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Posted on Mon, Mar 26, 2012 : 3 p.m.

Krispy Kreme peanut butter and jelly sandwich is pure decadence

By Mary Bilyeu


Mary Bilyeu, Contributor

Alright, let's get the obvious statement out of the way right from the beginning: this sandwich has no — and I do mean NO — redeeming nutritional value.  There's no arguing that peanut butter provides protein.  There's no rationalizing that apricots provide vitamins A and C.  There's fat, there's sugar, there's salt... and lots of each.  Oy!

This sandwich is nothing but giddy, gleeful, obscene decadence!

I created this seductive little tidbit for Project PB&J — a contest for food bloggers that is being hosted by my friend Cindy (a former Ann Arborite, I must point out) of Once Upon a Loaf and her friend Christina of She Runs, She Eats.  The competition is in honor of National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, as well as Cindy's birthday, on April 2.  What great excuses for a party, celebrating with everybody's favorite flavor combination!

The rules required preparing a sandwich and/or a baked good with a nut butter and a jelly/jam or fruit... the critical ingredients in a PB&J, but with some room for variations on the theme.  I tried to think globally, since peanuts are an integral part of African cooking.  I tried to think of ways to modify classic desserts, such as the Austrian Sachertorte made with dense chocolate cake and apricot jam.

And then I came back to the sandwich's inherent identity; it just made sense to not riff into territory that was too terribly unfamiliar.  A PB&J is classic after all; at what point, I debated philosophically, does it cease being a PB&J if one tinkers too much ...?

And so, I kept to the basics.  I used peanut butter.  I used jelly.  I tossed a bit of Nutella into the mix because, frankly, one can rarely go wrong with Nutella; its chocolate and hazelnut flavors are both nice complements to the other two ingredients.

And then, the hedonism really kicked in.  What kind of bread to use?  Well, why use bread at all?  Jeremy loves Luther Burgers, named in honor of the late Luther Vandross, which use Krispy Kreme doughnuts as buns.  So, why not use a doughnut as bread?

And then — simply because it's been all the rage, and its saltiness and crispness would add flavor and texture to my concoction — I tossed in a little bit of bacon.  I'm smirking as I contemplate this notion, even though I know I should hang my head in shame.

This sandwich is ridiculously easy to make, which only enhances its beauty.  Cook up some bacon.  Schmear doughnut halves with yummy things.  Put it all together.  Grab some napkins.  Enjoy!

Krispy Kreme Peanut Butter Dream Sandwich

4 Krispy Kreme doughnuts, halved
1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
1/4 cup Nutella
4 tablespoons apricot all-fruit spread
8 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked until crisp, halved

Place the tops and bottoms of the doughnuts onto a countertop.  Schmear each top with some of the peanut butter, dividing it evenly among the doughnuts.  Schmear the bottoms with Nutella, then schmear the apricot spread over the peanut butter.  Place the bacon onto the Nutella-covered portions, dividing it evenly among the doughnuts.  Put the tops and bottoms together to form 4 sandwiches.

Makes 4 sandwiches, serving 4-8 depending upon how much tolerance you have for such excess.

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Mary Bilyeu writes about her adventures in the kitchen - making dinner, celebrating holidays, entering cooking contests ... whatever strikes her fancy. She is also on a mission to find great deals for her Frugal Floozie Friday posts, seeking fabulous food at restaurants on the limited budget of only $5 per person. Feel free to email her with questions or comments or suggestions:

You should also visit Mary's blog — Food Floozie — on which she enthuses and effuses over all things food-related.

The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers - when you come to visit here, may you always be happy.



Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 4:20 p.m.

Folks, yes this is a sandwich. But not a main course, rather a dessert sandwich. Personally, as one who likes chocolate with bacon in it, this thing sounds wonderful. I'd love to have one (maybe half of one) after lunch today. Mary, got any left? I'll stop by...

Mary Bilyeu

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 11:18 p.m.

I apologize if this is a repeat; I thought I'd replied, but don't see it anywhere. Because you're so nice, I'll make a sandwich just for you ... :)


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 4:04 p.m.

Wow! That's pure decadence all right. I would take my bacon on the side, though, unless it was absolutely crumbly. Tearing bacon with my teeth while holding onto something fragile (KK donut) and gloopy (everything else) is my recipe for a big mess. :^) Good luck in the competition. It's hard to top Jif and jelly on pillow-soft bread washed down with ice-cold milk.

Mary Bilyeu

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 11:11 p.m.

We all have such fond memories of that priceless treat, don't we??? Thanks so much for the good wishes!

John of Saline

Mon, Mar 26, 2012 : 9:26 p.m.

Reminds me of Angelo's deep-fried french toast, which I have had exactly once. After which I went home and slept it off. But it WAS good.........

Mary Bilyeu

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 12:24 a.m.

Oh, yes, indeedy, you'd have to sleep it off; but oh, you'd enjoy yourself so ...!


