This is about making trail food for hiking or backcountry skiing. I believe I have formulated the better peanut butter & honey sandwich – pictures included. [click the title if you don’t see the rest of the article. I first posted this on ClubTread… ]
When my Mom made a peanut butter and honey sandwich it was good if it was eaten immediately. But if it were packed for lunch at school something happened during the morning. The honey soaked into the bread and some of it crystallized. The result was a gummy sandwich that was nourishing, but failed the texture test. Peanuts, honey and bread are almost as good as a Powerbar for providing energy when hiking uphill. I find it takes my body somewhat longer to process the sandwich than the energy bar.
The following recipe can be made quickly — in my case it’s often in the pre-dawn as I race to assemble my gear to be on an early ferry sailing off Bowen Island.
<rant> BTW, I loathe the standard cookbook recipe format that lists precise amounts of ingredients, and then requires arcane procedures that only a graduate chef would know about (really, how do you scald milk, or know when a custard coats a spoon?). Instead, I have a picture book for you. </rant >
Carefully measure out exactly one huge gob of peanut butter per sandwich. Add a big dollop of honey. The amount in the illustration will make 2 sandwiches.
We are in a hurry, so it helps if these ingredients are warm. Therefore I nuke it for 15 or 20 seconds. Be careful, the honey eagerly absorbs the microwaves, and this is meant to be warm, not cooked! I give the warmed mixture a quick stir before I add the special powder.
Okay, this next item is not necessary; but it is not necessary in the same way that it doesn’t matter if nobody celebrates your birthday. Do this: wipe off your mixing spatula, or knife, and then use it to scoop up and add a generous amount of Cocoa powder (the real thing, no chocolaty milk powder).
Now mix vigorously.
What I’ve found is that the honey does not thin the peanut butter, it actually dramatically changes the texture as you mix. The mixture becomes stiffer and less sticky. Isn’t this amazing?
This is meant to be energy food, so I recommend you use whole wheat bread. If you are slicing it yourself, keep the slices thin. We make bread frequently, but as I am rushing to be on that early sailing, I use frozen commercial slices. It is easier to spread the mixture on frozen bread, and it has hours to thaw in my pack. Put a large dollop on the bread.
Spread it in a thick layer, but taper it toward the crust so that it won’t ooze out.
Put the top slice on the sandwich, and don’t cut in half.
This mixture will not soak into the bread, and it is very easy to eat out on the hill.
Sometimes I have made a Challah the way my daughters like it, which is quite sweet. When that egg bread is used with this filling it makes a wonderful confection.