There are few combinations in this world more popular and well known than peanut butter and jelly. To me this combo is the perfect example of the yin-yang flavors…sweet and smooth with salty and crunchy? Sign me up! So when I saw this recipe in the May edition of Rachael Ray Magazine, I knew this was a dessert I had to try.
If you haven’t noticed yet, I don’t post too many desserts. I am not a baker…at all. Baking in general is way too exact for me. My style of cooking is always a dash of this, and a sprinkle of that all according to my mood and how things are coming together in the pan. In baking, yeah that doesn’t work out so well. It’s a science [Ron Burgundy just said that in my head, yours too? Hope so.] But these bars sure did turn out well! So if I can crank these little guys out, pshht you have nothing to worry about!
Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars
makes 16 squares
adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine
- 3/4 cup salted, roasted peanuts
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 stick butter [oh yeah] 4 oz unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
- 3/4 cup [reduced fat] creamy peanut butter
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup grape or strawberry jam
- pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and move rack to the middle for even cooking. line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, letting the excess hang over the sides. [for lifting out later]
- using a food processor, pulse the peanuts until chopped. transfer to a medium sized bowl.
- in the same processor bowl mix the 2 flours, the brown sugar, and salt. slowly add the butter slice by slice until the mixture becomes crumbly. next add the peanut butter and vanilla and process until combined. measure out 2/3 cup of the mixture from the food processor and add it to the chopped nuts in the separate bowl.
- dump the remaining mixture into the parchment lined pan and press down firmly to create the bottom portion of the bar. then spoon the jam evenly over top, staying about 1/2 away from the edges. finally sprinkle the chopped peanut + crumbly mixture over top of jam, extending all the way out to the edges of the pan.
- bake for 45 minutes or until the top gets golden brown and the jam is bubbling. remove from oven and let cool completely. using the parchment paper, lift the cooled bars out of the pan and place on a cutting board to cut into 16 squares.
sweet & salty with a crunch and buttery finish. this dessert gets an A+ in my book.
give’em a try, you won’t be sad ya did!