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Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

by Jamie on June 1, 2010

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I love peanut butter and jelly, actually more like peanut butter and jam, jelly is well, too giggly for me. Any jam will do; strawberry, blackberry, raspberry…whatever we happen to have in the fridge. So, you can imagine how excited I was when I came across a recipe for Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars.

My brother, Jared lived with us about two years ago and on the nights I did not prepare dinner, he would often eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. These sandwiches were enormous with gobs and gobs of peanut buttery goodness slathered between two pieces of ultra soft, white Wonder bread. Although I often eat wheat toast with a smear of peanut butter for breakfast, Jared’s love for PB&J sandwiches on fluffy white bread reacquainted me with this treat. I have to admit, I consumed far too many during the 6 months he lived with us.

When I came across this recipe for Peanut Butter and Jam Bars in Ina Garten’s cookbook, Barefoot Contessa at Home, I knew these would be a raging success in my house and I have made them three times since I first laid my eyes on this recipe. Most recently I baked them for Memorial Day and they were a big hit with both the kids and the adults. My family said they tasted just like peanut butter and jelly…well yeah, that was the point. After consuming three of them, my uncle commented by saying they were rich!

These bars are packed with peanut butter, jam and topped with chopped peanuts. Throw in any type of jam that strikes your fancy, this time I used blackberry and it was fab! I adapt Ina’s original recipe by using half crunchy peanut butter and half creamy, plus I add more jam, but do what you like…I am betting you’ll be happy with the outcome. Just make sure you have a BIG jug of milk handy when you serve these bars up! Have a great day and as always, thanks so much for stopping by!

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

June 1st, 2010

Ingredients:

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (9 ounces) chunky peanut butter (I used Jiff)
1 cup (9 ounces) creamy peanut butter (I used Jiff)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (18 ounces) blackberry jam or other jam (I usually add in about 1/4 cup more)
1/2 cups salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch cake pan. Line it with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix until all ingredients are combined.

3. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix just until combined.

4. Spread 2/3 of the dough into the prepared cake pan and spread over the bottom with a knife or offset spatula. Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam. Don't worry if all the jam isn't covered; it will spread in the oven. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown.

5. Cool and cut into squares. Serve up with a big glass of ice cold milk.

adapted from Ina Garten


{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Amber June 1, 2010 at 5:55 pm

These look amazingly delicious. I can’t wait to make them!

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Wenderly June 1, 2010 at 5:56 pm

All I can hear in my head is the song, “peanuuut, peanut butta AND JELLY, peanuuut, peanut buttaaa and JELLY!” I want some. Now. :)

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Katrina June 1, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Great idea using the two types of peanut butter! These bring me back to eating lunch on the picnic table with plastic bag sandwiches *sigh*.

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Maria June 1, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Good call on the blackberry jam. That is my favorite! Perfect brown bag treat!

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Jessica @ How Sweet June 1, 2010 at 6:46 pm

I have made Martha Stewart’s version and they are to die for. Seriously, they go so fast. Delicious.

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Alex {raspberry quill} June 1, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Sounds yummy. I love peanut butter in desserts, it’s such a taste pleaser.

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Jessie @ simplysifted June 1, 2010 at 7:07 pm

I made these for my friend Emily once. She described them as her favorite food. Not her favorite thing I’ve baked. Not her favorite sweet treat. Her. favorite. food. If you know a PB & J lover I can’t recommend them highly enough.

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A Bowl Of Mush June 1, 2010 at 7:20 pm

These look so yummy!!

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Sheena June 1, 2010 at 7:22 pm

yum! these sound fab! i’ve been in a hugeee pb&j mood lately, well more on the pb, but i will definitely have to make these soon!

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Sara June 1, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Oh, I’ve made these before a few times and the are fabulous! All chunky pb and strawberry perserves are my favorite. :) Great recipe.

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Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) June 1, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Those look fabulous! PB&J is a winning combo. :)

Jenn

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Joanne June 1, 2010 at 8:23 pm

I have come across these before but I am SUCH a PB+J addict that I try to forget them each time I see them…for fear that I will make them and then proceed to eat the whole batch. They look so delicious!

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DessertForTwo June 1, 2010 at 9:22 pm

I’ve been wanting to make these from her cookbook for a while now, but I don’t trust myself with a whole 9×13″ pan of them. Have you tried halving them and using an 8×8″ pan?

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Jamie June 1, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Hey! Thanks for stopping by! I have not tried it but I am betting it works just great!!

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hannah @ thepastrykook June 1, 2010 at 9:53 pm

i love peanut butter and JAM too! especially when the jam is homemade and a little tart/sour. yum!

