Thursday, August 10, 2006

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

pbj bars

I have been obsessed with these peanut butter and jelly bars ever since I saw Ina G make them on the Barefoot Contessa. So I finally got around to making them and, boy, are they good! When my husband got home that evening he could tell right away that I was baking with peanut butter and jelly. The fragrance had permeated the whole house.

A base layer of peanut butter cookie dough is slathered with jam or jelly and then topped with crumbles of some more cookie dough and chopped peanuts. I was concerned about the exposed jam along the edges since it appeared slightly burnt, but was relieved that it tasted like candy. Some people liked the candied edges while others preferred a middle piece where the jam was uniformly, for lack of a better description, jelly like throughout. The bottom crust had a sandy, melt-in-your-mouth texture but was sturdy enough to hold a clean cut without falling apart.

pbj bar

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp.
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups creamy peanut butter
2 large eggs, at room temp.
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup jam or jelly (I used seedless raspberry jam)
2/3 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped (I used unsalted but Ina uses salted)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13x2 inch cake pan with parchment and then butter and flour the parchment and pan.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside dry ingredients.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add the peanut butter and mix for another minute. Mix in the eggs and vanilla.

On low speed, add the flour mixture and mix until flour is just incorporated.

Spread 2/3 of the dough into the prepared pan. Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Drop small pieces of the remaining dough over the jam making sure to leave some of the jam exposed. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

Bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely before cutting and serving.


Julia said...

ooo, looks goood!
already a big fan of peanut and jelly sandwiches, so you've really got a fan here :)
love your blog!

clarice said...

Ohh they sound really yummy. Thank-you for explaning about the jam, I was wondering about over cooked jam edges to. Clarice

gilly said...

Yum! It's hard to be the PB & J combo! These sound like a fun little treat!

Claire said...

I've seen her make these and thought they looked divine! Yours look like they were a success!

Anonymous said...

Mmmm, that sounds really, really good. Peanut butter and jelly is such a classic combo, it needs to be in more than just sandwiches.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Ooohh, that looks sinfully good!!! I love peanut butter and anything caky, so you can imagine that those bars make me drool...

Tanna said...

Hooked at Peanut Butter and Jelly - I mean I love peanut butter and jelly!
This looks divine to me.

Helene said...

Oh man! These would not last but a couple of hours at my house!
They look incredible!

Rachel said...

Really, really yummy looking!

Tanna said...

Mary, can't find an email for you but wanted to let you know I'm putting you on my list of 5 for blog day.

Kristen said...

I found your blog last week, and decided to make the bars the other day. Very yummy, very much bringing me back to my childhood favorite. Thanks for sharing! :)

Orlena said...

Hmmm, I wonder if you could use chocolate chips instead of the jam. I just found this recipe on Ina and I was wondering if it was the same recipe...yep! Thanks Pastry Chef Mary!

Debbie, Oliver's Labels said...

Thanks for posting this! I can't wait to try baking them on Sunday for a tea party.

kathie said...

I'm a happy new follower! I'm making these today- thanks for the post!