Hello from Kathleen Raskin’s Las Vegas kitchen! April 2nd is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, but for millions of parents across the US, this holiday is observed 365 days per year. Some kids never seem to get tired of PBJ, but adults require more variety. There’s no need for you to get stuck in a PBJ rut when there are so many ways to have fun with it.
Believe it or not, peanut butter was first used by the ancient Aztecs, and the first reference to the PBJ was published in the Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics by Julia Davis Chandler in 1901. At the time, peanut butter was considered a delicacy, and it was served in the finest tearooms of New York. It is unclear when children hijacked the dish and made it their own.
You may be surprised how versatile this classic kids’ favorite can be. It’s easy to change this sandwich up so it’s sophisticated enough for grown-up tastes. You can try other nut butters such as almond or macadamia, high-end specialty jams and jellies, and a variety of breads. I like to serve mine with chutney in place of the jelly sometimes as well. As many mouth-watering possibilities as there are, every last one of them can be made even more delicious by deep-frying. But isn’t that true about nearly everything in life?
2 slices of white bread, the higher-quality, the better
2 tbsps nut butter
2 tbsps jam, jelly, or chutney
1 tbsp unsalted butter
This sandwich couldn’t be easier. Spread the nut butter and jelly on the bread as you usually would, then melt the butter in a skillet. Fry the sandwich in the butter until it’s golden brown and the peanut butter and jelly mixture inside is warm and gooey.
To make a deep fried PBJ, follow these instructions but deep-fry in hot oil, taking care to follow safety precautions. Sprinkle powdered sugar on the sandwich afterward.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, try a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. This was Elvis Presley’s favorite, and if it’s good enough for the King, it’s good enough for even the pickiest eaters. To make this sandwich, used mashed banana in place of the jelly, spreading it across toasted bread in a layer. Afterward, fry in melted butter.
Learn how to make Elvis Presley’s favorite fried peanut butter and banana sandwich!
These “pinchy pies” are a fun new twist on the fried PBJ.