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My Kitchen in the Rockies June 1, 2010 at 10:43 pm

I own this book as well but haven’t managed to make those for my son. He would love them.
Thanks, Jamie.

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cindy harris June 2, 2010 at 12:19 am

This look so yummy. I have a great PB bar on my blog but I love the addition of jelly. Got to try it.

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Rosa June 2, 2010 at 4:02 am

Wonderful bars! So addictive…

Cheers,

Rosa

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Cherine June 2, 2010 at 6:17 am

Those are irresistible!

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tribal tattoo designs June 2, 2010 at 8:33 am

Your blog design looks awsome. What template did you use ?

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CaSaundra June 2, 2010 at 9:01 am

Oh wow–these look amazing! I feel the same about jam/jelly as well. I am much more of a jam fan for sure! :-)

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Benthe June 2, 2010 at 12:29 pm

I don’t like peanutbutter/jam together, so this won’t be my recipe.

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Naomi June 2, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I’m allergic to peanut butter, but these bars are so completely creative. I love taking a classic or favorite and tweaking it up. I’m adding this to my recipe box. My family is going to love this one! Thanks for sharing.

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Sherry June 2, 2010 at 4:06 pm

The blackberry jam was amazing I bet! I love the whole pb&j concept=) Also, I adore your new blog layout. It is really something else!

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CookiePie June 2, 2010 at 4:32 pm

I love that recipe — Ina Garten is the best! And your bars are so pretty and professional looking!!

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Maggy@ThreeManyCooks June 2, 2010 at 7:32 pm

These look delicious! The perfect thing to go with a cup of tea in the late afternoon. Gorgeous photograph too (as always!)

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ingrid June 2, 2010 at 10:14 pm

We’re not really fans of PB & J but those bars have us wondering.

Your blog looks good, I like your changes.

Btw, I’ve been meaning to ask. Do you still “talk” to Em? If so tell her I said hello & that I miss her & her yummy baked treats. :) Thx!
~ingrid

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Jamie June 2, 2010 at 10:51 pm

Thanks so much, Ingrid! It’s a work in progress! I have not talked to Em in ages! I miss her too!
-jamie

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Heather I. June 3, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Seriously, PB&J is the BEST combination in the world. Your photos are perfect and I can’t wait to try this recipe!

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betty June 3, 2010 at 11:51 pm

oh man these look GREAT! thaks for sharing xx im book marking these and also your strawberry bread recipe :O)!

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Jared June 5, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Don’t be scared to send your super duper awesome brother some of those PB&J bars. He seems overly deserving of a whole batch, since he was the inspiration for these little gems. lol :)

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allison June 11, 2010 at 1:23 pm

I made these a few nights ago & thought they were just ‘ok’ that night. BUT something amazing happened as they sat over night…they became amazingly delish! I had friends over the day after baking them & everyone wanted the recipe. You can’t go wrong with Ina (or Jamie), that’s what I’ve learned:)

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allison June 11, 2010 at 1:24 pm

I made these a few nights ago & thought they were just ‘ok’ that night. BUT something amazing happened as they sat over night…they became amazingly delish! I had friends over the day after baking them & everyone wanted the recipe. You can’t go wrong with Ina (or Jamie), that’s what I’ve learned over time:)

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Amanda June 16, 2010 at 5:14 pm

I am just sitting here oohhing and aahhing over your pictures. You are SO talented! I’m off to see if you have a “my tools” page or something that tells what kind of camera you use. Just GORGEOUS. I am stumbling every single page. Seriously in awe of you!

Blessings-
Amanda

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Culinarication April 22, 2011 at 12:21 am

I just found your blog today, and I’m really enjoying reading through it! I have this cookbook and this was one of the first recipes I tried out of it- they’re soo good! Me and my former roommate (a peanut butter aficionado) had no problem eating all of these between the two of us. I definitely agree with doubling the amount of jam inside; it seems to disappear after baking!

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Ashley August 29, 2011 at 12:58 am

I know you must hear this all the time, but i LOVE your blog!!! I look through SO many, searching recipes (I am learning to bake) and yours is my favorite by far. I have made a few of your recipes, and I just book marked about 10 more, these will be made soon!! Thanks for having such a great site!

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Jamie August 29, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Ashley-
I am so glad you enjoyed the Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.
-Jamie

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Lauren July 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Would this work with using just natural creamy unsalted peanut butter like from Trader Joes? Trying to make it a little healthier but still want them to taste yummy!

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Jamie August 5, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Lauren-
I haven’t made these in quite some time, but I’m thinking they’ll be just fine with natural peanut butter. Let me know how it goes if you decide to give it a try!
-Jamie

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