Friday, August 19, 2011

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars


* 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 2 large eggs
* 18 ounces/ 2 cups creamy peanut butter
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 18 ounces/ 1 1/2 cups raspberry jam
* Handful of salted peanuts, chopped if desired (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper, then spray it.
3. Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow.
4. Add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until all ingredients are combined.
5. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
6. Slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix just until combined.
7. Spread 2/3 of the dough into the prepared cake pan.
8. Spread the jam evenly over the dough.
9. Drop the rest of the peanut butter dough evenly over the jam, but don't worry if all the jam isn't covered; it will spread in the oven.
10. If desired, sprinkle the peanuts over the top. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown.
11. Cool completely and cut into squares.

Wow! These really taste like a PB & J sandwich!!!! We enjoyed these, but next time I would use a larger pan to make them a little thinner. I might need to increase the amount of jam to make sure there is still enough for the amount of PB cookie layer. I used seedless raspberry jam, but use whatever flavor you most enjoy. We've put a bunch in the freezer so the kids can take them in their school lunches.

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