PB & J (and B!) Panini

by on September 8, 2009

Post image for PB & J (and B!) Panini

Would you believe me if I told you this was among the most challenging panini I’ve posted thus far?

Before I explain why all the fuss, I’ll first let you in on what you’re looking at. We’ve got homemade peanut butter, homemade strawberry jam (my first jam ever!), and fresh banana grilled on sliced buttery brioche. Luxe all the way!

Through My LensThrough My Lens is a blog event that my friend Kristen (of Dine & Dish) recently launched in conjunction with her new food photography blog, Culinary Snapshot. This time around participating bloggers will be posting their best shots of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. As someone who photographs sandwiches on a pretty regular basis, I thought this event would be right up my alley.

Photo #1 Before and After

Ideally, a simple sandwich such as PB&J would be equally simple to photograph…but au contraire. We get excited about how PB&J is going to taste, but I’m afraid there’s generally not a lot going on in the looks department.  My approach to making PB&J look appealing on camera was threefold – 1) use extra-special ingredients, like my own homemade peanut butter and jam and a brioche loaf requisitioned from my local bakery, 2) place emphasis on the “ooze factor” and 3) Photoshop, Photoshop, Photoshop.

Photo #2 Before and After

For details on how I captured and edited these photos, be sure to check out the Through My Lens roundup, which will be posted on Culinary Snapshot on September 10.  In the meantime, enjoy the recipe below!

Peanut Butter & Jelly (and Banana!) Panini

PB & J (and B!) Panini


Brioche loaf, sliced thickly (I called my bakery 24 hours in advance and they made one for me)
Homemade strawberry jam (see recipe on my other blog, Cooking On the Side)
Homemade peanut butter (see recipe below)
Sliced banana


Preheat the panini grill to medium-high heat (375°).

Spread jam inside one slice of bread. Top with banana slices. Spread peanut butter inside another slice of bread. Bring the two sides together to form a sandwich.

Grill 2-3 minutes until the bread is toasted (the brioche will brown rather quickly). Serve immediately and enjoy!

Homemade Peanut Butter

Adapted from Joy the Baker

1 1/2 cups roasted unsalted shelled peanuts
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt

Place peanuts in the bowl of a food processor with blade. Make sure the lid is on tight and turn on the food processor. Nuts will transform from coarse to finely ground then begin to form a paste. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Process until the peanuts resemble a thick, but mostly smooth, and shiny peanut butter, about 4 minutes.

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

>Ready to buy a panini press? Check out my Panini Press Buying Guide for the features to look for.

>Want more panini recipes? See my Recipe Index for a list of all recipes on Panini Happy.

>Traveling to a new city soon? Browse Panini Happy’s Great American Sandwich Guide to find the best sandwiches across the country!

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kristen September 8, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Homemade Peanut Butter AND homemade jam? You have gone above and beyond here, Kathy! It looks delicious and your photos are always fantastic.
Thanks so much for participating!!
.-= Kristen´s last blog ..Clicks 4 A Cause (Recipe – Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting) =-.


2 Kathy September 8, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Thanks! And thanks for hosting such a fun event!


3 dani September 9, 2009 at 3:39 pm

oh, i just fell in love <3
.-= dani´s last blog ..#67) Indulgent PB Cookies =-.


4 Cookie September 10, 2009 at 11:21 am

I love the idea of a sweet Panini! Beautiful photos too!
.-= Cookie´s last blog ..Hot Pastrami Panini =-.


5 lo September 11, 2009 at 10:01 am

Now — PB&J with banana. Not MY favorite combo, but Peef would totally dig this.

What a fun event… I used to think photoshop was cheating, when it came to good food photography… but I’ve learned my lesson! Great shots.
.-= lo´s last blog ..Inspiration Sandwich: Tomato with Provolone & Hot Peppers =-.


6 Kathy September 11, 2009 at 10:28 am

Photoshop is vital! Fake food? Now that’s cheating. Hard to compare with the real food stylists.


7 susan from food blogga September 11, 2009 at 6:32 pm

Now that’s what a pb&J should look like!


8 Culinary Cory September 14, 2009 at 7:32 pm

The blog looks so much fun. Such a great idea.


9 Sagan September 15, 2009 at 8:04 pm

I love PB & J & B. Best sandwich ever. This looks perfect. I might have to make one for myself tomorrow 😀
.-= Sagan´s last blog ..Day 15 of the Vegan Challenge =-.


10 BethieofVA September 16, 2009 at 3:51 am

Got my first panini maker yesterday and found your blog today. I am a happy camper!!
.-= BethieofVA´s last blog ..eggcellent chocolate chip cookies, no yolk =-.


11 Sandie (Inn Cuisine) September 17, 2009 at 10:20 am

Great entry, Kathy! The shot is fabulous! That touch of dripping jelly is ideal, you couldn’t have planned it better!
.-= Sandie (Inn Cuisine)´s last blog ..A Must Make! (Recipe: Snack Mix Bars) =-.


12 Kim September 17, 2009 at 5:30 pm

This is a panini to make for my grandson. He will love it!
.-= Kim´s last blog ..Peach Pound Cake =-.


13 Chelsea September 21, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Looks delicious!
.-= Chelsea´s last blog ..Great Gifts For 2 Year Olds =-.


14 RobinSue September 25, 2009 at 2:55 am

I do love a good PBJ and your photos look wonderful. You always do such a great job with your photos, always so crisp and clear!
.-= RobinSue´s last blog ..Bulgogi Tacos with Spicy Slaw =-.


15 Maris October 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Kathy, can you tell me more about your photo technique? What is the white foam board for? That sounds like something I can afford if it would help me! 🙂
.-= Maris´s last blog ..Food Bloggers Take San Francisco: BlogHer Food ’09 =-.


16 Kathy October 2, 2009 at 1:28 pm

It’s definitely an affordable technique – I think the board was about $3 at Michael’s! I often shoot photos near a big window for natural light, which is great for most of the object but leaves a dark area on the side that’s away from the window. The white foam board helps to reflect the light from the window and illuminate that far side. I just prop it up with whatever objects happen to be lying around the kitchen (today it was baby sandals :-))


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