Mon, Mar 26, 2012 : 9:24 p.m.

no no no, you make a "pb& j" using peanut butter pn one side, maple cream on the other and sliced bananas on two slices of french toast leftovers and then wrap the whole thing with pilsbury dough completly, place in a baking dish, melt a 1/2 cup of butter, add 1/2 cup of sugar til dissolved, pour over it and bake til golden brown. serve warm, require utensils, also good with vanilla ice cream. Also good with apples. We call it "The Dumpling"


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 3:24 a.m.

carbs?, but I thought we were going for no redeeming nutrional value?!

Mary Bilyeu

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 12:23 a.m.

I could see either the French toast or the dough, but both seems like a lot ... but then, I don't usually do refined carbs, so that's about my year's worth! The peanut butter, maple cream and banana mix sounds divine, though ... :)


Mon, Mar 26, 2012 : 9:23 p.m.

I'd be willing to try it, but I doubt I would finish the whole thing even if i did like it. Personally, I'd rather have PBJ made with creamy Jiff, grandma's homemade grape jelly on some Holsum or Wonder white bread with Doritos in the middle.

Mary Bilyeu

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 12:21 a.m.

It's pretty rich, there's no getting around that! Every day for lunch, when I was young, I brought a pb&j made with Skippy and grape jelly on white bread. (Don't have any Grandma-made jelly, which would be ideal!) Can't do the Wonder bread anymore, and I'd likely serve the Doritos on the side; but then, adding them to the mix contributes crunch and the salty-sweet "thing" ... hmmm ...? :)


Mon, Mar 26, 2012 : 8:22 p.m.

The best part of this article is all the hand-wringing it's provoked.

Mary Bilyeu

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 12:13 a.m.

Yes, Oxyclean, it requires some semblance of a recipe to indicate suggested proportions, the appropriate ingredients, etc. It's not a complicated recipe, but .... And I, too, find the hand-wringing entertaining, Seldon - I made a silly sandwich for a friend's contest, with college-aged males in mind (since I happen to be the mother of one), and look what it's led to! Food fights, philosophical debates, insults, compliments, and all manner of discussion!


Mon, Mar 26, 2012 : 8:50 p.m.

No hand-wringing here. It just looks nasty. And does this really require a "recipe"?

Vivienne Armentrout

Mon, Mar 26, 2012 : 7:48 p.m.

I usually love Mary's food discussions, but this one is an outlier. It certainly hits the sweet-salty-fatty-umami control buttons but apart from looking and sounding disgusting, it is simply the wrong training for the palate. I think that in general we need to cultivate a taste for food that emphasizes an appreciation for the basic qualities of foodstuffs, rather than overloading the taste like this. Of course, I'm probably not qualified to judge since I don't like donuts. My impromptu entry: an English tea sandwich made with a thin layer of peanut butter (or maybe another one like almond butter) and superthin slices of crisp apple. No, I'm not in the food police.

Mary Bilyeu

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 1:32 a.m.

I love peanut butter sandwiches, I love cucumber sandwiches, I make a lovely summer noodle salad with cucumbers and a peanut dressing ... it could work, 'cause I know you've got good instincts. Maybe it's not so much apples/bread but the crunch/crisp of the apple rather than the squishy factor ... hmmm. Maybe it's more about texture??? I do prefer creamy to crunchy peanut butter, so I think you've hit on something, Vivienne!

Vivienne Armentrout

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 1:02 a.m.

Yes, Mary, I know your food instincts are almost always in the "correct" place. I almost suggested cucumber and peanut butter sandwiches, which I think I would like better. (Cucumber is a fruit, after all.) But I was afraid it was too far outside the parameters. Maybe something squishier.

Mary Bilyeu

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 12:19 a.m.

Hi, Vivienne - I was served lovely tea "sandwiches" by a friend recently on whole grain crackers, with thin layers of peanut butter and orange marmalade, my personal favorite. I've had peanut butter and apple sandwiches before,but they're not quite to my taste; perhaps it's the sandwich aspect, though, because I love peanut butter schmeared on apples alone, but the apples and bread are not a match made in heaven. I'm disappointed that you would say that this looks disgusting, rather than merely taking a pass on it while offering very wise advice about cultivating taste. I'm a fresh, seasonal, fruit/vegetable, whole grain kinda girl, but also see no reason not to have fun. This doughnut sandwich appealed highly to my 21-year-old son's mindset, though!

Vivienne Armentrout

Mon, Mar 26, 2012 : 9:19 p.m.

I'm not saying what other people should eat, just expressing a viewpoint. There is a great deal of discussion about why we are as a nation obese and diseased because of diet. My own approach is moderation and selection of good fresh authentic food wherever possible. I'm not interested in dictating to others, just carrying on the conversation.


Mon, Mar 26, 2012 : 8:21 p.m.

If you're talking about training other people's palates, you're in the food police. If you're talking about training your own, you aren't.

Long Time No See

Mon, Mar 26, 2012 : 6:23 p.m.

Many of Mary's creations seem wonderful to me, but this seems too over-the-top sweet & rich for me. I don't think the bacon saves it for me. However, this did get me thinking... how would I change this? Maybe it's the doughnut that makes me cringe the most, so how about something dry and non-sugary like water crackers? Apricots also aren't my favorite. Maybe a date spread instead? I've seen recipes for date spread that include carob powder... maybe a date spread with Nutella (or maybe just some cocoa powder)? Put that on a water cracker with some crunchy unsweetened peanut butter and bits of good-quality bacon? Would that work? Does it still satisfy the rules? Is it likely to be palatable? I am by no means a talented cook or food expert of any kind. These are just meandering thoughts from an ignorant, but intrigued, commenter.

