Peanut Butter & Jam Bars

10/24/12

Peanut Butter & Jam Bars |une gamine dans la cuisine

A few weeks or months ago (time feels so surreal this year) Kristy, of The Wicked Noodle, introduced  me to Shop Sweet Lulu. With eyes as wide as saucers and with legs curled up on the chair (my "nesting" pose), I made my way through every square inch and pixel of Lulu's sweet shop.

Straws, cupcake wrappers, cupcake toppers, milk bottles, tableware...they have everything a baker-blogger could ask for, including twine!

I'm not sure what it is about twine, but I love tying it around Everything lately. I didn't realize the intensity of that love until I edited the photos for these PB & J bars, and last Saturday's cookies. Somehow twine made it's way into just about every picture.

I even tied a long piece of twine around the tail of a toy mouse and pulled it from room to room. Of course my cats remained blasé during my run around the house, which only made me start giggling, which led to more deadpan stares from the cats, which eventually brought me to a state of rolling around on my back in a fit of laughter.

Twine. Who knew it could be so amusing?

Peanut Butter & Jam Bars |une gamine dans la cuisine

It's a good thing that laughter burns calories because I had more than my share of these bars.

Usually I'll have one or two small servings of something I make and give the rest away to fellow sweet teeth. But I couldn't resist stashing away a few extra bar slices for midnight snacking.

If you love PB and J sandwiches, I think you'll be quite taken by this recipe. It's basically a very rich peanut butter cookie, squared, and stuffed with your favorite jam. I was worried that the base would dry out and turn crumbly from the long baking time, but it was perfect! Soft and chewy and agonizingly irresistible.

These bars need to be savored and enjoyed slowly with a glass of milk. I recommend saving a piece (or two) for private enjoyment. :D

Peanut Butter & Jam Bars |une gamine dans la cuisine


Peanut Butter & Jam Bars
makes about 20-25 bars

ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking Powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (that's 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup tightly packed, light brown sugar (dark will work too)
2 room temperature eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
18 ounces (about 2 cups) creamy peanut butter {Note: Please do not use low fat}
2 cups of your favourite jam {Note: I used jalapeño & cherry "butter."}
1/2 cups chopped walnuts (or pecans, or peanuts)

method
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with foil (leave a slight overhang around the edges). Butter the foil and flour the entire pan. Gently tap out any excess flour.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and both sugar until light and almost fluffy (about 3-5 minutes on med-high speed). Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat for one more minute. Add the peanut butter and beat for about 2-3 minutes until well combined.

On low speed, slowly start to add the flour mixture. Once all of the flour has been added, beat for about 30 more seconds or until all the streaks of white have disappeared. Scrape about 2/3 of the dough into prepared pan. Using lightly floured hands, press the dough into an even layer on the bottom of the pan. {Note: Floured hands seemed to work best for me, but if the batter is soft enough, use a knife or offset spatula to spread it around the pan.}

Loosen up the jam by giving it a vigorous stir with a spoon. Spread the jam over the dough, leaving a very slight bit of bare dough around the edges. Drop clumps and gobs of the remaining dough over the jam layer. (Don't worry if some of the jam remains exposed.) Sprinkle evenly with the nuts.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the dough turns golden brown. If the edges look like their browning too fast, cover them with the foil overhang.

Remove the pan from the oven and place it onto a cooling rack. Cool completely. Once cool, use the foil overhang to lift the bars out of the pan. Slice and serve!

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten 

38 comments:

Grandbabycakes said...

I am a huge fan of Shop Sweet Lulu as well! They seriously have the cutest stuff to man. And I am the biggest fan of Ina! So excited that you love her too. Can't wait to try this recipe out!

Averie @ Averie Cooks said...

This is so ironic I was just sending a link to my pb & j bars to a reader right before I saw this post..and now, I HAVE TO make something with PB&J! They look so good, Valerie! I love the chunky crumbles on top, and of course, the PB! Pinned!

Sara said...

These bars look fantastic! Love that cherry-jalapeno butter-sounds so interesting!

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

These bars look incredible, Valerie! Love the jam you used too and I can't get enough of kitchen twine either! :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Sinful! Those bars are gorgeous. Wow, I'd love to taste that jalapeño cherry butter (what a terrific combo)...

Cheers,

Rosa

Patty said...

Gorgeous bar cookies-gotta love the twine-it's so tidy!
I will go check out Lulu's Sweet Shop because I kinda have a thing for sweets myself!!!

Beth said...

I've made this recipe too, but as always, your photos are just that much cuter than mine. Yes, the twine definitely makes them adorable! This is a terrific recipe.

Natalija said...

As always, beautifully lit photos! I've never used twine, but you make it tempting. The bars look so "Ab Fab"!

La Table De Nana said...

I made a similar bar yrs ago..You have just rekindled my love of them♥

Lauren at Keep It Sweet said...

These look like perfection! And that twine adds the perfect touch:-) I can't look at that site because I just want to buy everything.

