Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

The other night, Big Daddy had a work party and we needed to take a dessert. I thought I would have time to drop by the store, but as the world turns with little peeps, I didn't make it.

So, I started flipping through some cookbooks to see what I could make with ingredients I already had on hand.   And, I found Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars from the Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook. Holy cow these are so good!

First, let me introduce you to one of my kitchen heroes - Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa

I have most of her cookbooks and everything I've made from her has been awesome ... Okay, this next part might sound weird and nerdy - so forgive me. Her oven is in sync with mine, so I never have to tweak the recipes. Everything comes out perfectly!

These PB & J bars were quick and easy and really rich. (Thanks to the two sticks of butter and two cups of peanut butter ... yummy!) I wasn't sure how people would like them, but they were a big hit at the party. (BTW, I used grape jelly because it's what I had on hand and it worked well.  Also, I didn't line the pan with parchment paper and these baked just fine.)

Here's the recipe:

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, plus more for greasing the pan

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

2 cups creamy peanut butter, such as Skippy (18 ounces)

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan

1 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 1/2 cups raspberry jam or other jam (18 ounces)

2/3 cups salted peanuts


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch cake pan. Line it with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix until all ingredients are combined.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix just until combined.

Spread 2/3 of the dough into the prepared cake pan and spread over the bottom with a knife or offset spatula. Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam. Don't worry if all the jam isn't covered; it will spread in the oven. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and cut into squares.

Here's the link to the recipe for more info!

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