Will the peanut butter love ever end???
First, January 24 was Peanut Butter Day. Then, nary a month ago, we had Peanut Butter Lover’s Day on March 1. Now today, April 2, celebrates one of those eternal marriages of texture and taste that so many people grew up loving, peanut butter and jelly. And, looking at the food holiday forecast for the rest of the year, this isn’t even the half of it! I hope you all love your peanut butter as much as the peanut lobby wants you to!
But in all seriousness, peanut butter and jelly are kind of awesome. The sticky, creamy peanut butter mixes so well with the sweet, tangy flavors of jelly, be it strawberry, grape, or any other fruit you find favorable to jelly. We all know about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and how just plain amazing they can be when curbing mid-afternoon hunger pangs or bringing back nostalgic memories of after-school snacks with the crusts of white bread sliced off for good measure. The following dishes aren’t necessarily the sandwiches you grew up with as a kid, but they definitely bring all that good-time flavor into upscale, modern, and very adult packages.
Banking on the cupcake craze in New York City (that probably shuold have hit critical mass about a year ago…), The Little Cupcake Bakeshop makes unique and interesting cupcake flavor combinations that run far past your typical chocolate and vanilla. Among the new little rows of Blue Velvet and Smores cupcakes is the peanut butter and jelly cupcake, so reminiscent of the taste of your childhood sandwiches you may get transported in time. (Really, they should have a warning on these cupcakes telling you about the dangers of time wormholes opening up in the bakeshop!) The beauty of this cupcake, apart from other bakeries attempting to do a peanut butter and jelly concoction, is that the peanut butter and jelly are represented in both the cake and the frosting. Add peanut butter chips to the mix and you’ve got yourself an amazing little dessert bite worthy of the PB&J moniker.
The Little Cupcake Bakeshop
30 Prince St (between Elizabeth St & Mott St)
“Nostalgia also has a place here, with the Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcake bringing the childhood favorite to decadent life in the form of tastes-like-home chunky peanut butter cake with peanut butter cream cheese icing – all drizzled with grape jelly.”–Home Reporter News
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“-***PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY CAKE. OMGGGGGGGGG. This is so frickin incredible I can’t even begin to tell you. While the cake was a teensy bit dry (seems to be this bakery’s biggest downfall), each ‘frosting’ layer was in fact both peanut butter and jelly and the entire slice was surrounded by excellent peanut butter and topped with pb chips. Um I. die.”–Victoria G.
“The gem is not just the amount of cakes, but the variety. For example, they have a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich cake and yes it tastes like the sandwich on white bread! Ah YUM! With variety on the mind, their cakes are just like grandma used to make. Not mine, but someone else’s.”–Geoffrey B.
But maybe cupcakes aren’t your thing. (They’re so mainstream now.) Maybe the early spring we had back in March just hasn’t left your consciousness yet and your brain’s switched permanently to summer mode, craving cool, sweet desserts instead of something coming fresh from an oven. Or maybe you’re looking to satisfy your childhood love of peanut butter and jelly the way it was intended: with only natural, plant-based products, leaving the eggs and butter in a cupcake far away from your vegan sensibilities. After all, it is Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, two ingredients that can be made entirely vegan-friendly, and doesn’t anywhere say you need the sloppy pieces of white bread around it. If any of this applies, then head over to Lula’s Sweet Apothecary, a vegan ice cream shop that specializes in malts and shakes as well as unique flavors you won’t even see in a dairy ice creamery. Veg News even listed Lula’s as one of the top ten vegan ice cream shops in the country, highlighting the peanut butter and jelly flavor as one of the best of the unconventional varieties they serve. Even the non-vegans among us will enjoy the surprisingly creamy flavor, and get that wonderful taste of the old PB&J sandwich in a new and interesting way.
Lula’s Sweet Apothecary
516 E 6th St (between Avenue A & Avenue B)
“It’s hard to make a decision at the all-vegan Lula’s. With cake batter soft serve and peanut butter and jelly ice cream, chocolate and peanut butter fudge, jars of vegan candy and chocolate, sundaes, and homemade coconut whipped cream, never mind making a decision. It will be hard to ever leave!”–Veg News
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“The peanut butter and jelly tasted like the classic sandwich. Both were smooth and creamy, and most people probably wouldn’t know they were vegan unless told otherwise. The small serving is generously portioned, and a great value at $3.95.”–Lisa Jane C.
“My number one favorite flavor is the peanut butter and jelly, but every flavor I have tried has been great. I usually get the sundae with hot fudge, whipped cream, candied pecans and a cherry on top!”–Casey E.
Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!