Some things just fit together. Ice cream and a waffle cone. Sonny and Cher. Ricky and Lucy. Stone Cold Steve Austin and his beer. Peanut Butter and Jelly. I’ll admit, when I was younger, I never ate peanut butter and jelly. I’d just sit there eating a lonely peanut butter sandwich. The peanut butter screamed for something to accompany it, but I ignored its calls. I was young and naïve, so pardon me. I didn’t know how good a greatly made fruit jam or jelly would compliment the nuttiness of the peanut butter. Tastes evolve and mine definitely did a 180°F turn on this one. So in the spirit of PB&J, I present to you these PB&J bars. When a sandwich isn’t going to do it for you, I suggest you dive into one of these babies. Rich, sweet and of course, full of peanut butter goodness! The tartness from the strawberry jam really provides a great contrast to the peanut butter. This recipe is easy, as usual and so worth it.
Please note: In my video, I halved the recipe, because I don’t want to be stuffing my face with 18 bars. This resulted in a thinner texture. It was more of a cookie than a bar. Still good, but different texture. To get a nice, thick bar texture, go ahead and make the normal recipe listed below, but the video will help you see the procedure to use.
Start by pre-heating your oven to 350°F. Prep you baking dish by lining it with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Grease lightly with cooking spray. Make sure you leave enough hanging out of the sides. This will make the bars easier to lift out.
Sift together, in a medium bowl, flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk until just blended.
In a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy. This should take about two minutes or so.
Add in the egg and beat that well. Add in the peanut butter and mix for two more minutes.
Turn off the machine and scrape the sides of the bowl. Add in the flour, all at once. Then on low speed, beat until just combined. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Spread batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350°F for about 25-30 minutes.
Take it out of oven and spread with the jam and peanuts (if you’re using them). Place them back in the oven to bake for five more minutes.
Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Lift them out using the overhanging foil. Top with salted peanuts or drizzle with some melted peanut butter chips.
Once completely cool, cut into squares.