Is there any other food that sparks childhood memories more than a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich? I think not. Honestly, I still love having a PB&J for lunch with an ice cold glass of milk. Nothing hits the spot quite like it for me.
As soon as I came across this recipe, I knew I had to try it. This bar has a thick, dense, almost shortbread-like crust, layered with a thick coating of sweet, strawberry jam and topped with a peanut butter and salted peanut crumble. You want to cut these into fairly small portions, as this is super decadent and definitely calls for that glass of milk..
And lest we forget, my idle ways, it’s a bar, So it’s E-Z! Bars are pretty darn cool like that. They’re like a lazy man’s cookie. Can’t beat that!
If you’re a kid at heart and still love a good PB&J and have better things to do with your time than scooping out a boat-load of cookies, then this bar is for you!
Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
- 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 strawberry jam, or other flavor
- 2/3 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan with butter, and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the parchment, and coat inside of pan with flour; set aside. 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, vanilla 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. 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 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool; cut into about thirty-six 1 1/2-by-2-inch pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
Recipe from Martha Stewart