Please note: Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer. The Orthodox Union makes no endorsements or representations regarding kashrut certification of various products/vendors referred to in her articles, blog or web site.
I am an avowed peanut butter and jelly fan. Grew up with the sandwich, made it for my kids and still eat it for lunch or dinner at least once a week. I could discuss the merits of grape versus strawberry jam and toasted versus non-toasted and throw in an opinion on whether the best way to cut it is vertically or diagonally and never miss a beat.
It was only after I had lunch with a very precocious seven-year-old who informed me that a PB&J was, and I quote, “boring” that I decided to take my run-of-the-mill concoction and turn it into something spectacular.
The following recipes are all variations on a theme, and while not exactly the same as wolfing down a sandwich with a glass of very cold milk, I can guarantee you’ll never look at those familiar jars quite the same way again.
Note: Use whatever flavor jelly or jam you like best in any of the recipes.
PB&J SOUFFLE (dairy)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup sugar (plus extra to sprinkle in ramekins)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 egg yolks
4 egg whites
pinch of salt
pinch of cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
1 tablespoon sugar
Preheat the oven to 400 before you begin (the oven must be ready to go when you put the soufflés in or they will not rise).
In a bowl combine the strawberries and sugar and mash to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
In a saucepan combine the flour and milk and whisk to combine. Add half of the sugar (about 1/8 of a cup) and heat, at a simmer, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the peanut butter and whisk for 2 to 3 minutes until combined and creamy. Remove the mixture from the heat. In a small bowl combine the egg yolks, salt and vanilla and whisk to combine. Add the yolk mixture to the peanut butter mixture and whisk to combine. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the cream of tartar and egg whites. Beat until foamy, then slowly add the 1/8 cup of sugar while it’s beating. Beat until the egg whites are thick and foamy and slightly stiff. By hand, gently fold the beaten whites into the peanut butter mixture. Bake for 13 to15 minutes (DO NOT open the oven door while it’s cooking until it’s done as it will fall.) Serve the soufflés with the strawberries. Makes 4 soufflés.
Submitted by Raine Worster of Chicago, IL; modified from epicurious.com.
PBJ CAKE (dairy)
This cake is really rich so small pieces are best.
1 package (about 18 oz.) strawberry cake mix
1 cup strawberry jam
1 2/3 cups peanut butter chips
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
In a bowl prepare the cake mix as per the directions on the package for two 9-inch layers. Cool completely then slice each layer in half horizontally to form two layers (a total of 4 layers). Place one layer on serving plate; spread 1/3 cup jam over top. Repeat with remaining layers, ending with plain layer on top.
In a saucepan combine the peanut butter chips and milk. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Cool until slightly thickened. In the bowl of an electric mixer whip the whipped cream until stiff peaks form. In thirds blend in the peanut butter mixture. If too thin, cool slightly then spread on the sides and top. Refrigerate. Serves 12.
Modified from southerncooking.com.
PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY TIRAMISU (dairy)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup raspberry jam
2 tablespoons sweet white wine
4 cups raspberries
shaved chocolate, for topping
In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the peanut butter, cream cheese, powder sugar, vanilla and 1/2 cup whipping cream and mix until smooth (3 to 4 minutes). Add the remaining 1/2 cup cream and beat until creamy, about 2 more minutes. (Do not overbeat.)
Whisk the jam and wine in a small bowl until smooth. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the jam mixture into a 9×5 loaf pan. Cover with half the ladyfingers, arranging them lengthwise. Brush the top of the lady fingers with half the remaining jam mixture. Spread half the peanut butter mixture over the ladyfingers. Top the peanut butter cream with 2 cups of raspberries then place the remaining ladyfingers on top of the berries. Brush the ladyfingers with the remaining jam mixture and spread the remaining peanut butter cream on top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours. Uncover the tiramisu and top with the remaining 2 cups raspberries and shaved chocolate. Dust with powdered sugar. Serves: 8-10.
Modified from heatovento350.blogspot.com.
PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY MARSHMALLOW COOKIE (dairy)
12 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate
3 tablespoons oil or butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons milk or cream
Place 16 cookies on a cookie sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper. Spread a thin amount of jelly on top of the cookie. Place a marshmallow on top of the jelly.
In a bowl combine the powdered sugar and milk and mix until combine. It should be a bit thick. Set aside.
In a microwave bowl combine the chocolate chips and oil. Heat for about 30 seconds and stir. Repeat until the chocolate and melted. Combine the chocolate and powdered sugar mixture and mix to combine. Spoon the chocolate topping over each cookie and marshmallow to coat. Refrigerate until the chocolate coating has firmed up. Makes 16.
PEANUT BUTTER AND JAM BAR (dairy or pareve)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
1/2 cup soft butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup grape jelly or other jelly or jam
2/3 cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts
Preheat oven to 350. Line 8X8 metal baking pan with heavy-duty foil. Leave a 2-inch overhang around edges so that when the cookie is done you can remove it from the pan. Grease the foil.
In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and set it aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the peanut butter, sugar, and butter or margarine and beat until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine. Add the flour mixture and mix just to blend.
Place half of dough in the pan and refrigerate the remaining dough. Press into the bottom of the pan. Spread the jelly over the dough in the pan. Take the remaining dough and break it into small pieces and place them all over the top. Sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the top.
Bake for 30 minutes then remove from the oven to cool to room temperature. Using the foil hanging over the side to lift the bars from pan. Peel off the foil and then place the bar on a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.
Can be made 3 days ahead.
Modified from bonappite.com.
PBJ MINI PIE (dairy)
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup cold cream cheese, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/4 cup raspberry or strawberry jam
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Sugar to dust the top
Preheat oven to 400. In a bowl of a food processor combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Pulse the processor once to combine. Add the butter and cream cheese and process until crumbly. Add the buttermilk and pulse one or two times just until the dough forms. Place the dough in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
Place the dough on a floured surface and roll out to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out twenty-four 2-1/2 inch rounds (you’ll need to roll out the dough a few times). Fill the center of 12 of the rounds with the peanut butter and jelly.
In a small bowl combine the egg and milk and whisk. Brush the edges of the circle with the egg mixture. Place the remaining 12 dough rounds on top of the prepared rounds and, using a fork, crimp the edges closed. Place the rounds on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Brush the remaining egg mixture over the top. Sprinkle a little sugar over the top. Cut a small slit in the center of each circle. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 12.
My files, source unknown.
Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer. She graduated from Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. She lectures on various food-related topics across the U.S. and Canada and writes weekly columns for the Chicago Jewish News, kosher.com and OU Life. She is the author of the Perfectly Pareve Cookbook (Feldheim) and is a contributing writer for several publications. You can visit Eileen’s blog by clicking Cuisine by Eileen.