Peanut Butter + Jelly Bars

by Amy on 4 April 2013

Peanut Butter + Jelly Barsup until recently, i hadn’t eaten a peanut butter + jelly sandwich since I was a child. but, when i wasn’t able to do much cooking in the first few months of my pregnancy, due to stubborn morning sickness, my husband had to fend for himself dinner-wise many nights, + peanut butter + jelly sandwiches became his go-to meal. i took a bite one evening + holy moly, i had forgotten how delicious a good ol’ pb+j is! since then, i’ve eaten an alarming amount of pb+j sandwiches – they’re just so darn tasty! so when I stumbled across a recipe for pb+j bars, i knew i had to try them.

so, how are they? just as scrumptious + addictive as i expected they’d be. the rich, peanut buttery layer pairs wonderfully with the sweet-tart jam layer, + they have the perfect combo of sweetness + saltiness. they make for a seriously delicious afternoon snack or dessert, especially when paired with a cold glass of milk. so, if you’re looking for a fabulous new way to enjoy peanut butter + jelly, absolutely give these amazing bars a try!

Peanut Butter + Jelly Bars

Peanut Butter + Jelly Bars

makes 24 bars, adapted from Ina Garten/The Barefoot Contessa


1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups (18 ounces) creamy peanut butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (18 ounces) raspberry jam (or other flavor fruit jam)
2/3 cups salted peanuts, coarsely chopped


preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch pan. line it with parchment paper, then grease + flour the pan.

in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter + sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes. with the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla, eggs, + peanut butter + mix until all ingredients are combined.

in a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, + salt. with the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. mix just until combined.

spread 2/3 of the dough into the prepared cake pan + spread over the bottom with a knife or offset spatula. spread the jam evenly over the dough. drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam. don’t worry if all the jam isn’t covered; it will spread in the oven. sprinkle with chopped peanuts + bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. cool + cut into squares.

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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Leah | So, How's It Taste? April 4, 2013 at 7:13 am

These sound fantastic! I love the sweet/salty combo and that you can vary these with any flavor jam. I’d love to try it with blackberry.

2 amy April 4, 2013 at 7:22 am

Ooh, they’d be fantastic with blackberry jam! You’ve gotta try ’em. =)

3 Beth April 4, 2013 at 7:28 am

Peanut butter and jelly bars take me back to childhood! I should make these bars again.

4 Heather April 4, 2013 at 7:58 am

I’m so glad I got to try these. M & I both loved them & I’m glad you posted the recipe. I was really trying to figure out what flavor of jam you used :)

5 amy April 4, 2013 at 8:46 am

And I’m so glad you liked ’em! And yep, i used raspberry jam because it’s one of my favorites, but I think the bars would really work with any flavor fruit jam. =)

6 danielle April 4, 2013 at 9:18 am

I made these for SRC a while back -and then I made them again and again…

7 Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry April 4, 2013 at 10:45 am

Sorry about the morning sickness but at least you got to experience the joys of a peanut butter sandwich!

8 Jennie April 4, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Amy, these bars look so good. I’m a peanut butter addict. Yum!

9 angela @ another bite please April 4, 2013 at 12:28 pm

i’ve started eating more pb&j since having kids…and funny i almost made this recipe a few weeks ago but ended up making pb&j granola…now your post has me wanting these bars all over again!

10 amy April 4, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Ooh, pb+j granola sounds delicious. You’ll have to try the bars soon, too!

11 Nik@ABrownTable April 4, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Love, love, love! These look so pretty, Amy.

12 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar April 4, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Such a classic flavour combo. These bars sound lovely!

13 Jessica@AKitchenAddiction April 4, 2013 at 2:15 pm

My husband loves all things pb&j! He will love these!

14 Jeff April 4, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Peanut butter jelly time! Peanut butter jelly time! Where you at?

Hooray for these great bars! I definitely want these for some lunchtime snacks!

15 natalie@thesweetslife April 4, 2013 at 2:24 pm

i made these a few years ago and we went crazy for them! definitely need to make again!!!

16 Nicole @ The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie April 4, 2013 at 2:37 pm

I wasn’t crazy about pb & j as a kid but as an adult I freaking love it! The jam gives it that perfect hint of sweetness that I live for!

These bars look quite scrumptious! Do you think I could pass it off for lunch since it’s practically like eating a sandwich? 😉

17 CCU April 4, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Hope all is going well for you my friend, these bars look delish 😀


18 Kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts April 4, 2013 at 2:50 pm

I want to combine crushed pretzels in this . . . for an all around childhood treat.

Thanks, Amy, for making me hungry!

19 amy April 4, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Ooh, I love your idea of adding crushed pretzels – genius!

20 mmmarzipan April 4, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Yum! Great recipe. And judging by the looks of it, this is my kind of blog :) Lovely :)

21 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious April 4, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Best combo ever! I’m sure I could gobble these up in the blink of an eye!

22 Tracey April 4, 2013 at 4:10 pm

I haven’t had a pb&j in forever either, but now you’ve got me craving one. Maybe with fluff too :) These bars are awesome, I made them a while ago and ate way too many!

