Experts Create their Perfect PB&J
Did you know the average American eats 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by age 18? Upgrade the classic combo with these delicious spins from food experts.
By Rachel Mount from Reader's Digest Magazine | September 2012
Seriouseats.com set out with measuring spoons and a team of tasters to determine the perfect ratio. “Much to my surprise, the servings suggested on the peanut butter and jelly jars (two tablespoons and one tablespoon, respectively) were perfect when spread on two slices of white bread,” writes Ed Levine, Serious Eats founder, or wedge it between two plump pieces of multigrain or your favorite sandwich bread. And a commenter shared a simple trick for portable sandwiches: “Use frozen bread, then wrap and go. It’ll thaw by lunch, and the PB&J will become extra gooey.”
Ruth Reichl, former editor-in-chief of Gourmet, spreads butter on thick white bread and adds a sprinkle of salt. “You won’t believe how much more delicious this makes peanut butter taste,” she writes at gilttaste.com. After topping with natural peanut butter and strawberry jam, she puts the sandwich in the microwave for eight seconds. “This will melt the ingredients into a texture so sexy, you will barely recognize the innocent sandwich of your childhood.”
Fire up the skillet for a meal that could double as dessert. Butter the outside of your sandwich, then toast over medium-high heat in a skillet until golden brown. Cooking Light suggests a banana split–inspired combination of peanut butter, honey, chocolate, strawberry and banana slices, and pineapple jam.
Top your peanut butter with a schmear of Nutella, as New York City’s Peanut Butter & Co. shop does in its Peanut Butter Cup bestseller.
Jerry loves to sprinkle cinnamon on his peanut butter and bagel sandwiches.
Feeling adventurous? Try peanut butter with one of these toppings: cream cheese, mayonnaise, tomato, romaine lettuce, or bacon. Each combination has legions of fans—and the Reader’s Digest staff even put them to the test. Our verdict? Strangely delicious!
Fun Fact: The first recipe for PB&J was published in 1901—until then, peanut butter was paired with pimento cheese.
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