From one day to the next, my 2 year old decided he didn’t want the crust on his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches anymore.
The era of picky eating has begun. So I indulged him and cut off all the crusts.
As an added bonus, I cut the sandwich into the shape of Mickey. There’s no way he would deny that! As I expected, he loved it. Even though they looked more like bunnies! (Feel free to use cookie cutters here if you have them). He loved it so much, he asked for more… Another sandwich that needs the crust cut off AND cut into the shape of Mickey Mouse, or Kiki as he likes to say.
Now I’m left with all these scrap pieces of peanut butter and jelly that I refuse to throw out nor do I want to eat right now. So what now? Well, Peanut Butter & Jelly Snack Bars of course! This amazing little snack is so quick and easy to make, anybody can do it.
So let’s get straight to it. The first thing you’ll want to do is take all those scrap crust pieces and chop them up into small pieces as shown below.
Toss all the chopped up scraps into a bowl then add about 1-2 tablespoon of peanut butter. I personally use natural peanut butter that has the natural oil up on top, but any brand will do just fine. The scraps shown here are from two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches made with Texas Toast bread. The bread was also toasted slightly before making the sandwich.
This next part can get very messy and sticky, so I highly recommend using some gloves here. I keep a box of blue disposable nitrile gloves in the kitchen at all times for all those messy cooking moments.
Separate your batch into two equal parts then start forming your bars. You’ll want to smoosh down the mixture as tight as possible in order to get it to all stick together. Roll them up nice and tight then form whatever shape you want. You can get very creative here and make circles or even doughnut shapes if you wanted!
If your bars are falling apart or feel too fragile here, continue smashing all those pieces together until they are tightly packed in. You want to be able to hold them with one hand without any chunks falling out.
Now, this next step is completely optional. You can do a few things here. You can pop them in a toaster oven, or conventional oven and bake them for a few minutes to try and get them toasty, or you can sear the bottoms using a frying pan over your stove. I’ve tried each method and so far skipping this step has worked out best for me. The heat tends to make it a little mushier since the peanut butter starts melting which makes it more fragile when handling.
Now we get to the fun part where we can add the toppings! Sky’s the limit here with these delicious little snacks. I did the first one with a peanut butter topping sprinkled with crushed peanuts. The next one was done with honey and crushed peanuts as well. I was going to do one with Nutella, but as soon as I opened the pantry, I discovered that my 15 year old had already gotten her hands on it and left absolutely no evidence behind… So no Nutella topping today, sadly.
There are so many options for decorating these little guys. You can use Jelly with some fresh fruit like strawberries, raspberries or blueberries, depending on which flavor Jelly you’re using. Or you can step it up a notch and use chocolate chips or crushed M&M’s on top of peanut butter or Nutella! Yum!
Lastly, pop your freshly decorated snack bars into the freezer for about 10-20 minutes. This helps get everything nicely formed and easier to handle.
And that’s it! Super quick and easy. I was able to make four snacks here using two sandwiches. Now that’s an A+ in my book!
Next time you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the crust, make sure you save those scrap pieces and go crazy to see what kind of mixtures you can make! I would love to know what you’ve created!
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