When’s the last time you got excited over a crouton?
Garnish gets gussied up with this delectable recipe for Peanut Butter Croutons, a tasty treat that has the body of a crouton, but the heart and soul of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
These morsels are made quite simply, by slicing peanut butter sandwiches into cubes, brushing them with butter, and then baking in a low oven. As the bread toasts, it also absorbs the butter, giving them a crunchy texture and decadent, delectable flavor.
Peanut butter croutons have a wide variety of uses. You can use them on salads, soups, or even serve them with a glass of milk as a satisfying afternoon snack. Or, be naughty and substitute Dark Chocolate Dreams or White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter, and serve the sweet croutons atop a bowl of ice cream or pudding.
Recipe notes: I have tried this recipe with both regular sliced sandwich bread and a crusty country loaf. Both ways work equally well, but yield a different texture. Feel free to try this recipe with your favorite sandwich bread!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Yield: 40 – 50 croutons
1 loaf (approx. 16 ounces) bread (white or wheat work well)
About 12 tablespoons Smooth Operator peanut butter
About 6 teaspoons Peanut Butter & Co. Seriously Strawberry Jelly (optional)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Equipment: Jelly roll pan, pastry brush
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Generously butter the bottom of a jelly roll pan (butter will give a better flavor than non-stick spray, trust me). Use a jelly roll pan rather than a flat baking sheet, because as the butter melts, you don’t want it to drip on to the bottom of your oven when you’re baking. Set aside for the moment.
2. Make the peanut butter sandwiches. Slice your bread into approximately ½ inch thick slices. I sliced my loaf lengthwise, to minimize how many sandwiches I would have to make, since they will all be cut up anyway. Make sure you have an even number of slices. As for the “heels” of the bread, you can use them or not–it’s up to you.
3. Now, line up the slices. Spread peanut butter on each of the six slices. I used about 2 tablespoons per slice, but keep in mind that these were large slices. What you’re going for here is a thin but even layer of peanut butter. You don’t want these to be overstuffed sandwiches, or they will fall apart when you bake them later. If desired, spread jelly on top to taste. I found that a relatively small amount worked best.
4. Sandwich two slices together, with two peanut buttered and jellied sides facing one another, and they will stick. Lightly press to ensure a good “seal” on your sandwich. Repeat with the remaining slices, until you have several sandwiches made.
5. Resist the temptation to take a big bite. Instead, grab a big, sharp serrated knife and cut each of the sandwiches into approximately 1-inch squares.
6. Place the squares on the buttered sheet. They can be close together, but don’t let them touch (they could stick together).
7. Brush the tops of the sandwiches with melted butter. If desired, sprinkle with salt.
8. Bake for 15 minutes, or until they get a nice, golden color on the outside. Remove from the oven and carefully flip. Bake for another 12 to 15 minutes.
9. Remove from the oven, and let cool on the trays. Your croutons are ready to liven up salads, soups, or even a bowl of ice cream.
PEANUT BUTTER GIVEAWAY
How would you use these peanut butter croutons?
Leave a comment below with your answer to enter for a chance at winning a jar of Smooth Operator, the peanut butter used in this recipe.
– The giveaway is open to USA residents only and will run until Monday, May 19, 2014 at 11:59 PM EST.
– One entry per person.
– Winner(s) will be generated via a random number generator and notified via the contact email provided on the comment form.
– Winner(s) will have until 05/22/14 to claim their prize or we will choose another winner.
– Winner will win one jar of Smooth Operator peanut butter. Product will be shipped by Peanut Butter & Co.
– No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 years of age to enter. See Official Giveaway Rules.