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Craving: PB&J Bars

March 2, 2011

Oh ya baby, peanut butter and jelly. The most classic combination of sweet and salty, childhood memory evoking, comfort food ever savored with a glass of ice cold milk. Peanut butter always reminds me of my Dad, probably because he eats it straight out of the jar wrapped in a piece of cheese (strange right?) I found this recipe for Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars in the new March issue of bon appétit magazine and couldn’t resist giving them a try. I made them sans nuts since I am not a fan of the crunch and used a blueberry preserve from Trader Joes.
They were divine!

{Photography by Freutcake}

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars via bon appétit Magazine March 2011

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup grape jelly or other jelly or jam
2/3 cup coarsely chopped salted dry-roasted peanuts (I left out the nuts)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan with heavy-duty foil, leaving 2-inch overhang around edges and pressing firmly into corners and up sides of pan. Coat foil with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat peanut butter, sugar, and butter in large bowl until smooth. Add egg and vanilla; beat on low speed until smooth. Add flour mixture; beat on low speed just to blend. Transfer half of dough to prepared pan (about scant 1 1/2 cups). Place remaining dough in freezer for 10 minutes. Using fingertips, press dough evenly onto bottom of pan. Spread jelly over in even layer. Remove dough from freezer; using fingertips, break into grape-size pieces and scatter over jelly layer. Sprinkle chopped nuts over.

Bake bars until top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool bars completely in pan on rack.

Using foil overhang as aid, lift bars from pan. Gently peel foil from edges. Cut into 16 squares.

DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Shiloh Robinson permalink
    March 2, 2011 8:43 am

    yummmy!! I have developed an unhealthy obsession with peanut butter since beginning graduate school ; ) These look fun and maybe easy enough for me to attempt!

    • March 2, 2011 8:51 am

      They are so easy and you probably already have all the ingredients!

  2. March 2, 2011 11:43 am

    Two of my loves, peanut butter and preserves! I suppose I should try to make these instead of just eating spoon fulls out of the jar.

  3. Mom permalink
    March 4, 2011 5:44 pm

    I had the honor of sampling some of Leah’s delicious creation! WOW! What a great after school snack these would be ….filling too!

  4. Rene permalink
    March 25, 2011 6:37 am

    I’ve made these twice now and used different peanut butter and different jams each time. I don’t use grape jelly so I used different jams like blueberry and blackberry to my salivating delight. I last used an organic (stir it up first) pb and the dough was much more moist than the standard pb. Worked out great either way. Kids will be happy with the grape jelly and the parents will like the different jam choices. Just too yummy not to share with the parents. I’ve shared these with friends, co-workers and neighbors and everyone loved them. In fact, we’re having them today at the office for TGIF. Try them. They’re easy, a great treat and surprisingly sophisticated when using the different jams.


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