Friday, June 10, 2011

Peanutbutter & Jam Bars

As described from wikipedia: The peanut butter and jelly sandwich (PB&J or peanut butter and jam sandwich in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom) is a sandwich, popular in North America, that includes a layer of peanut butter and either jam or jelly on bread, commonly between two slices, but sometimes eaten open-faced.

For almost all of us this was a staple in our lives, growing up. For my family, is was ONLY crunchy Skippy and mom's homemade freezer jam (usually raspberry, but I grew up in Oregon, so we had strawberry, blackberry, marionberry, boisenberry, just to name a few). Now there are many variations on the classic, crunchy, creamy, organic, all natural, freshly ground, almond, and the list goes on. And that's just the peanut butter!  As for jam (I prefer jam to jelly!!) you name it. I work in a grocery store and we have a 4 foot section dedicated to preserves. Local, imported, regular, no sugar added, pure cane sugar, it'd make your head spin. So for me, crunchy with blackberry jam is my fav!

Whether it was for lunch, afternoon snack or even breakfast, I'm sure it's pretty near and dear to your heart.  Few people I've talked to dislike the PB&J!

So when I came across the recipe for Peanutbutter and Jelly Bars, I just knew I had to make them. After making the recipe, I've made a few adjustments that I know is just what this recipe needs to go from wow, to amazing!

Check it out, and let me know what you think.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars 
Adapted from Baked Perfection

½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cup (about 18 ounces) chunky peanut butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups blackberry jam or other jam (Don't skimp...the more the better!)
½ cups salted peanuts, coarsely chopped


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch cake 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.

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.

Spread. slightly more than 1/2 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. Cool and cut into squares.

Serve up with a big glass of ice cold milk.

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