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Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

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Peanut butter and jelly – we go way, way back. I wouldn’t be shocked if I was told that peanut butter was my first word (er, words). As a toddler I had a peanut butter and jelly sleeping bag that I finally gave up fitting into somewhere around middle school. As a kid, I chose a peanut butter and jelly sandwich over any other lunch option provided to me. One year in grade school I gave up peanut butter for Lent and thought that the world might just stop spinning by the time Easter rolled around (I made it, although vividly remember eating a toasted English muffin with peanut butter and jelly for breakfast on Easter morning that year). I would put peanut butter on just about anything – Eggo waffles and Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Pop-Tarts were my favorite victims as a kid. As you can see, I have a serious love affair with peanut butter, so imagine my shock when I realized I had survived almost 30 years (ouch) without peanut butter and jelly cookie bars.

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These bars taste just like biting into a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, minus the bread of course. A base of peanut butter cookie dough is topped with your favorite jam or jelly, dotted with more peanut butter dough and sprinkled with chopped peanuts. They are every bit ooey, gooey and delicious as you’d expect. Obviously a great treat for kids (and one that would be fun to make with them, too!) and peanut butter-loving adults as well. You pretty much can’t go wrong here. Enjoy!

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Love peanuts and peanut butter? You’ll love these:
Tin Roof Ice Cream
No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies
Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies
Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Yield: 36 bars

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
2½ cups smooth peanut butter
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups jam or jelly, your favorite flavor
2/3 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch pan with butter, and line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease the parchment, and coat inside of pan with flour; set aside.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

3. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. On medium speed, add peanut butter and eggs; beat until combined, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and combine. On low speed, add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

4. Transfer two-thirds of the mixture to prepared pan; press evenly into pan. Using an offset spatula, spread the jam on top of the peanut butter mixture. Dollop remaining third of peanut butter mixture on top of jam. Sprinkle with peanuts.

5. Bake until golden, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool; cut into about 36 1½x2-inch pieces.

(Adapted from Martha Stewart)

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43 Responses to “Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars”

  1. Peabody on September 2, 2009 at 1:24 am

    So much better than the sandwich. Those looks wonderful!

    Reply

  2. Katie on September 2, 2009 at 4:25 am

    I’ve never tried peanut butter and jelly together, only with chocolate! These bars make me wanna give it a go.

    Katie xox

    Reply

  3. shelly (cookies and cups) on September 2, 2009 at 7:14 am

    Those sound really good! My family will love them they are all PB&J freaks

    Reply

  4. foodlibrarian on September 2, 2009 at 8:51 am

    Wow! These look so delicious! I love PB&J.

    Reply

  5. BAKING is my ZeN on September 2, 2009 at 9:14 am

    Looks moist, chewy and yummy. Great photos.

    Reply

  6. Andrea@WellnessNotes on September 2, 2009 at 9:23 am

    These bars look and sound delicious!

    Reply

  7. Joelen on September 2, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Looks delicious and a nice twist on a classic!

    Reply

  8. Alta on September 2, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Wow, these sound so wonderful. I too was/am a peanut butter addict.

    Reply

  9. Maria on September 2, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    I have to try these when the hubs is not around-he’s allergic to nuts. These look so comforting and tasty!

    Reply

  10. Daydreamer Desserts on September 2, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Oooo I’m definitely making these… Great pics!

    Reply

  11. Rachel 'Tha Pizza Cutta' Joyce on September 2, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    I just love these! Not only is it one of my favs to make, but I also just tried one at a coffe house. Just a great go-to snack. :D

    Reply

  12. Erin on September 2, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    I couldn’t even tell you how long I’ve had this recipe bookmarked! I need to make them soon; they look delicious!

    Reply

  13. Debi (Table Talk) on September 2, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    My daughter was looking through blogs with me when we came across this recipe…she said “ooh mom, what are those?!”. Just in time for back to school next week.

    Reply

  14. danielle on September 2, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Wow!
    I am also a lover of peanut butter and these look amazing!

    Reply

  15. MARCIA on September 2, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    These look scrumptious!! I’m a “peanutbutterholic” (did I just make up a word?). One of my bizarre snacks ( says everyone who sees me eating it) is peanut butter on green onions. Try it,,,you’ll like it,,,,,seriously!

    Reply

  16. Chris on September 3, 2009 at 6:17 am

    These look awsome, and my favourite PB and J.

    Reply

  17. Eliana on September 3, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    These look absolutely delicious. And picture perfect too!

    Reply

  18. inalittleminute on September 3, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    YUMMY!~ I cant wait to make these over the weekend!

    Reply

  19. Irene on September 4, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Oh yuum!!!!! The PB&J is my favorite part of a PB&J sandwich, so it just makes sense to eliminate the bread :)

    Reply

  20. Ashley on September 4, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Yummm these look awesome. I’m planning on making a version of these today!

    Reply

  21. Sana on September 4, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Mine are in the oven right now.. the jam is bubbling away and I cant wait to dig in!!! Though im not sure when they will be done..confused!!

    Reply

  22. Tracey on September 8, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Oh man, these look amazing!!! I love peanut butter and jelly, though after reading your post, I don’t love it anywhere near as much as you :)

    Reply

  23. Lisa on September 11, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Being a HUGE peanut butter ‘anything’ in baking, fan..I just about died when I saw these. Your photos of them are mouth watering! Bookmarked!

    Reply

  24. Lainie on September 11, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    I just found your site thnks to the foodbuzz newsletter – I love it!!! Peanut butter is probably my all time favorite food, so I’m definitely going to try these. Thank you for posting!

    Reply

  25. Kelbakes on September 20, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Sheer genius! I could eat the peanut butter part plain! Divine treat for my co-workers tomorrow! Thank you!

    Reply

  26. Angelo Knoedler on April 13, 2010 at 2:32 am

    I’m an enormous lover! Thank you posting this

    Reply

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  30. Marty on January 10, 2011 at 8:12 am

    I’m glad I found these. My mother made these for many years. She passed away last year and I had gotten her recipe box. Unfortunately, this particular recipe was not in there. This one will be going in the box. Thanks.

    Reply

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  32. Jimmy on June 21, 2011 at 11:07 am

    I made these bars this weekend–the recipe cannot be beat! They are perfect!

    Reply

  33. Naomi on October 16, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Hi there! My friend’s mom passed this recipe on to me a few years ago and I make them often, they are fantastic. I just decided to try something new though. i made the same peanut butter dough base but then I also made a cheesecake filling. Then, after the first layer of peanut butter dough, I spread a layer of nutella, then the cheesecake layer on top and then the gobs of remaining dough. Just took out of oven and waiting to cool to taste, but wondering what you think of this combination?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 17th, 2011 at 11:10 am

      Hi Naomi, It sounds delicious! Believe it or not, I don’t really like Nutella so I pretty much never bake with it, but I know I’m in the minority ;-) I do love the combo of peanut butter and cheesecake!

      Reply

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  35. Nancy on December 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    I’m an obsessed Christmas cookie baker. This is the first year for the PB&J bars and they will be on my cookie list from now on! Someone described them as PB&J fudge!

    Reply

  36. Jennifer@Peanut Butter and Peppers on January 23, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    I have this baking in the oven right now! I can’t wait to try it!!

    Reply

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  38. Amy on March 17, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    I’m your newest fan! This is the third recipe i have made from your site and they are all fantastic! Yum!

    Reply

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  42. Shannon on February 22, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    I still to this day put peanut butter on my waffles and brown sugar Pop-Tarts!

    Reply

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