Peanut and butter jelly sandwiches are an American classic. I love PB & Js! And by love I mean I REAAAALLLLLLY love them! I ate more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches during my pregnancy than the typical American child does in their first 10 years of life. There is just something so nostalgic about smooth peanut butter squished together with a layer of sweet sticky jelly. It is one of those items that takes me back to being a little girl on the playground. When I saw this recipe for peanut butter and jelly bars I knew they had to be mine! My son’s school had a bake sale coming up and I knew it was the perfect occasion to make these. Come on? Toddlers… peanut butter and jelly… they belong together! These bars turned out fabulous! The cookie layer is almost brownie like, the moistest peanut butter cookie you have ever had and then of course you have the layer of jelly and then just the right amount of crunch from the honey roasted peanuts on top. Superb when served with a big cold glass of milk. I may have a new addiction.
Note: These can be tricky to cut when still warm so be sure to allow for adequate chilling time. Otherwise you may find that the bars sort of crumble.
1 c butter, softened
1 1/2 c sugar
2 1/2 c creamy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
3 c flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 c of your favorite jelly (I used Strawberry)
1 c honey roasted peanuts, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar for 2 minutes.
- Add in the eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes making sure it’s completely combined.
- In another bowl combine the flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and fold in using a rubber spatula until completely combined.
- Line a 9” x 13” baking dish with parchment paper going both directions and spray parchment paper with cooking spray.
- Transfer 2/3 of your dough to the prepared baking dish and spread the dough out evenly.
- Press the dough down firmly in the bottom of the entire baking dish making sure it’s even thickness all over.
- Place the jelly in a small microwave safe bowl and warm it in the microwave for 1 minute and stir using a fork (this really seems to help in spreading it out).
- Using a rubber spatula spread the warmed jelly over the top of the cookie dough making sure the dough is completely covered.
- Using your hands, crumble the remaining dough over the top of the jelly.
- Sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the top.
- Bake until golden, about 50–60 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and set on a trivet to cool for 30minutes.
- Holding onto the parchment paper, carefully lift the entire contents of the dish and transfer to a large cutting board.
- Refrigerate the whole dish for 1–2 hours making sure it is completely cool before trying to cut into bars.
- After bars have cooled cut into squares using a sharp knife or even a pizza wheel.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature.