Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
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.
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!
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
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
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.