23 amy April 4, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Tracey, I also have had a few “fluffernutters” in the past few months and they are SO good – you’ve gotta make yourself one soon!

24 Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef April 4, 2013 at 4:15 pm

oooh a good pb&j can absolutely hit the spot! these bars sound amazing!!!!

25 Kristen @ notsodomesticated April 4, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Yum! I just had a PB&J for lunch today! 😉 And my husband has them quite frequently for lunch. I’ve tried coming up with other ideas for his lunch, but he seems to prefer to go old-school! 😉 These look delicious and something I would love. I am a peanut butter freak!

26 Natalie April 4, 2013 at 8:45 pm

I can see these being VERY addictive, I would have problems staying away from these bars!!

27 Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray April 5, 2013 at 8:39 am

Oh heck yes! Yum. I will sheepishly admit resorting to pb&J sandwiches many evenings when I have classes after work. They’re just so portable!

28 amy April 5, 2013 at 8:48 am

ain’t no shame in that! portable + delicious = awesome. =)

29 EA-The Spicy RD April 5, 2013 at 9:04 am

These do look pretty amazing!! Every now and then I have a PBJ-always so yummy. You should TY my PBJ smoothie-vanilla soy or almond milk, fresh or frozen berries, and peanut butter. So good :-)

30 amy April 5, 2013 at 9:26 am

I will definitely have to try it – thank you!

31 Erin @ Texanerin Baking April 5, 2013 at 11:29 am

2 cups of peanut butter?! Woohoo! That instantly makes this recipe a winner. I haven’t had a pb&j since I was a kid. They just don’t sound that appetizing any more. But these… these I could just overdose on. So yummy looking! I hope you don’t have any more morning sickness. :)

32 Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen April 5, 2013 at 11:34 pm

These are adorable! I love peanut butter so much, and I bet these taste so good with the jelly – yum!

33 Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen April 6, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Yum! Your bars look totally delicious :)

34 wendy (the weekend gourmet) April 6, 2013 at 6:57 pm

we love pb&j…they’re michael’s go-to midnight snack. I pack them for lunch at my desk a couple times a month too.

35 Regina @ SpecialtyCakeCreations April 7, 2013 at 11:48 am

Oh my! These bars look divine. A decadent version of the classic.

36 Whitney @ The Newlywed Chefs April 7, 2013 at 8:44 pm

A perfect pair of flavors in a fun sized bar! Delish!

37 Amy (Savory Moments) April 8, 2013 at 5:49 am

I always take pb&j with me on days when I’m working outside (or just playing outside on a hike or something). These bars look fantastic!

38 claire @ the realistic nutritionist April 8, 2013 at 10:45 am

These are GORGEOUS Amy!!!

39 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking April 8, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Oh wow, these look fabulous Amy! Total nut (ha) for peanut butter and jelly here, so I can definitely see myself digging these tasty bars!

40 Meghan April 8, 2013 at 5:55 pm

These look sooo good, Amy! The salted peanuts on top are perfect!

41 Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes April 8, 2013 at 7:18 pm

These look so good! I still eat PB&J sandwiches on occasion…brings me back to my childhood :)

42 Blond Duck April 8, 2013 at 8:41 pm

I’m so scared I’d make these and eat the whole pan.

43 ashley - baker by nature April 9, 2013 at 9:24 am

Totally crushing on these pb & j bars!

44 Monet April 9, 2013 at 3:41 pm

I always have and always will adore a good peanut butter sandwich. Clearly, I need these bars in my life ASAP! Thank you for sharing! I’m glad to be back home after a week of traveling…and finally catching up on my favorite blogs. I hope you have a blessed week!

45 Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel April 9, 2013 at 6:59 pm

peanut butter and jelly sandwiches have always been and will always be my jam .. haha, pun intended :) these look SO good and like such a perfect, homey comfort food that takes me back to my childhood when I could eat a billion pbjs and not gain a single pound haha.

46 Sandra Smith April 12, 2013 at 2:10 am

midway between nutritious and delicious, excellent as sushi, you must try the nashville sushi , is yummy, I invite you to try it and if you do not know where I also recommend Nomzilla, the service is excellent and the dishes are delicious.

47 Sammie April 14, 2013 at 11:12 am

no waaay! I can’t believe you haven’t had pb + j for so long! haha! They’re the best! But seriously I never learned about the magic of pb+j sandwiches until I lived in North America! In Asia it’s more of pb… or j…! and of course other condiments the locals enjoy! But yeah these bars sound totally delicious! I bet your little baby must have enjoyed it too! :)

48 Megan @ girl by the lake April 15, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Wow, Amy. These look really, REALLY good! When I first graduated college, I discovered my NYC office cafeteria would make PB&J sandwiches upon request (discovered while watching a fellow coworker order for her visiting child). For probably 12+ months, I had more PB&J sandwiches than I’m willing to admit.

Pinned for future use! (and I hope you are doing well! baby time is getting closer!)

49 amy April 15, 2013 at 3:47 pm

I *love* that you used to order pb+js at your office cafeteria – too cute!

50 Joyti April 16, 2013 at 1:10 am

Oh, these look delicious. Like a really decadent, fancified version of the sandwich. Yum!

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