Thursday, August 6, 2020

Peanut butter and jelly grilled cheese with bacon

This is a sponsored post by Challenge butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

I wanted to create a few state fair-themed recipes in honor of the Indiana State Fair that was supposed to start on Friday but unfortunately isn’t happening this year.

One of my favorite things to do at the state fair is visit the Indiana Dairy Association’s Dairy Bar. They serve a variety of grilled cheeses, milkshakes, and ice cream. It’s always delicious!

Each year the Dairy Bar features a unique specialty grilled cheese. So in honor of the Dairy Bar, I created my own unique grilled cheese sandwich: Peanut Butter and Jelly Grilled Cheese with Bacon!

Before I explain my grilled cheese creation, I want to preface it by saying I don’t add ingredients to a recipe without first having a clear vision for their purpose in the dish.

That being said, I’m going to tell you why this sandwich works so well and what role each of the key ingredients plays.

Here is the list of key ingredients: peanut butter, raspberry jelly, cream cheese, white cheddar cheese, and bacon.

I’m going to start by explaining the role peanut butter plays because its role in the grilled cheese sandwich probably raises the most eyebrows. First, let me bring up the fact that nuts are commonly found on cheese plates. That being said, pairing a nut spread with cheese isn’t that much different. Peanut butter adds a level of decadence and savory sweetness that is nonexistent on grilled cheese sandwiches without it. I recommend using a “natural” or no-sugar added peanut butter. My favorite peanut butter is the peanut butter from Trader Joe’s that is made with just peanuts.

Raspberry jelly also plays into the sweet and savory flavor combination. Really, you could use any flavor of jelly, but I like raspberry because it has a strong flavor that doesn’t get dominated by the other ingredients.

Now I want to talk about the chase combination: cream cheese and white cheddar cheese. There are two types of cheese you want when making grilled cheese: creamy and stringy. Cream cheese is smooth and rich; white cheddar cheese has really good “cheese pull,” it’s sharp, and it packs a punch. Also, the sharpness of the cheddar complements the sweet raspberry jelly. I used Challenge cream cheese for this recipe because I know they use hormone-free milk from local dairies, resulting in all-natural and high-quality products. 

And last but not least—bacon! It adds a salty crunch and plays into the combination of textures and flavors.


Peanut butter and jelly grilled cheese with bacon
Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons Challenge butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 slices sourdough bread
  • 2 Tablespoons natural, creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons seedless raspberry jelly
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked
  • 2 slices white cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces Challenge cream cheese, softened to room temperature
Directions
  1. Preheat skillet over medium heat. 
  2. Butter one side of one slice of bread with 1 Tablespoon butter. Place bread butter side down in skillet.
  3. Spread peanut butter on bread while it’s in skillet. 
  4. Spread jelly on top of peanut butter.
  5. Top with bacon and cheese slice.
  6. Take second piece of bread and spread cream cheese on it. Place bread on top of cheese with cream cheese side down to close up sandwich.
  7. Spread the other 1 Tablespoon butter on top of the bread.
  8. Cook until the bread on the bottom is golden brown, or about 3 minutes, and then flip over.
  9. Continue cooking until cheese is melted. 
  10. Serve immediately.


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