Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

by kitchenarian on July 24, 2012

The lazy days of summer….

…. are starting to feel a bit hurried. After the 4th of July, summer always feels like it is on the downward slide and I find myself trying to check off my summer to do list before fall and back to school activities consume all of my attention and summer becomes just a memory of record breaking heat and fun family moments.

These dessert bars have been on my to-bake list for a while. Peanut butter and jelly is such a comfort food that I associate with lunch box fare and stick to the roof of your mouth delicious childhood memories. I think my mom packed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for me every school day for three years straight until I was willing to consider another sandwich option. I’ve come a long way since then, but even today I find myself craving my childhood favorite.

You have to try these! These dessert bars are sure to conjure up delicious childhood memories and become a favorite of yours too. The recipe comes from Bon Appetit.


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup strawberry jelly
2/3 cup coarsely chopped salted dry-roasted peanuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 8×8 inch metal baking pan with heavy-duty foil, pressing firmly into corners and up sides of pan leaving 2-inch overhang around edges. Spray with nonstick spray and set aside. Whisk the flour, baking powder, andΒ  salt in a small bowl. In another bowl, beat peanut butter, sugar, and butter with mixer. Add egg and vanilla and continue to beat until smooth. Add flour mixture slowly until just mixed together. Divide the dough in half: transfer half of dough to the prepared pan and put the other half in the freezer for about 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 pieces and scatter over jelly layer. Sprinkle chopped nuts on top.

Bake bars about 30 minutes until golden brown on top. Remove from oven to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Lift bars from the pan using the foil edges. Gently peel foil from edges and slice. Makes 16 PBJ bars.


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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

sous-chef July 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Save some for me? πŸ™‚ Looks delicious!


Jenna@LittleKitchenBigFlavors July 24, 2012 at 9:15 pm

You’re not alone… I hate how fast the summer comes and goes! The days go by so fast, and I never seem to get in all those fun summer things I want to do. This looks like one addicting snack!


RavieNomNoms July 25, 2012 at 8:57 am

Oh my goodness!!! How can I get these shipped to me ASAP?


Steph@stephsbitebybite July 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm

These are heavenly!! And would not last long if they were around me!


Emily @ Life on Food July 25, 2012 at 7:05 pm

I would only eat peanut butter and jelly in my lunches too. These look great!


El Pasticcio July 26, 2012 at 2:54 am

If I only read this recipe one week ago…I had a jar of peanut butter and not really knowing what to do with…the recipe looks really delicious…i save it for when I’ll have again some peanut butter!! πŸ˜‰


Happy When Not Hungry July 26, 2012 at 9:45 pm

I love pb&j. These look awesome!


Geraldine Saucier July 27, 2012 at 11:59 am

These bars are fantastic! When the weather cools down a bit, I will be making these bars. My family loves PB&J. Thanks for sharing:)


Ida May July 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Sounds good but how much salt is needed?


kitchenarian July 31, 2012 at 9:47 am

There isn’t any salt listed in the recipe. Peanut butter itself is salty, plus there are salted peanuts on top. You won’t need to add any.


Medeja July 30, 2012 at 8:04 pm

They look so yummy! I love PB & J combination, so I definitely have to try these!


Shari July 31, 2012 at 8:45 am

Lv. PB&J now I can take them to the summer BBQ’s. ;)’


kitchenarian July 31, 2012 at 9:39 am

I love that too! It’s a great non-chocolate dessert that won’t melt in the heat.


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