Introduction: How to Make a Toasted PBJ
You might think that making a toasted Peanut Butter and Jelly (or Jam for those of you who think jelly is a dessert) sandwich wouldn't require explanation. However, you might also be the sort of person who makes sandwiches out of *shudder* enriched white bread, so we can't really trust you now can we.
No. Obviously we can't.
Now I know what you're thinking, and yes, the PBJ is traditionally made using enriched white bread. However, we are not making a PBJ, we are making a TOASTED PBJ, and enriched white bread should not, under any circumstances, be toasted.
Step 1: Preparation
To start, you're going to need:
1) Bread- I use sliced sourdough, and I will take no responsibility if you use a different type of bread and it doesn't turn out well.
2) Peanut Butter- I use Skippy Super Chunk, but brand is probably not all that important. However, if you use creamy peanut butter it will be even messier than it is going to be already. Use at your own risk.
3) Jelly (or Jam)- I prefer strawberry.
5) Toaster Oven- Yes you really do need a toaster oven, it is an integral part of the process.
(I suppose you could use a blow torch or something similar, but it's very important that the peanut butter melts completely once you've applied it.)
Step 2: Toasting
Take a little time to select your bread. If it has holes in it, the peanut butter and jelly will drip through them. It's not a huge deal, just messy.
Then toast you bread. Personally, I toast mine very lightly, crisp not crunchy, and there should be no color change. That's the lowest setting on my toaster oven, but you may need to keep an eye on yours if you don't know how it's going to turn out.
Step 3: Apply Peanut Butter
Once the toast is ready, pull it out and close the oven. It's important that we maintain some of the residual heat for use in the next step.
Apply an even layer of peanut butter over the whole surface, then put it back into the toaster oven. Don't turn it on, just let the residual heat melt the peanut butter.
If you didn't use a toaster oven, you need to find some other way of melting the peanut butter. A blow torch, or maybe a hot hairdryer on low could work. Anything with decent radiant heat really. (A lighter doesn't cut it, believe me, I've tried.)
Step 4: Apply the Jelly (or Jam)
Once the peanut buttered piece is in the toaster oven, apply the Jelly (or Jam).
Step 5: Combine and Enjoy
Pull the peanut buttered half out of the toaster oven, it should have a nice glossy sheen to it.
Then just combine the two halves, pour yourself a nice big glass of milk, and enjoy. Carefully.
Seriously, because we've melted the peanut butter, it will drip and ooze like nobody's business. Keep a napkin handy, and eat it over something. Peanut butter is not really something you can just wipe off of a shirt.
You might ask why we went to the trouble of melting the peanut butter. Well, honestly, I don't know why, but it just tastes better when it's melted. Maybe it has something to do with the oil in it.
Also, you should be aware that generally, a knife covered in peanut butter will not really clean well in a dish washer. So, before you put it in one, you can either lick it mostly clean (If it's a dull knife and you're careful of serrations), or run it under very hot tap water till it's mostly clean.