Co-op Blog

All The Ways to PB & J

Of all the foods that remind you of childhood, chances are a good ol’ peanut butter and jelly sandwich is probably pretty high on the list. And for good reason! It’s sweet, nutty, sometimes a little crunchy, and always enjoyable. And what’s a better memory than coming home after school to enjoy a PB&J with your mom or dad and sharing what you learned that day?

If you’ve got a craving for all things PB&J, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite traditional and modern adaptations of PB&J to satisfy that craving, or to pass on to your own littles.

If you’re not a peanut butter person (or are allergic to it), keep in mind that you can always sub in a different nut butter of your choice. We offer a variety of different nut and seed butter options here at the Co-op that would make for an excellent substitute.

Salted Peanut Butter and Jelly Blondies

salted peanut butter jelly blondies

While this recipe is intended to be a PB&J take on blondies, if you’ve got a craving for chocolate, simply sub out the vanilla extract with some cocoa powder!

The chopped honey-roasted peanuts add a nice crunch to the top of this soft, rich dessert bar.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry jam
  • 1 tablespoon chopped honey-roasted peanuts
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Directions

  1. Whisk together 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, and 1 tsp. kosher salt.
  2. Whisk together 2 large eggs, 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter, 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract; fold in dry ingredients.
  3. Scrape batter into a buttered 8×8″ baking pan. Dollop with 2 Tbsp. strawberry jam; top with 1 Tbsp. chopped honey-roasted peanuts.
  4. Bake at 350° until a tester comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt.

Recipe and photo adapted from Bon Appetit

Peanut Butter & Jelly Crumb Cake

pb and j crumb cake

Make this crumb cake traditional with some grape jelly, or switch it up with some blueberry confiture from Bow Hill Blueberries or another jam flavor from Oregon Growers.

Ingredients

For the crumbs

  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted salted peanuts, chopped

For the cake

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup jam

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Grease the inside of a 10-inch round springform pan. Combine the peanut butter, flour, brown sugar, and peanuts in a mixing bowl. Work the mixture between your fingers to form large crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla in a large measuring cup.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  4. Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the egg mixture and mix until well combined.
  6. Add the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  7. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Place the jam in a small bowl and whisk until loosened and spreadable. Use a small offset spatula to spread the jam over the batter.
  8. Break the peanut butter mixture up into large crumbs with your fingers and drop them over the jam. Bake the cake until it is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
  9. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Release the sides of the pan and use a large spatula to slide the cake from the pan bottom to a wire rack. Cool completely, cut into wedges, and serve.

Recipe and photos adapted from Fine Cooking

Peanut Butter & Jelly No-Bake Cookies

pb and j no bake cookies

Get that sweet satisfaction of a cookie without the need to bake anything with this no-bake recipe from Bob’s Red Mill.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Organic Coconut Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered Freeze Dried Raspberries
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup Peanut Butter
  • 3 cups Regular Rolled Oats
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup chopped, dried Cranberries

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, melt together coconut sugar, butter, milk, raspberry, and salt.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients.
  3. Use a spoon to drop cookies on either wax or parchment paper.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow cookies to harden.

Recipe and photo adapted from Bob’s Red Mill

Cinnamon Toast PB&J

cinnamon toast pb and j

When you were a kid did your parents ever make you that way-too-sugary-for-breakfast buttered toast with cinnamon and sugar? If you never got to experience that treat, now’s your chance!

Needless to say, this isn’t the healthiest PB&J on the list, but it’s a perfect little sweet treat to fulfill your sweet tooth.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 2 slices Dave’s Killer White Bread Done Right bread
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon jam or jelly

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Butter one side of the bread slices and sprinkle generously with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  2. Put the bread on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Turn the oven to broil and broil until the sugar has melted and starts to bubble. This won’t take long, so don’t walk away, watch it closely. Remove from the oven.
  3. Spread the inside pieces of bread with peanut butter and jam. Make a sandwich and cut in half. Serve immediately.

Recipe and photo adapted from Dave’s Killer Bread

Crunchy Fried PB and J

crunchy pb abd j

Again, this isn’t a particularly healthy PB & J, but it’s unique in that it totally flips traditional PB & J on its head.

