Making the Rounds
Recipe and photos by Brandon Matzek
A classic on-the-go eat, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, gets a delectable dessert makeover in this recipe for Peanut Butter & Jelly Hand Pies.
The filling starts with a mix of cream cheese, sugar, honey, milk, salt and peanut butter flecked with small bits of chopped peanut. Creamy and crunchy, the rich insides are offset by glistening spoonfuls of sweet-tart grape jelly. Store-bought puff pastry encases the contents in airy layers of crisp, golden flakes.
Contrasting textures and familiar flavors make these hand pies utterly irresistible. The filling for these hand pies is adaptable. Replace grape jelly with strawberry or raspberry jam or any other fruit preserve, or opt instead for fresh berries mashed with a little sugar and lemon juice, or ripe banana sprinkled with brown sugar. (Chopped, candied bacon goes well with the banana-peanut butter variation.) Or, instead of peanut butter, try other nut butters like almond, pecan or walnut.
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. milk, plus a splash for the egg wash
Pinch of kosher salt
1 17-ounce package puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator
9 tsp. grape jelly (1 teaspoon per pie)
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
Quick Filling. Add cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, honey, milk and salt to a medium bowl, mixing with a spatula to combine. Set aside.
Pie Prep. Roll out a sheet of cold puff pastry into an 11" x 11" square. Using a 3" round cookie cutter or similar-sized glass or bowl, cut out 9 circles of pastry, and set on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spoon 1 tablespoon of peanut butter filling and 1 teaspoon of grape jelly into the middle of each round. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg with a splash of milk (this is an egg wash). Brush the egg wash on the edges of the rounds (surrounding the filling). Roll and cut a second sheet of puff pastry using the same method above. Place these rounds over the filled rounds to form the pie. Using a fork, crimp the edges of each round to seal the pies. Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer, and let the pies chill for 30 to 60 minutes.
Finish and Bake. While the pies are chilling, preheat an over to 425°F. Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Take the baking sheet from the freezer and brush the tops of each pie with egg wash. Cut 2 slits in each pie, then sprinkle each pie with turbinado sugar. Bake the pies for 15 minutes at 425°F, drop the heat to 400°F, and then bake until the pies are golden brown and bubbling (5 to 10 minutes more). Let the pies cool for 10 minutes before serving. They’re best enjoyed warm.