Think grilled cheese. Minus the cheese. Plus banana and peanut butter. Intriguing, no? I can’t say I had ever had one before, but all of a sudden I got this craving. It was one of those ‘I have to leave the house immediately to go buy a loaf of pain de mie because no other bread will do’ moments. You may be thinking, what the heck is pain de mie? It’s basically the French version of white sandwich bread. A tad more tasty, but infinitely more aesthetically pleasing. That’s what I imagined my grilled peanut butter banana sandwich on. Now, if you also have some strange desire to make a special trip to buy pain de mie, check your local bakery. Clear Flour in Boston has it on a regular basis and everything they make gets an A+ in my book. Or just use a white sandwich bread. No need to venture out to a specialty store if you don’t have time because let’s be honest, peanut butter and banana really goes well on any bread.
So there was the grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich thing. And then I wanted cinnamon sugar butter on it. Getting a little demanding, now aren’t we. I used to buy it at the grocery store and slather it on cinnamon bread for a hearty breakfast. Now, if you don’t feel like going the homemade route, I have seen a Land O’Lakes version and you can usually find something of the sort in Whole Foods.
grilled peanut butter banana sandwich
for the cinnamon sugar butter:
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp cinnamon
1¼ tsp sugar
pinch of salt
for the sandwiches:
4 pieces pain de mie, or white bread
3 tbsp peanut butter
2 bananas, sliced
Meet pain de mie. It’s really just the French version of white sandwich bread. But it looks so much prettier than American sandwich loaves, doesn’t it? So if you feel inclined to venture out to a local bakery, give pain de mie a chance. Otherwise, any other white sandwich bread will certainly do! I just like the look of it, but really taste wise, not a world’s difference.
To make the cinnamon sugar butter, combine the room temperature butter, cinnamon, sugar and pinch of salt together in a bowl. Either using a spatula or whisk, stir until the butter is all one light brown color.
To make the sandwiches, spread about 1½ tablespoons of peanut butter on one piece of bread and about 1½ tablespoons of the cinnamon sugar butter on the other piece. Just make sure you spread enough of each on to cover each.
Cut two bananas so that you have 24 slices that are about ¼ to ½-inch thick. Arrange them in 4 rows going horizontally across. Or however you want, I just try and fit as much banana on there as possible…and make it look pretty.
Coat a fry pan with non-stick spray. Place the piece of bread without the bananas on top of the one with the bananas and spread another 1½ tablespoons of the cinnamon sugar on the top of the piece of bread facing up. Place that side down on the fry pan at medium heat and spread the other side also with 1½ tablespoons of the cinnamon sugar butter. Watch the pan carefully to make sure the bread doesn’t get too brown with the cinnamon sugar butter coating.
Remove the sandwich from the fry pan, cut it and half and eat up. This also probably goes without saying, but these guys are best when eaten right away. I tried throwing one in a sandwich bag for lunch. Not recommended unless you dig the soggy sandwich thing.