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Slice of Life

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Peanut butter, jelly dishes sweet

I am an avowed peanut butter and jelly fan.

I 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 vs. strawberry jam, or toasted vs. nontoasted, and even throw in an opinion on whether the best way to cut it in half is vertical or diagonal. It was only after I had lunch with a precocious 7-year-old – who informed me that a PBJ was “boring” – that I decided to take my run-of-the-mill concoction and turn it into something spectacular.

Note: Use whatever flavor jelly or jam you like best in any of the recipes.

PBJ Mini Pie

Crust:

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

Filling:

1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter

1/4 cup raspberry or strawberry jam

Glaze:

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon milk

Sugar to dust the top

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

For crust: 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 re-sealable plastic bag and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

For the filling: Place the dough on a floured surface and roll out to about 1/4- inch thick. Cut out 24, 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.

For the glaze: 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 the circle. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 12.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Marshmallow Cookie

Butter cookies (I like Lorna Doones)

Raspberry jam

Marshmallows

Chocolate glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons milk or cream

12 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate

3 tablespoons oil or butter

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 kind of thick. Set aside. In a microwave bowl, combine the chocolate chips and oil. Heat for about 30 seconds and stir. Repeat until the chocolate is melted. Combine the chocolate and powdered sugar mixture. Spoon the chocolate topping over each cookie and marshmallow to coat. Refrigerate until the chocolate coating has firmed up. Makes 16.

PBJ Cake

This cake is really rich so small pieces are best.

1 package (about 18 ounces) 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 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 four 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 whipping cream until stiff peaks form. In thirds, blend the peanut butter mixture into the cream. If too thin, cool slightly then spread on the sides and top. Refrigerate. Serves 12.

– Modified from SouthernCooking.com Slice of Life is a food column that offers recipes, cooking advice and information on new food products. It appears Sundays. If you have a question about cooking or a food item, contact Eileen Goltz at ztlog@verizon.net or write The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802.

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