Friday, March 19, 2010

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

These bars are full of nostalgia. They are a flashback to elementary school lunches - peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on white bread! Of course, this was before schools stopped letting kids bring anything with peanuts in it to school because of allergies. I was never a big fan of peanut butter when I was a kid but as I got older I began to fully appreciate its deliciousness.

After mixing up this simple recipe (which is easily doubled for a crowd) I pulled this hearty, nutty treat from the oven. The hardest part was letting it cool fully before digging in. With 2 1/2 cups of peanut butter in the dough, the main flavor here is peanut butter with a layer of jam for just the right touch of sweetness. The crowning glory on these heavenly bars are the roasted peanuts on top. Salty, sweet and nostalgic.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars
9 x 13" pan | Adapted from Martha Stewart's Holiday Cookies 2001

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups raspberry jam
2/3 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line a 9-by-13-inch pan. Place 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 eggs and peanut butter; beat until combined, about 2 minutes.

Whisk together salt, baking powder, and flour. Add to bowl of mixer on low speed; combine. Add vanilla. Transfer two-thirds of mixture to prepared pan; spread evenly with offset spatula. Using offset spatula, spread jam on top of peanut-butter mixture. Dollop remaining third of peanut-butter mixture on top of jam. Sprinkle with peanuts.

Bake until golden, about 40-45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.


Holly said...

I'm making these today!! lol I found them on the "How sweet it is" blog. I can hardly wait and I know my kids will love them too:)
The Peppered Pantry~

Valerie said...

They're so thick and look so chewy, I just want to grab one! :)

MaryMoh said...

Oooh...your peanut bar looks very delicious. That's generous amount of peanut butter used. I can imagine the beautiful peanutty flavour and lovely texture...mmmm. Thanks for sharing.

Rambling Tart said...

Oh, these look fantastic! :-)

Sinful Southern Sweets said...

These look wonderful!!

Lori said...

Oh man these look sooooo good. I know my kids would just love these.

Follow Me Foodie said...

OMG!! I JUST ate one of these today!! I went to the Vancouver Baker's Market and this vendor was selling them...yours look delicious though! I like the chunks of peanut you put on top!

Ohhh I want to try this recipe making my own peanuts butter!

cookies and cups said...

I made these for christmas this past year and loved them! you need a big old glass of milk to go along with them, but they are definitely worth the calories ;)

creampuff said...

Sorry I missed these, Tia! I can tell you love peanut butter!

~3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

Peanut butter anything is a favorite around here, we'll have to try these very soon and I mean very soon!