This sandwich includes the regular suspects of peanut butter, bread, and jelly, but also incorporates bananas, potato chips, and crushed cinnamon square cereal to create a crunchy, extra-flavorful sandwich.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter
  • Eight 1-inch-thick slices Pullman bread
  • 1 cup good raspberry preserves
  • 2 bananas, sliced thin on the bias
  • 2 cups plain potato chips with ridges
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups cinnamon square cereal, crushed by hand in a re-sealable plastic bag
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Spread the peanut butter on 4 slices of bread and the raspberry preserves on the other 4 slices.
  2. Add the bananas and a nice pile of chips on top of the peanut butter slices; sandwich with the raspberry preserve slices.
  3. Place the eggs and cereal in separate shallow bowls. Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat and melt 2 tablespoons of the butter.
  4. Dip a sandwich in the eggs, then the cinnamon cereal, pressing down to make sure the cereal adheres to both sides. Repeat with the other sandwiches.
  5. In batches, fry the sandwiches low and slow until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side, adding more butter to the pan as needed.
  6. Cut the sandwiches in half on the diagonal and serve.

Recipe and photo adapted from Food Network

Peanut Butter & Jelly Overnight Oats

pb and j overnight oats

Overnight oats are easy to make and a wonderful grab and go breakfast item that’s both filling and will give you that energy boost you need to start your day.

We like this recipe in particular because it features both fresh strawberries and strawberry fruit preserves to really add that punch of strawberry flavor to contrast nutty peanut butter.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cups peanut butter + more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup + more for serving
  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla almond, soy or coconut milk
  • Pinch coarse salt
  • 1/4 cups strawberry fruit preserves
  • 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 cups slivered almonds

Directions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together oats, peanut butter, chia seeds, pure maple syrup, milk and salt.
  2. Transfer to a jar with a lid and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Stir in fruit preserves, more peanut butter, and more maple syrup, to taste, and top with fresh strawberries and slivered almonds.

Recipe and photo adapted from Food52

Peanut Butter and Jelly Spiders

peanut butter jelly spiders

Here’s one for the kiddos, or the young at heart. 😊

This would also serve as a great sweet treat alternative to candy.

Ingredients

  • 6 whole-wheat English muffins
  • 3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 6 tablespoons strawberry jam
  • 48 small pretzel sticks
  • 12 chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Have a platter ready for the finished “spiders.” Split and toast the English muffins, and spread each with about 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and a tablespoon of strawberry jam.
  2. Arrange 8 pretzels, 4 on each side radiating outward, on the bottom half of each English muffin to make 8 legs. Top with the other halves of the muffins.
  3. Make eyes on top by placing two chocolate chips on each English muffin; they should melt a little and adhere to the muffin. Serve warm.

Recipe and photo adapted from Welcome to the Table

PB & J Oat Streusel Muffins

pb and j oat streusel muffins

Just take a moment to appreciate that gooey jelly goodness that’s spilling out of these muffins!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup raspberry or strawberry jam
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons softened salted butter, cubed

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 18 muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, vanilla, buttermilk, greek yogurt, and eggs until smooth. Add the flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, and salt and mix until just combined.
  3. Gently fold the peanut butter into the batter, being careful not to over mix. Remember, you’re going for a peanut butter swirl look.
  4. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffins tins. Using a spoon, make a teaspoon side indent in the middle of each muffin and spoon the jam into each.
  5. To make the streusel. Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium size mixing bowl. Add the butter and use your hands to work the butter into the dry ingredients until everything is moist and clumps together. Sprinkle the topping over muffins. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Enjoy!!

Recipe and photo adapted from Half Baked Harvest

Strawberry-Almond Butter Sandwich

almond strawberry sandwich

Here’s your reminder that a PB & J doesn’t have to have peanut butter or even jelly to be delicious.

You can always sub in cashew butter, sunflower seed butter, or in this case, almond butter. This recipe also incorporates honey, cream cheese, and fresh strawberries in lieu of sugary jelly.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons smooth almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries

Directions

  1. Combine almond butter, cream cheese and honey in a small bowl. Spread half of the mixture on each slice of bread. Top one slice with an even layer of strawberries and then the second slice of bread. Cut into quarters.

Recipe and photo adapted from EatingWell

PB&J Protein Balls

pb & j protein balls

If you want that nostalgic PB & J taste without all the bread, here’s a protein ball recipe that’s a perfect substitute for a whole breakfast or just as a mid-day snack.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 cup Raw Honey
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/3 cup Vanilla Protein Powder Nutritional Booster
  • 1/3 cup Flaxseed Meal
  • 1/3 cup Shredded Coconut unsweetened, see notes
  • 1/2 cup Gluten-Free Rolled Oats or regular rolled oats
  • 1 tsp Organic Chia Seed
  • 1/2 cup Dried Strawberries finely diced

Directions

  1. Mix together peanut butter, honey and vanilla in a large bowl.
  2. Add protein powder, flaxseed, coconut, oats, chia seeds and strawberries. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Form into 12 balls using a scoop or large spoon. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.

Recipe and photo adapted from Bob’s Red Mill

By: Leigha

LeighaLeigha is the Marketing Assistant at the Skagit Valley Food Co-op.