Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Great PB & J Experiment

Every once in a while I come up with a great idea or invention. Unfortunately, most people seem to think that these ideas are too weird. After I mention it and a few people shoot it down, I usually end up forgetting my great idea. Instead I will document these ideas for you, interwebicon.

Mad Scientist courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and J.J.

I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I eat them at least once a week. Many people I know think this is weird since I am in my thirties. I guess they think it is childish or something...but I tell you that deliciousness has no age limit. I am not going to miss out on a great PB&J just because I think I am too sophisticated for it. It tastes great and I don't need any food snobs telling me otherwise.

I am a grape jelly person. It is a classic for a reason, it is awesome. I throw in some other flavors every once in a while to mix it up - appricot, orange marmelade, or cherry jelly all get a little bit of action but grape jelly is by far the most common partner for my peanut butter. It is just something that always works well. Every once in a great while, I am just not in the mood for jelly...grape or otherwise. This leads to experimentation. Past experiments have included:

  • Peanut Butter and Fruit - any kind works well, but especially bananas or apples are good.

  • Peanut Butter and Sugar - my mom made these for me as a kid - it is basically getting jelly down to its main component. Getting the right mix of sugar is tricky. Too much and it leaks out of the bread (and is really dry), too little and you don't really taste it.

  • Peanut Butter and Cinnamon and Sugar - the extra kick of the cinnamon allows you to use less sugar but get more taste. Still a little dry though.

  • Peanut Butter and Honey - good but I've never been a big fan of the stickiness of honey.

  • Peanut Butter and Cereal - who hasn't tried this since the Breakfast club came out? Fruity Pebbles are my favorite (since they are my favorite cereal) but Cap'n Crunch, Cookie Crisp, and corn pops all work well. Not a big fan of marshmallow cereals on my sandwich. Something this crunchy is a weird texture for a sandwich.

  • Peanut Butter and Maple Syrup - tasted good but was too runny. Syrup just soaked into bread making it squishy.

  • Peanut Butter and Hersey Syrup - thought this would make a good Reese's type sandwich. It was good but like maple before it, it was too thin and messy and just soaked into the bread. Using Hersey Candy Bars or mini chocolate chips works better. How about using chocolate cake for bread with peanut butter between them?

  • Peanut Butter and Bacon - kind of a take on the Elvis special but I didn't have any bananas and didn't fry it. Not a bad sandwich at all. I can see how the bananas are needed for a hint of sweetness though.

  • Peanut Butter and Potato Chips - decent, I was hoping for kind of a salted nut roll type flavor, but it didn't quite match that. Also too crispy for me (like the cereal). Would probably be really good (sweet & salty, creamy & crunchy) if someone was high.

There has been many other variations...and most are surprisingly good. The other night, I came up with new inspiration and I can't believe I hadn't thought of this before:

Peanut Butter and Pudding Sandwiches

I used half a chocolate pudding snack-pack for the filling with my peanut butter. This has turned out much better for the sandwich than chocolate syrup or even candy bars. It is pretty close to a traditional PB&J as far as consistency, texture, and ease. The creaminess of both the peanut butter and the pudding made it a delight to eat. It tasted pretty darn good. Plus PB&P works as an acronym too. I wish I would have taken a picture because it really was a thing of beauty.

Now I am really looking forward to trying something a little more exotic - PB & Tapioca or maybe PB & Butterscotch. I bet PB with banana pudding and banana slices would be wonderful. Oh just had another idea - Peanut Butter and Cake Frosting!

Don't be afraid of PB&J and don't be afraid to mix it up a little.


Lax Guy said...

Everyone knows that peanut butter & maple syrup can only be properly combined on waffles! In fact, that was my breakfast today...
I am right there with you on the tastiness of a good PB&J

Anonymous said...

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancakes are my fave. Waffles are good, but end up too peanut butttery. And you can't underestimate the awesome-ness that is the grilled peanut butter sandwich, whatever version you make.


Yoshi said...

What about PB and Banana and either nutella or chocolate frosting on toast?

Michael said...

I had a bad experience with Nutella when I was in fifth grade (namely eating some that I am pretty sure was spoiled) and have been shy of it ever since...but I really try it again.

That does sound delicious - chocolate and banana.

Dixon said...

Count me in on the PB & Maple Syrup combo. i used to make that up in a bowl when I was a kid and just eat is straight. So bad for you, yet oh so right. Give it another shot. Easy on the syrup, and stir it up together first. You're welcome.

Michael said...

Premixing is a problem with me...usually I am standing there with peanut butter on one of the breads going "What looks good today?" but it would definitely solve the syrup sogging up the bread issue. I may have to plan a little ahead sometime.

Oh and two words for all you PB Experimenters: Marshmallow Fluff!