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It's Gourmet Peanut Butter Jelly Time

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By: Anne Delatte
It's Gourmet Peanut Butter Jelly Time

When we need an example of a perfect pairing, most of us look no further than the good old duo of peanut butter and jelly. Despite its humble reputation as a childhood lunchbox staple, this deceptively simple sandwich has tons of untapped potential. From tweaks to turnarounds, our flavor experts delight in finding new twists on old favorites, so let us help you navigate the gourmet PB&J revolution. Read on for recipes featuring the legendary flavors of Spice Islands® spices that will inspire you to make over this classic combo that appeals to all ages.

Toasted Sweet and Spicy Peanut Butter and Preserves  

The easiest way to class up a simple PB&J is by upgrading its ingredients. The possibilities here are practically endless—simply take a stroll down the condiment aisle of your nearest gourmet grocery store to see for yourself the dazzling array of nut butters, jams and jellies on the market. This recipe, though, is sure to tantalize your taste buds with a combination of sweet and spicy flavors. Honey is one of the best complements to peanut butter out there (besides jelly, of course), and cayenne pepper adds just enough kick to keep things interesting.


  • 2 tablespoons honey roasted peanut butter
  • Dash Spice Islands® Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 slices country white bread
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry-fig preserves or jam


  1. Mix peanut butter and cayenne pepper in small bowl.
  2. Toast bread until lightly browned in toaster or oven. While bread is still warm, spread peanut butter mix on one slice and jelly on the other.
  3. Serve immediately or wrap well in plastic and consume within a few hours.

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Waffles with Jelly Syrup [adapted from]   

Waffle dishes are perfect for breakfast or brunch, but really they can fit into any time of day. Sure, you can take the easy way and simply spread your favorite peanut butter/jelly combo between two store-bought waffles (trust us, it's delicious), or you can add an extra step and include peanut butter directly in homemade batter, balancing the light crispness of waffles with smooth and creamy texture. Making your own jelly-style syrup is easier than it sounds, too, and adds an impressive gourmet touch. Bonus: the recipe below is gluten-free. 

Gluten-Free Waffles 


  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup butter OR margarine, melted
  • 1-1/2 cups Argo® Corn Starch
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Argo® Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands® Vanilla Extract


  1. Blend butter and peanut butter together until smooth.
  2. Stir all ingredients together and let sit for 2 minutes.
  3. Place 3/4 to 1-1/2 cups batter in a preheated waffle iron and bake to desired level of browning, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Serve hot OR cool and freeze in resealable plastic bags for toasting later.

Jelly Syrup



  1. Cook fruit in a small pot over high heat for 1—3  minutes. Add sugar and reduce heat to low after 1 minute.
  2. Serve warm, drizzled over waffles.

Puffed Empanadas with Peanut Butter and Jelly [adapted from Mommyhood's Diary]

This hand pie-style pastry, based on the traditional Spanish treat, makes it even easier to get your PB&J fix on the go. Your kids might not appreciate their simple elegance offhand, but you can bet they'll appreciate this yummy change-up in their lunchbox. Empanadas are also perfect for carrying to picnics, parties or meetings. And, bonus: It's easy to make a big batch and freeze some to pop in the oven later. Take the link to check out the recipe.

Bruschetta Style PB&J  

The traditional approach to bruschetta—heaping fresh and tasty toppings on a crisp piece of bread—is similar to PB&J for its simple yet satisfying results, so why not marry the two into one delicious hors d'oeuvre? Prove that PB&J isn't just for kids when you serve these at your next cocktail party. We used strawberries as a nod to a more traditional jelly choice, but feel free to change it up with whatever fresh fruits are in season!


  • 1 French baguette
  • Dash Spice Islands® Sea Salt
  • 1 cup peanut butter of choice
  • 1 cup strawberry jelly
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh sliced strawberries


  1. Cut bread into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Lightly toast on a baking sheet in oven and let cool.
  2. Scatter sea salt over toasted bread. Spread about a tablespoon of peanut butter onto each slice. Add a spoonful of jelly to each.
  3. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and top with sliced strawberries. 
  4. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered.


Anne Delatte is a freelance writer and blogger. She enjoys covering food and culture in South Louisiana and beyond and has written for area publications and national sites including and Marriott Travel. Anne lives and works in New Orleans.

Spice Islands® spices deliver high quality, authentic flavors from all over the world so you can put the most delicious meals on your table.


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