Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
There are a few food combinations that never get old. Peanut butter and jelly is one of those combinations for me. I will gladly eat a PB&J most any day. This recipe using that delicious combination recently called out to me from the pages of one of my favorite cookbooks, Martha Stewart’s Cookies.
One note about baking these. The directions give a wide range for the baking time: 45-60 minutes. With the jam layer, there was not a good way to test these for doneness. The old toothpick trick would not have worked well. I baked mine for 45 minutes, and they were just right to me.
After mixing up this simple recipe, I was rewarded with a delicious, dense treat. While the predominant flavor is peanut butter, the jam adds a little extra kick of sweetness. I used strawberry, as recommended in the recipe, although you could easily substitute your favorite flavor. For sandwiches, I definitely prefer grape. What flavor of jelly do you like with your peanut butter?
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more for preparing pan
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for preparing pan
- 1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 & 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 & 1/2 cups strawberry jam (or other flavor)
- 1 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 9″x 13″baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper. Butter the parchment and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
Beat butter and sugar together on medium speed of an electric mixer. Mix for about 2 minutes, until fluffy. Add eggs and peanut butter, and beat about 2 minutes or until combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Add to butter mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Add vanilla and mix.
Transfer two-thirds of dough to pan and spread evenly. Spread jam on top of dough. Crumble remaining dough on top of jam. Sprinkle with peanuts.
Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until golden. Rotate pan half-way through baking. Tent loosely with foil if bars are getting too dark.
Cool on a wire rack. Run a knife around the edges to loosen. Refrigerate 1-2 hours. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies.