Some foods just go together. When you hear “peanut butter,” it is probably associated with “jelly” in your mind, and over the years, you’ve probably had countless PB&J sandwiches to fulfill the cravings for that classic combination. Well, nothing against slathering peanut butter and jelly on two slices of bread, but don’t you want something just a little different that stays true to the roots of flavors? We certainly do, which is why we’ve got six recipes that are plays on six different classic flavor combinations for you to enjoy.
1. Banana Split Cake
Depending on who you ask, the banana split originated in either Ohio or Pennsylvania. NPR explains that the experts say that David Strickler, a pharmacy clerk in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, was the originator of the sundae in 1904. Both states are in agreement over what goes into the classic banana split. Vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream is topped with pineapple, strawberry, and chocolate sauces. This is further garnished with a halved whole banana whipped cream, cherries, and nuts. This has been reimagined with a “cake” recipe from Kraft that skips out on chocolate and strawberry, but keeps other key components like vanilla, pineapple, nuts, and of course, bananas.
- 9 graham crackers, crushed (about 1½ cups)
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- ⅓ cup butter, melted
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple in juice, drained
- 6 bananas, divided
- 2 packages (3.4 ounces each) vanilla instant pudding
- 2 cups cold milk
- 2 cups thawed Cool Whip topping, divided
- 1 cup chopped pecans
Directions: Mix graham crumbs, ¼ cup sugar and butter; press onto bottom of 13 x 9-inch pan. Freeze for 10 minutes. Beat the cream cheese and remaining sugar with mixer until blended. Spread carefully over crust; top with pineapple. Slice 4 bananas; arrange over pineapple.
Beat pudding mixes and milk with whisk for 2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of Cool Whip and spread over banana layer in pan. Top with remaining Cool whip. Refrigerate 5 hours. Slice remaining bananas just before serving; arrange over dessert. Top with nuts.
2. Salted Carmelitas
The New York Times heralded 2008 the year of caramels seasoned with salt. Noting the combination’s lure for generations of French and American chefs, in 2008 the pair went mainstream. The classic way to indulge in this sweet treat is with simple salted caramels, and Ben & Jerry’s recently got in on the salted caramel game with the new Salted Caramel Core flavor. However, the salted caramel treat you need in your life is Cooking Classy‘s salted carmelitas. Part cookie, part brownie bar, and entirely delicious this will be your new favorite way to enjoy the taste of salt and caramel..
- 32 caramels, unwrapped (such as Kraft)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- ¾ cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 10 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or a half milk chocolate, half semi-sweet mix)
- coarse sea salt
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour cream over caramels in a microwave safe bowl, heat mixture on high power in 30 second intervals, stirring well after each interval until melted and smooth, set aside. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, rolled oats, light-brown sugar, baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon table salt. Place butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat butter in microwave until melted. Stir vanilla extract into melted butter then pour mixture over dry ingredients.
Using a fork, stir well to evenly coat. Press half of the oat mixture evenly into the bottom of a buttered 8×8 baking dish and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips into an even layer over baked cookie crust, then pour caramel mixture evenly over chocolate chip layer. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt evenly over caramel layer, then sprinkle top evenly with remaining oat mixture. Bake in preheated oven 16 to 20 minutes until lightly golden.
Remove from oven, sprinkle top evenly with an ⅛ teaspoon coarse sea salt (or to taste) and allow to cool for 20 minutes at room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap leaving a small opening on one corner, transfer to refrigerator to chill until cool enough to cut into clean squares. Alternately you can enjoy them warm after about 20 minutes of cooling at room temperature. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
3. Peaches and Cream Overnight French Toast
A simple summer dessert associated with the South, peaches and cream also has a bit of history across the pond. According to Cooks Info, in London, the Peach Melba was created by Georges Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy hotel in honor of the singer Nellie Melba in the late 1800s. The Melba comes with ice cream, while whipped cream is used in peaches and cream, but the thick dairy with halved peaches — often warmed — remains the same. It is also consistent with this french toast recipe from Taste of Home which serves twelve.
