Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

pb&j barsIt was my day to bring snack for Lego League, so I made Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars from the latest edition of The Baking Sheet, a King Arthur Flour publication. (I tried to find a link to it, but I think this is the final edition before they switch to some other format, so I can’t find any useful links online. Oh well.)

The recipe looked tasty and easy and sure to please ten hungry kids. Turns out it’s fantastic! So tasty that I can’t stop nibbling. Fortunately there were a few left over for us to enjoy at home. :) If you want an easy, tasty treat, give this a shot!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
(directly from King Arthur Flour, The Baking Sheet, Fall/Holiday 2014)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups cream peanut butter
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Filling & Topping:
1 1/2 cups high-quality jam (I used a mix of store-bought blackberry jam and homemade triple berry jam. The color contrast between the bars and jelly part was great.)
1/2 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9″x13″ pan, or line with parchment.

In a stand mixer cream the butter and brown sugar until well blended (about 2 minutes). With the mixer on low add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter; mix until well combined. Scrape the bowl a few times during mixing.

In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients with the mixer at low speed to the peanut butter mixture until just combined.

Spread half the dough into the prepared pan (an off set spatula or bowl scraper works well here). Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Drop small globs of the remaining dough over the jam. Sprinkle with the peanuts. Bake for 35 to 38 minutes until golden brown and set. Remove from the oven, cool, and cut into 1″ x 2″ bars.

Yield: 30 bars.

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