Recipe 23: Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

PB&J is obviously the best flavor of sandwich this side of the galaxy, so I was excited to see a “cookie” form of it.
I thought this would be an easy one because there weren’t many ingredients. I was kind of right.


I had to go shopping because who keeps at least 2 1/2 cups of peanut butter in their house? 

I buy Adams peanut butter which normally comes with the oil separated. It is really difficult to stir without spilling (No, the “no stir” variety didn’t come in ogre size).

I decided to dump it all into a bowl to stir. I’m so smart.


Well, this took probably 10 minutes to scoop out, stir, measure out, and return the rest (1/2 cup) into the jar. Okay, I’m ready to go now.

Step 1: “Roughly chop” peanuts.

This translated to “miss a lot of peanuts altogether and chop a few into tiny pieces.”

Step 2: Gather all ingredients: flour, butter, peanut butter, jam, peanuts, eggs, vanilla, salt, baking powder, sugar.

Step 3: Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Step 4: Add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated.

I’m starting to memorize these steps.

Step 5: Add peanut butter.

This was interesting. And almost gross.


Step 6: Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder.

I’ve been skipping this photo lately since it’s always the same, but this was the most normal thing I did all-recipe, so I included it.

Step 7: Add flour mixture. Then add vanilla.


The mixer didn’t like this step. The bowl (as you can see) got very full and it tried to kick the dough out a couple times.

Step 8: Butter and parchment-line a baking pan. Butter again and flour.

Tedious, but so nice when it is time to lift out.

Step 9: Transfer 2/3 of the dough to the baking pan and spread with an offset spatula.

Okay, 2/3? That is not a measurement. You expect me to eyeball this and get it right? I cut it with the wooden spoon and guessed. Fingers crossed.

On the app, this recipe included a video. Her dough looked a lot more moist and actually spread. Mine was pretty dry and I had to press/pat it into the pan. Great.

Step 10: Spread jam on top.

She said to make sure I bought “jam” and not “jelly” so it wouldn’t get too thin. I did the best I could. It wasn’t Farmer’s Market day, so I got something in a jar at the store.

Step 11: Crumble remaining third of peanut butter mixture on top of jam.

I think that’s “crumbled”

Step 12: Sprinkle evenly with peanuts.

If you’re allergic to peanuts, you should have already stopped reading. I take no responsibility for your throat closing up at or before this step.

Step 13: Bake for 45-60 minutes until golden.

Here you go again, Martha, giving me a huge range of time. 15 minutes is a lot! I went with 45 and it looked done.

Step 14: Cool, then refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

It was still warm after an hour, so I left it in for another hour.

Step 15: Lift out of pan.

NICE.

Step 16: Cut into about 36 bars.

I don’t know what my problem is, but I couldn’t figure out how to evenly cut it into 36 bars. I made a couple different sizes. Smaller is better. These things are thick.

Link to original recipe

Yields: 36
I got: 30-something

Start time: 7:35
End time: 12:00 (4 hours, 25 mins)
Martha’s estimated time: 3 hours

What did I learn?

  • Peanut butter isn’t as easy to work with as I thought.
  • My “jam” still wasn’t as thick as it should have been. Should really buy fresh jam.

What do I need to learn?

  • Math. I should have been able to calculate 9×4 or whatever to get 36 bars.
  • Why was my dough so much drier than Martha’s?
  • Were the peanuts supposed to bake into the top crust (probably)? They tumble off when you pick it up.
  • How much of a difference does it make when creaming butter/sugar until it “looks” fluffy or the 2-3 minutes she tells me to do? It never takes that long.

Who knew this much peanut butter and jelly could ever be used all at once?

9 responses to “Recipe 23: Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

  1. You should get a slap chop! They’re awesome for nut chopping. I’ve also used mine to chop oreos for recipes.

  2. Those look delicious. Could you deliver one to me at SELCO?

  3. I came here to say “Slap Chop” as well. Otherwise…save one for me! They look great.

  4. Lovely! I’ve never actually had peanut butter with jam, but I really must try it!

  5. ThatOneGuy

    Good call choosing the classic Adams peanut butter (my fav) for this recipe…sorry Skippy. Now I’m off to try one now!

  6. countvonluckner

    These were the best Nate! Thank you for sharing. I do keep 2 1/2 cups of peanut butter at home. We devour it. Sundance has excellent bulk peanut butter should you not want to deal with the separation found in Adams PB.

    And no Cheryl, the bars are for PenFed employees. 🙂

  7. countvonluckner

    These were the best Nate! Thank you for sharing. I do keep 2 1/2 cups of peanut butter at home. We devour it. Sundance has excellent bulk peanut butter should you not want to deal with the separation found in Adams PB.

    And no Cheryl, the bars are for PenFed employees. 🙂

  8. Pingback: Recipe 75: Almond Fruit Bars | Nate Makes Cookies

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: