grilled PB&J with a bread mix

How to Make Fabulous Sugar Crusted PB&J's

Dennis Weaver Dennis Weaver Jul 31, 2023

This is the marriage of two favorites. The first is peanut butter and jam sandwiches. Of course you can make them just the way you used to. But now you have a choice of 15 jams, some of which you've never tried before like lingonberry jam and pomegranate jelly.  

Or you can switch from jam to honey with a choice of ten honeys from star thistle to peach.  

The other half of the marriage is cinnamon sugar. Everyone loves cinnamon sugar. Grill your PB&J in a skillet with cinnamon sugar to create a crackly, crunchy coating with jam and peanut butter bubbling out the sides.

Now we're talking incredibly good PB&J's.

But don't use ordinary sugar. How about maple cinnamon sugar,  apple cinnamon sugar, or vanilla cinnamon sugar.  

This is a whole new world of PB&J's!


How to Make Fabulous Sugar Crusted PB&J’s

You can use any bread mixes. These were made with a sourdough bread mix for bread machine. You don't have to use sourdough bread mix. But it's nice to have a sturdier bread when you're spreading peanut butter, jam, and cinnamon sugar butter. But whatever.

First, the cinnamon sugar butter. That’s the magic elixir that makes the crunchy cinnamon sugar-coating top and bottom. Here’s how:

  • 1/2 cup butter (one stick), softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon good quality cinnamon


Mix the cinnamon and sugar together. Whip the butter to soften it, if necessary. Add the cinnamon sugar mixture. Whip again until blended and soft enough to easily spread.

When you take the sandwich from the pan, it cools and that layer gets crunchy-gooey.  It's a neat experience.   Now you're talking. You're kids are going to go crazy over these. And it's not hard. 

Using other cinnamon sugars:

If you ever get tired of cinnamon sugar—and you probably won’t—change it up with maple cinnamon sugar or apple cinnamon sugar.

Both the apple cinnamon sugar and maple cinnamon sugar are hits. People that try them, love them. Check the other flavors of cinnamon sugar for more things to make and how others are using them. These are fun, versatile products and are great for your grilled PBJ's.

Between these two new cinnamon sugars, you'll  find 15 new things to make.

Your kids are going to love these sugar crusted PB&J's. Of course. But the big folks will love them too--any time the sweeet tooth attacks.  


Baker’s notes:

These are really quick and easy to make. The trick is to get the butter soft so that you can easily spread it on the bread. We first made it with one tablespoon, not one teaspoon, of cinnamon. We liked the flavor but that the lighter color with less cinnamon turned a rich golden color and was more attractive.

The Simple Sandwich: You’re going to make this just like a grilled cheese sandwich except instead of butter alone, you’re spreading the cinnamon sugar butter on the outside of the bread. The sugar melts on the griddle creating the sweet crust. The peanut butter melts on the griddle and drools down the side—very cool.

  1. Spread peanut butter on one slice of bread and jam on another. Put the two slices together with the jam on the bottom making a PB&J.
  2. Spread cinnamon sugar butter on the outsides, both sides. Repeat for additional sandwiches.
  3. Place sandwiches on a preheated griddle or skillet. Cook for about 3 minutes on one side, until golden brown, and then turn it and cook the other side. The peanut butter sandwich should be melty and gooey. Scoot the sandwich around to sop up any melted sugar slurry.

Baker’s notes:

If you’re using soft, fluffy bread that is easy to maul and mangle, do yourself a favor and melt the peanut butter, and maybe the jam in the microwave making it easier to spread. Warm peanut butter is easier to get melty on the griddle.

If you want to stick with sourdough bread mixes, consider these:

This is the classic. It has a deep sourdough flavor that pulls right through the peanut butter and jam. The chewy, heavier crust makes the bread sturdier for spreading.

This is a lighter bread machine mix with just a hint of sourdough tang. The crust isn't as sturdy as the San Francisco bread machine mix, but it makes a fine sandwich.

This just tastes different than the San Francisco Sourdough but it is very, very good.  The crust is not as heavy.

This is a honey bread mix, sweetened with honey. This honey bread is made with a combination of white bread flour and Montana wheat flour. It's soft and moist.

More Fun Things to Do with a PB&J

Several weeks ago, we experimented with various crunchy sandwiches made with chips—including peanut butter sandwiches. We served them at lunch to employees. The peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with chips stuck between the slices were very popular. You can use corn chips, potato chips, flavored potato chips, or shoestring potato chips. Other ideas:

  • Make your sandwich into French toast. Soak it in your egg wash. Turn the heat down so that it has time to soak through the thickness of the sandwich. Serve it hot, drizzle with your favorite syrup.
  • Add a layer of thick caramel ice cream topping between the peanut butter and jam. (Now it’s almost like a candy bar. You could add a layer of thick chocolate and/or marshmallow cream—and make it really gooey.)
  • Mix warm honey into your peanut butter.
  • Add sliced bananas.
  • Add a layer of toasted coconut.
  • Add a layer of chopped salted snack peanuts

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Comments (1)

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    Is Really Very Interesting and neat.

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