Lisa {Authentic Suburban Gourmet } said...

I love a GREAT bar cookie and that is exactly what yours is! Lovely photos!!!!

Carol | a cup of mascarpone said...

Can't wait to get in my nesting position and check out that shop too! :) Val, the bars look scrumptious, and the photography is wonderful!!!

Jade said...

These look so delicious. I am desperately trying to get hold of some American measuring cups so that I can try out all of these tasty receipes!!

Kristy @ the wicked noodle said...

What a treat to be reading one of my favorite bloggers posts and find my own name up there! #yay

I don't recall alerting you to Lulu's greatness but I'm so glad I did! It's addicting, isn't it? Not that you needed a thing to make your bars look any prettier!

xoxoxo

thefoodery said...

I love PB&J, it's my breakfast most of the week. These bars look DELICIOUS, can't wait to try them out! :)

Anna @ Hidden Ponies said...

I don't generally like jam in baked goods but this sounds like a deadly combo, and I'm sure my family would love them! I'm always amazed when people have the restraint to eat a couple pieces of something and give the rest away...I am so not that person :)

The Food Hound said...

I have seen BC make these bars on her show and they looked amazing!! Peanut butter + shortbread + jam... is there anything better in life? Jalapeno and cherry butter sounds SO FUN!

Lemons and Anchovies said...

Some treats just make you want to reach into the screen and grab them--this is one of them. Maybe it's because I've been peanut-butter deprived lately? Nah, they're just awesome no matter how you look at it.

I love twine, too. :)

Suzanne Perazzini said...

What a great childhood favourite - peanut butter and jelly. Keep using the twine. It works for me.

www.you-made-that.com said...

PB bars would be devoured here since my husband loves PB and the kids love pb cookies. These little bars could be a dangerous to keep around me too. Thanks for introducing us to the baker's store I will check it out :)

Russell van Kraayenburg said...

Lovely shots! And I can't even begin to talk about how delicious these bars look like!

Savory Simple said...

Oh my goodness. I took one look at that site, bookmarked it and shut my browser ASAP. I think I would lose an entire paycheck there! I love PB & J so these sound AMAZING.

Javelin Warrior said...

I'm a big fan of peanut butter and jelly (jam) sandwiches myself (although I never seem to eat them anymore) - and these look like the perfect capture of that classic pairing. They look so soft and rich! I'm featuring this post as part of Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution) and thanks for making me drool!

Barbara said...

I've made these....they are fabulous! Love the twine effect!

Jenn Kendall said...

i made the mistake of clicking on the link to that store - EVERYTHING IS THE CUTEST! and now i want it all lol. your pb and j bars look gorgeous, such a clever way to capture the classic combination!

Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts said...

Love these bars, they look amazing! Such a classic flavor in a great bar. I need to get some twine. I love it in everyones pictures, but I don't have any :( But if I did, I think I would have the same obsession as you!

Maria said...

I wish I had these for an afternoon snack!

Danielle said...

These would not last long in my house! PB&J is a classic combo and these look so yummy! I also love the twine effect. I totally get it : )

Danielle xo

Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings said...

First of all, those are perfectly cut bars! Second of all, I heart Shop Sweet Lulu!!!!! Her store is amazing! I wish I could buy everything! For my eldest daughter's birthday party in January, she is already picking stuff out from the shop! Once again, your sweet creation is outstanding! Beautifully photographed as usual!

Angie's Recipes said...

These peanut butter bars look divine! Love jalapeno cherry jam!!

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

These bars look awesome Valerie! Bookmarked to try.


Shops like those make me wish I didn't live in India where finding things like this is quite difficult. Soon hopefully, things will improve.

The pictures look great!

Magic of Spice said...

If I did that with twine I would have one cat playing like crazy and one thinking I was nuts :)

These do look so amazing, I don't think I could eat just one!

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

What a cool combination..Ive actually never seen peanut butter and jam in a bar or slice recipe before even though it's such a classic combo!

Jean said...

At one of the aid stations during my race yesterday, they were making small peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the runners. They were good and provided a nice calorie/sugar boost, but I rather would have had these bars! :) They look and sound amazing.

xjustanotherteenblogger said...

I've been looking for a new recipe to try out and I think I just found it! :) I cannot wait to try this! :)

Angry Asian said...

breakfast or midnight snacking! genius. for the last few years i've been on a peanut butter + honey kick, i haven't had a pb&jam sandwich in forever. these might break my streak...

Anonymous said...

I used strawberry jam to make these and they turned out just wonderfully. Next time I might pre-bake the bottom crust a bit because mine was a tad raw, but the bars were definitely a success!

Living, Learning, Eating said...

I reviewed this recipe on my blog (with photos!) here:

http://living-learning-eating.blogspot.com/2014/03/recipe-review-peanut-butter-jam-bars.html

It turned out so well, thanks for a keeper!

XOXO,
Sabrina @ Living, Learning, Eating

 

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