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup butter, cubed
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- 1 can (29 ounces) sliced peaches, drained
- 1 loaf (1 pound) day-old French bread, cubed
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed
- 12 eggs
- 1½ cups half-and-half cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved; pour into a greased 13×9 baking dish. Arrange peaches in dish. Place half of the bread cubes over peaches. Layer with cream cheese and remaining bread. Place the eggs, cream and vanilla in a blender; cover and process until smooth. Pour over top. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, for 50 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
4. Bacon and Egg Grilled Cheese
Bacon and eggs became a classic American breakfast as the result of a savvy PR campaign by Edward L. Bernays. Bon Appétit explains that while working for Beech-Nut, a company that brought home the bacon by selling bacon, Bernays launched a campaign to make bacon and eggs the standard bearer for breakfast in American homes. Dress up your bacon and eggs–and make them appropriate for any meal–with this grilled cheese recipe from Food Network.
- 6 slices thick-sliced bacon
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 4 large eggs
- 9 slices Cheddar (about 7 ounces), one of them quartered
- 8 slices (1/3- to 1/2-inch-thick) brioche bread
Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lay the bacon slices on a rack set over a baking sheet. Bake until the fat starts to render, about 10 minutes. Baste the bacon on both sides with the maple syrup and continue to bake until caramelized and the edges just start to brown, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let cool on the rack, about 5 minutes. When cool, cut them in half.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Crack the eggs into the skillet and fry until thoroughly set, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Put four slices of the bread on a work surface. Layer each with one whole slice of the cheese, three pieces of the bacon, 1/4 slice of the cheese and one egg and another whole slice of cheese. Close the sandwiches with the remaining bread. Thinly and evenly spread the remaining butter on both sides of the bread using about 1 1/2 tablespoons for each sandwich.
Place 2 sandwiches into the same skillet over medium heat. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook until the bread is evenly golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook, uncovered, until the bread is golden brown and cheese is visibly melted, about 2 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.
5. Peanut Butter and Jelly Parfaits
One of the earliest mentions of the pairing of peanut butter and jelly can be found in The Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics from 1901. It told readers to try sandwiches of “very thin layers of bread and two of filling, one of peanut paste, whatever brand you prefer, and currant or crab-apple jelly for the other.” It also assured them that: “The combination is delicious, and, so far as I now, original.” Original or not, it certainly has been delicious enough to stand the test of time. When you are looking for something other than the classic sandwich, serve up Hungry Couple‘s peanut butter and jelly parfaits.
- 4 all butter shortbread cookies
- 1/2 cup jam (your favorite flavor)
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter chips
- 2 tablespoons salted peanuts, chopped (optional)
- Large pinch of salt
Directions: Place the cookies in a plastic bag and crumble them with your hands or by using a rolling pin or even a can of beans–there can be a few chunks left. In a small bowl, combine the jam with the water and warm very slightly in the microwave. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar, add the peanut butter and milk and whisk until completely smooth and combined. Mix in a pinch of salt and taste to see if you’d like to add more.
Layer the bottom of the jars with 1/4 of the cookie mixture in two mason jars, or tall glasses. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the jam into each container and top with a quarter of the peanut butter chips in each. Add about a quarter of the peanut butter mixture into each jar, top with the remaining cookies, jam, chips, and peanut butter. Sprinkle on the salted peanuts, if desired.
6. Cookies and Cream Fudge
Traditionally an ice cream flavor, cookies and cream doesn’t have a long history, but it has cemented its place as a classic flavor combination. Serious Eats examined the history, and just like with the banana split, there are two possible sources for the flavor’s origin. Both Edy’s/Dreyer’s and Blue Bell claim credit for the flavor, and it isn’t entirely clear who should be the winner of this cookies and cream battle. The flavor is also associated with Oreo cookies, so why not make Oreo, or cookies and cream, fudge by following this recipe from Food.com.
- 2 cups sugar
- ⅔ cup evaporated milk
- 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup butter
- 2 cups white chocolate chips
- ½ cup Oreo cookies, finely crushed
- 1 cup Oreo cookies, crumbled
Directions: Line 13×9 pan with foil and butter the foil. Combine sugar, butter, and milk in medium saucepan. Bring to full rolling boil; stirring constantly. Boil constantly for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in morsels, cream, crushed cookies, and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with crumbled cookes and press down lightly or gently swirl into fudge with knife if desired. Refrigerate until firm. Lift from pan. Remove foil and cut into pieces.