearby and I said the liquor store. They had really good sandwiches). And if one keeps kosher, the meat would never be put with buttered bread.

    But, then, mayonnaise was first sold as a product about 100 years ago, so maybe it became popular during WWII if there were more eggs and oil to be had, or manufactured mayo, than butter. I don't know. But I do know people who eschew mayonnaise for their bread and use salad dressing. Little do they realize, however, that the oil and egg yolks in the ingredients list of their Russian Dressing, Creamy Italian, etc., are the mayonnaise base they start with. There was a firestorm on Reddit or similar a couple years ago when a bunch of young people figured it out.

    Oh, but classic PBJ, school lunchbox style, is two slices of sandwich bread, one spread with peanut butter, the other with jelly (or maybe jam), and slapped together. Peanut butter, itself, is oily enough to function like butter for sealing the bread. Jam does the same, and, I presume jelly (jelly in this case is the reduced syrup of fruit juice boiled with sugar), and I'm guessing it may be the gel action of the pectin that does it, but that's a totally wild guess. Spreadable cheese also works, as do many condiments that don't have a mayo base.

  • colleenoz
    last month
    last modified: last month

    My late (American) mother always buttered both slices of bread for a sandwich, even if she was using mayonnaise as well. The only exception was PB&J, where she only buttered the slice that had the jam/jelly. when my DH made the first PB&J sandwich he made for me, he buttered both slices and I thought it was delicious! I do like the flavour of butter.

    Amusing story: When we first came to Oz in the late 60s, a neighbour approached my mother and asked, ”My son watches those American TV shows and he’s always asking me for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. How do you make them?” My mother, aware that in Oz at the time ”peanut butter” was called ”peanut paste” (and it was still the unhomogenised kind that had the layer of oil on the top), replied, ”Well, you put a layer of peanut paste on one slice of bread and then you butter another slice, then put a layer of jelly on it and put the two together.” Recounting this story later when I got home from school, Mom said, ”It wasn’t until I got home that I realised her horrified look was probably because I forgot that here ”jelly” is jello!”

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I remember my younger sisters eating PB and butter sandwiches, but I wasn't interested. I don't think I even liked PB sandwiches much as a kid - except for those with honey or marshmallow fluff.

    I learned to butter bread for sandwiches from reading old cookbooks. I never did it for PB tho - just other kinds of sandwiches for packed lunches, so they wouldn't get soggy - pretty common for tea/finger sandwiches too, isn't it?

  • neely
    last month

    That story had me actually laughing colleenoz… the thought of that woman trying to slap together the ’jello’ side of bread with the peanut butter side is hilarious.


    So I googled and yes it is a thing that US doesn’t butter their bread. Well there you go, I didn’t know… I guess the times I have been to the US I have stayed with either UK or Aust relatives or friends so it was sandwiches as normal if they happened. A lot of comments make more sense now. Europe except possibly Italy butters their bread and of course most asian countries don’t use butter, India with ghee being the exception.

  • BlueberryBundtcake - 6a/5b MA
    last month

    Huh, I always thought that the meat flavor penetrating the bread of a roast beef/steak sandwich (not cold cuts) was a good thing ... not sure why I would want to create a barrier against that.

    If we're just talking about yummy things to spread on bread, though, I like to take slices of bread (French bread, ciabatta, mild sourdough ... any number of breads could work), pop them under the broiler until hot but not toasting, take them out and spread heavily with butter, put back under the broiler until the butter is frothy and the edges are toasted, then take them out again and spread with brie and drizzle with good honey.

  • plllog
    last month

    Aha! Carol, I knew there had to be some butterers!

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last month

    Thinking back, my fave thing as a kid was saltines with PB and honey.

  • annie1992
    last month

    My own Mother always buttered her peanut butter sandwiches, she said they were not as "sticky" with the butter. I will toast bread for tuna salad sandwiches or a fried egg sandwich and butter the bread. I also butter toast for BLTs, even though there is going to be mayo on it. Oddly enough, I don't butter other sandwiches, like egg salad or any kind of meat sandwich, that gets mayo.


    Yes, I'm fickle, LOL.


    Annie

    fawnridge (Ricky) thanked annie1992
  • floraluk2
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I was horrified to be given a salami sandwich in France when I was a kid. It was almost impossible to swallow being so dry. No butter!

