Who does not love the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich? It is traditional, delicious and comforting all rolled into one. I got to thinking about that, and thought – why not transform that sandwich into a dessert? I thought about peanut butter and jelly cookies (my Grandma Barbra eats jelly on top of her peanut butter cookies) but decided for it to be portable, and less messy, it would need to be a “bar” of some kind. The first time I tried these with less jelly, but in the end, decided they needed more jelly. These are absolutely perfect!
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, slightly melted
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups smooth peanut butter
3 cups white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups strawberry jam or jelly
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F and spraying a 9×13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Next, line the pan with parchment paper, and spray the parchment paper with non-stick cooking spray. This will ensure the bars to be easily removed when finished baking.
In a large bowl, combine the slightly melted butter and white granulated sugar until throughly mixed, light in color and creamy.
Next, add in the pure vanilla extract, large eggs and smooth peanut butter. Combine this and mix together well.
Finally, add in the white all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Stir this together just until everything is combined throughly.
Place over half of this mixture into the prepared pan, spread and push down evenly with clean fingers. You want the base to be as even as possible – this is important.
In a medium sized bowl, place the strawberry jam/jelly and stir well until it turns into a spreadable consistency.
Place the jam/jelly on top of the dough base and spread out evenly with the back of a spoon.
Crumble the remaining dough evenly over the top of the jam/jelly. Don’t worry about consistency here – just crumble as evenly over the top as you can.
Place in preheated oven for 40 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing and serving. This is best kept refrigerated.
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