February 16, 2022
Are you ready for a treat? These peanut butter and jelly bars are it! A thick buttery bar swirled with a layer of melty peanut butter and lava like jelly. YUM! Not only do they look incredible, they are delicious, a perfect balance of salty and sweet.
These bars didn’t make it through the day. Each time one of my kids walked through the kitchen a small sliver was taken. I think my husband may have taken more than a sliver each time he passed by the plate, until truly nothing was left. You may ask who took the last bite. I’ll never tell, but if you guessed it was me . . . you are probably right.
I used creamy peanut butter and grape jelly in my recipe. You can choose to use crunchy if you prefer a little texture, and strawberry jam if you enjoy the combination. I’m a smooth peanut butter junkie and I must have my peanut butter with grape jelly. For me there was no choice to make, but feel free to experiment. The only recommendation I do have is that you use good old supermarket, salted peanut butter. I used Jif. These bars just don’t reach their full potential with the natural stuff.
PB & J Bars
Adapted from Baked from Scratch
2 cups (440 grams) firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (256 grams) creamy peanut butter, melted and divided (I used Jif)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (313 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (160 grams) grape jelly, melted (You can use strawberry if you prefer)
Preheat oven to 350º F. Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with baking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper, allowing the excess to extend over the sides of the pan.
In the bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk together the brown sugar, melted butter and 1/2 cup (128 grams) of the melted peanut butter. (Melt the peanut butter in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave at 10 second intervals.) Add the baking powder and salt until just combined. Add eggs, one at a a time, whisking well between each addition. Whisk in vanilla. Stir in flour with a rubber spatula until just combined.
In SEPARATE heatproof bowls, microwave the remaining 1/2 cup of peanut butter and then the grape jelly. Microwave each of them at 10 second intervals until warm - you do not want them liquid- although the recipe still works if they are! Drop the warmed peanut butter and jelly in alternating tablespoonfuls across the top surface of the batter. Using the tip of a butter knife, swirl the peanut butter and jelly together to create a marbled look. It’s fine to swirl through the top of the batter.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the contents of the pan has browned around the edges. Let cool completely (if you can wait) in the pan on a wire rack. Using the excess parchment as handles, lift from panned cut into squares.