    Butter on both slices of bread is a sine qua non for a British sandwich.


    Some years ago we had American students as neighbours. They invited us over for tea. They served cucumber sandwiches having got the impression that we Brits eat them all the time. They were amazed to discover I'd never eaten one in my life and hadn't had tea in the afternoon since I was a small child. We do get strange ideas about each others cultures.

  • plllog
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I can't remember just when, but I'm thinking the late 1990's, there was a confluence, here, of new attitudes about appropriate business entertaining behavior. Out went alcohol, altogether, during the day, out went exclusionary, sexist venues including strip clubs, steam rooms, etc., in came fine hotels trying to monetize their lobbies and patios, and restauants trying to drive between services traffic which wouldn’t interfere with the kitchen, and combined, these produced a big popularity of Afternoon Tea right out of Beatrix Potter. Okay, that's a joke, but ”Tea” as a meeting time, eating time, etc., here, at least outside of British enclaves, was entirely dolly tea party or teddy bear picnic, the ”tea” was water or lemonade (squash, I believe in UK terms), cola was the coffee, and quite likely the dishes had Peter and his sisters painted on them, and perhaps the Tailor of Gloucester.

    I think it has faded, and covid would have killed off most of the stalwarts, but my guess is that this is where a lot of American ideas of English Tea come from.

  • fawnridge (Ricky)
    Original Author
    last month

    Thank you everyone for the interesting suggestions. Carol says that just plain PB&J on toasted white bread is her favorite and I shouldn't waste the time grilling it.

  • bbstx
    last month

    I’m with Claudia, up thread. You’re missing the bacon!

  • Rusty
    last month

    I also agree with the bacon! Personally, I'm not a fan of peanut butter sandwiches, and prefer not to have to eat one. But, if it's chunky peanut butter, and has lots of very crispy bacon strips, and is on a multi-grain bread, I can almost enjoy it! My husband wouldn't eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, he preferred peanut butter with brown sugar. And he ate a lot of them!

    I was quite surprised to read the comments about butter on sandwiches. I grew up on a farm in Michigan. In the 40's and 50's. I had never heard of using mayo on a sandwich (with the exception of 'salad' sandwiches, such as chicken, tuna. etc.) until I came to Texas in the 60's. I was just as shocked to learn that here mayo is the 'standard' to spread on bread as Texans were when I used butter on my sandwich. And yes, I would butter the bread for a peanut butter sandwich.

    Rusty

  • lowspark
    last month

    When I was a kid, my mother would butter the bread for meat sandwiches such as salami, bologna, and the like. As an adult, I hardly ever do for meat, but I do for cheese! A buttered slice of toast right out of the toaster, with a slice of any cheese is delicious.


    I don't eat much PB although I do like it. My preference is PB and honey as opposed to jelly or jam. It's not a meal I crave often though. When I was a youngster, I loved it but flat out refused to eat peanut butter in any way, shape, or form, unless there was milk on hand to go with it. Ya gotta have milk for PB or for brownies. Ya just gotta! LOL. I'm not as strict now, especially when it comes to brownies which can and should be eaten any time, regardless of any other circumstances.


    Ricky - I'm with your girlfriend. So many foods -- the simplest way is the best. It's ok to doctor up stuff as a nice variety, but in the end, give me the good ol' simple sandwich I ate as a kid and I'll be more than satisfied.

  • JoanM
    last month

    I remember the first time i learned that people butter their bread for sandwiches. I was taking sandwich orders at work one day and my boss asked for ham on buttered bread. I was shocked! I had never heard of it before and New York had a ton of food variety and cultures.


    I think I need to try a buttered sandwich one of these days.

  • floraluk2
    last month

    We butter the bread for every kind of sandwich, sweet or savoury. Yes, we use mayo where called for ... on top of the butter. Sometimes we just have bread and butter without any filling.

  • rosie
    last month
    last modified: last month

    The perfect PB&J has to have peanut butter with no sugar added, just ground peanuts, raspberry jam and Fluff, in that order.

  • party_music50
    last month

    I’ve never heard of buttering bread to make sandwiches. It must be a regional thing.

  • aok27502
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Multi grain bread (no butter) with crunchy PB and dill pickle slices.