Now that April Fool’s Day is out of the way, we can move on to a much better holiday. No fooling – April 2 is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. We’re celebrating with a Peanut Butter and Jelly Picnic, packed with Michigan-made peanut butter, jams, and even beer – all in honor of this lunchtime staple.
We baked some old favorites, like these super rich and delicious Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars. The recipe is from The Barefoot Contessa (one of our kitchen witch idols). Blake’s Traffic Jam gives the bars a local spin. This fruity blend of cranberries, raspberries, cherries, strawberries, and peaches is so good, it inspired a cider.
We also made almond butter madeleines that we topped with Christi’s homemade rhubarb jam, We Be Jammin’ Menage a Trois, and just-whipped cream. Our pb&j protein bars were made using peanut butter from Rocky’s Original Peanut Co. The pb&j thumbprint cookies featured more homemade jam from Rebecca’s kitchen witch aunt. The pb&j pull-apart bread brought together lots of local flavors.
We also brought a new creation – a peanut butter and jelly-inspired shortbread that uses peanut butter powder and freeze-dried raspberries. The recipe for that is coming soon and you won’t want to miss it!
Speaking of new, we were excited to try some novel takes on peanut butter from Michigan Awesome. The butter toffee peanut butter was a unanimous hit. The white chocolate coconut peanut butter, while a bit of a harder sell, is a must-try for coconut fans.
Peanut Butter & Jelly – Michigan Style
There are so many different options for Michigan-made jams. You definitely can’t go wrong with selections from American Spoon, or Cherry Republic. At the picnic, we had Michigan Awesome’s cherry raspberry jam on hand, which highlights a couple of Michigan’s staple fruits and is just delightful.
We washed it all down with Short’s PB&J Stout, a really fun blend of Peanut Butter Stout and their signature Soft Parade. It is a holiday, after all.
We had a great time building our pb&j picnic and an even better time learning about all of the different peanut butters, jams, and jellies made right here in Michigan! The takeaway is that there are a ton of local options, so next time you’re shopping for your pb&j essentials, consider buying Michigan-made.