Thursday, 23 August 2012

Peanut Butter and Jam Sandwiches

My American friends love a peanut butter and jam (or should that be jelly?) sandwich, so here is my tribute to them. Along with peanut butter I've used ground almonds in the sponge, to ensure it is soft, moist and with a biscuity crumb around the edge. I've also added notes of syrup and vanilla which I think compliment the toasted nuttiness of the peanut butter. With regards to the jam, try and use the highest quality that you can afford, ideally home made. It'll make a big difference if you do!

Prep time: 15 Minutes
Baking time: 20-25 Minutes
125g Smooth Peanut Butter (A good unsweetened one)
50g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
75g Light Muscovado
100g Golden Syrup
2 Large Eggs
1tsp Vanilla Extract
125g Ground Almonds
50g Plain Flour
1/2tsp Baking Powder
6-8tbsp Jam (I used strawberry)

Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3, grease a large shallow baking tray (30-32cm) and line with baking paper. In a large bowl blend together the two butters, then cream in the sugar. Mix in the golden syrup, then beat in the eggs with the vanilla extract. Fold through the ground almonds, sift in the flour with the baking powder and do the same until combined. Spoon into the tray and spread evenly to the edges. Place in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top and slightly springy to the touch. When you are happy it's cooked remove from the oven, leave in the tin for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack until completely cool.

When the sponge is cool slice in half, so you are left with two pieces equal in size. Spread the jam liberally on top of one half, leaving a gap of about a centimetre or so around the edge. Place the other sponge half on top and press down to secure (This will also squash some of the jam to the edge). Using a large sharp knife slice into squares, rectangles, triangles, whatever you want. You get bonus points for a parallelogram!

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