Sunday, June 13, 2010

PB & J Bars

Today I knew it was time to tackle a dessert that had been teasing me since January when my friend Danielle's mom made them for our a cappella group. I remembered them being just the right amount of sweetness and delicious peanutty-ness (that's a word right?) that made me want to eat the whole pan. But let's establish something first. Peanut butter. It can be crunchy, creamy, organic, reduced fat and everything in between. But one thing I know? I LOVE IT. It's seriously a problem. I will eat it on anything and with anything, any time of day. If there's a jar in the house, no matter what kind, know that it won't make it through the week. Although I am partial to Trader Joe's organic crunchy salted variety, I do not judge. :-) So, when I found not one but TWO full jars of peanut butter in my house upon my return, I knew it was the perfect time to bake this yummy dessert.
Thank you Martha Stewart for satisfying my peanut butter addiction!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar (I only used 1/4 cup since peanut butter and jelly are both so sweet already)
1 egg
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter (I used a combination of smooth and crunchy, but don't use an organic variety because the PB will separate, Skippy and Jiff are good picks)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup jam (I used raspberry)
1/3 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8 x 8 in. pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease the parchment, and coat inside of pan with flour; set aside. Place butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. On medium speed, add eggs and peanut butter; beat until combined, about 2 minutes.
  2. Whisk together salt, baking powder and flour. Add to bowl of mixer on low speed; combine. Add vanilla. Transfer two-thirds of mixture to prepared pan; spread evenly with offset spatula, spread jam on top of peanut-butter mixture. Dallop remaining third of peanut-butter mixture on top of jam. Sprinkle with peanuts. (Make sure you alternate dalloping the dough and peanuts, or they'll fall off the bars after you bake them)
  3. Bake until golden, about 40 minutes (for 1/3 recipe like I made). Transfer to wire rack to cool; cut into about 12 bars.

Happy Baking!


1 comment:

  1. I have the same addiction to peanut butter. :) No doubt these bars would be the end of me.