Mary Bilyeu

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 12:08 a.m.

I love this! This was where I found myself - what, precisely, satisfies the rules and still constitutes a pb&j? How far could I take it while still retaining its essential identity? I like the notion of the dates with the bacon schmeared onto a simple cracker; could Nutella work, too? Intriguing .... And thank you for the compliment ... :)


Mon, Mar 26, 2012 : 3:34 p.m.

This sounds revolting. I'm getting the dry heaves just looking at the picture.


Sat, Apr 14, 2012 : 5:29 a.m.

Negative feedback is just as valid. You're not trying to teach manners. You're trying to control the views expressed. If a recipe appears revolting, then people have every right to express that view. It's unfortunate that you view that as an insult. And by the way, when Rabbi Israel Salanter said, "Not everything that's thought should be said," he made no exclusion of recipes. Just because that recipe occurred to you does not mean you did well by or yourself by publishing it.

Mary Bilyeu

Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 11:06 p.m.

Peregrine, there is no "victim card." I am defending myself, defending my work, and defending - ridiculously - a silly sandwich that people just don't seem to be able to pass by if they don't feel like making it. And I'm merely trying to teach manners to those who don't seem to have learned any before this. It is possible to have a reasonable discussion of nutritional values or the absurdity of "frat boy" food (my son and his friends thought this sounded amazing! Different audiences ....) without people resorting to insults. I would think folks could find more important things to do with their time than maligning strangers who are just merely trying to produce posts 5 days/week ....


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 10:50 p.m.

So just to make sure I understand your rules.... 1. Someone who finds it disgusting is obligated to suggest that others might like it. But those who find it attractive are not required to suggest others might find it revolting. 2. If someone finds it disgusting they should just not comment, and yet those who might like it are free to comment. 3. And people who are not using their real names are allowed to comment positively but not comment negatively? Enough of your double standards. Again, "it's disgusting" is just as valid an opinion as "it's delicious" and just as validly expressed. Please get over it. There's no need to keep playing the victim card.

Mary Bilyeu

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 11:21 p.m.

Negative is one thing; rude and insulting attacks are another, Peregrine. The old adage that "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" is appropriate; a saying from Rabbi Israel Salanter, "Not everything that's thought should be said," would work here too. Even if someone doesn't like it and feels compelled to announce that, why not simply say it's not to their taste but they could see how others might like it? Why not just simply not prepare the recipe? But what purpose is served by merely being antagonistic??? I personally can't imagine deliberately taking the time to be unkind, especially while hiding behind a pseudonym without having to identify oneself ....


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 7:49 p.m.

@Mary: So it's OK to say it looks delicious, but to say it looks disgusting (or revolting) crosses some line? Negative reactions are just as valid as positive reactions. Further, I don't think you or any staff member or any community contributor has any place trying to police comments that do not violate's commenting guidelines. If doesn't have any community contributor guidelines, they should adopt some.

Mary Bilyeu

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 12:03 a.m.

I will repeat what I said to BGS: I see no need to be insulting. I don't understand the mindset of people who are willfully unkind to perfect strangers simply because they don't like the notion of something as simple as a sandwich. Just don't make this, then; why be so antagonistic?


Mon, Mar 26, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

This reminds me of a time (perhaps mid 90s) when I took an opposite approach to PB&J. I sliced strawberries in half and carefully inserted a peanut into the depression of each half, and then placed the strawberry/peanut pairs on a slice of bread, followed by another slice of bread on top. With great anticipation, I took my first bite. It was not very good.

Mary Bilyeu

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : midnight

But it was fun to play with the notion, wasn't it? To try something new? That's part of the joy of this - getting an idea, trying it out, having some fun, not just eating the same ol' thing all the time. Sure, not every recipe works out. But when it does, it's fabulous!

Mary Bilyeu

Mon, Mar 26, 2012 : 2:01 p.m.

BGS - I have not only eaten Sachertorte, but have made it. Baking a treat with a peanut butter twist on that famous dessert was merely one of my ideas for the contest, but no claim was ever made that this sandwich was in any way related to that idea. If you don't like the frivolity of the sandwich, there is no need for you to make it; I see no need to be insulting, however. And did you happen to see that last week I posted about lentil salad, asparagus, and a vegetarian chickpea dish? There is no reason that people can't eat a moderate and healthy diet while still having a bit of fun once in awhile. This is merely a contest entry, and I enjoyed myself immensely while concocting various entries for my friend's competition ....


Mon, Mar 26, 2012 : 1:27 p.m.

You obviously have never been near Sachertorte. This is the most disgusting recipe I have ever seen. Gross.


Mon, Mar 26, 2012 : 12:14 p.m.

After consumption take 1 cholesterol lowering medication.

Mary Bilyeu

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 12:09 a.m.

Too true! But some might think that's a fair price to pay ... :)