For years, I confused fraternal affection with a hatred for nuts. When my brother was diagnosed with a severe nut allergy, they were banned from the house and I, in an act of sibling loyalty, declared that I didn’t like nuts, either. In reality, I wasn’t quite sure how they tasted, but I refused to touch even the kid-friendly, nut-filled classics: Snickers, Reese’s Cups, peanut butter.
It was a sneaky Nutella crêpe that ultimately converted me. At the time, I thought Nutella was just a chocolate spread, but I quickly learned that it was hazelnuts that made it much, much better than plain old chocolate. I chose my next move more deliberately with a PB&J, and to my delight, it was even better than the Nutella crêpe—mainly because I could eat it for lunch rather than waiting all day for dessert. I ate one every day for an entire year. At that point I had become old enough to bicker with my brother, so I took pride in the fact that my bold lunch choice made him mad.
Now that I’m older, I’m a bit more sophisticated with my lunches. Still, I have a soft spot for anything with peanut butter, especially when it involves sugar. For this reason, I’ve always considered Nutter Butters to be the perfect dessert, but their dry texture makes it necessary to soften each bite with a dunk into milk. When I set out to make my own, I made sure to make them chewier, held together with a more nuanced filling that replaces hydrogenated oils with butter as its base. They’re everything my adult self wants, sibling rivalry aside.