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Peanut Butter & Jelly Mistakes You're Making

Tips for making your childhood favorite that much better.
06/05/2013 04:30pm ET | Updated December 6, 2017
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By Danielle Walsh, Bon Appétit

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There's actually no wrong way to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Most people prefer to eat them the way Mom made them -- even if that was a stingy swipe of Skippy and Smuckers on white. But no matter if you like crunchy or smooth peanut butter, grape jelly or raspberry jam, there are a few tweaks that will make your childhood lunch go-to much better. We talked to Alison Roman about the bread, jam, and technique for the best peanut butter and jelly sandwich you've ever had.


1. DON'T use the best rustic bread you can find:
A crusty loaf will be too hard and thick for your peanut butter and jelly, and make your sandwich way too dry. There is a time for soft, pre-packaged wheat or white bread (we

2. DON'T get peanut butter advice from your friends: Peanut butter choice is a very personal issue. Some people like it smooth. Others love it crunchy. You do you.

3. DON'T put peanut butter on one slice of bread, jelly on the other
: Unless you like jelly seeping through your bread and coloring your fingers purple (no judgment), spread peanut butter on both slices of bread. This way, you avoid soggy bread.

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4. DON'T pack in the filling: More is not more! This sandwich is all about the balance of flavor and texture. If you pile on the condiments, you'll have a sloppy mess. For standard white bread, about 1 1/2 tablespoons of each will suffice.

5. DON'T use any jelly you want: If you really want to upgrade your sandwich, use a good-quality jelly or jam that's lower in sugar, like Bonne Maman. And don't be afraid to play around with flavors -- swap our raspberry or strawberry for your standard grape. If you're in the smooth peanut butter camp, try jam with whole fruit to give your sandwich a little texture.