up 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
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.