I promise not to break into song on this one. Even though I want to just scream out Peanut Butter Jelly Time at the top of my lungs. How one song could be both so stupid and so catchy…
Anyway, this is take two in Ina Garten is a goddess series (previously, it was her Fruit Tart). What could be better than a dessert like your childhood favorite sandwich? They are delightfully nostalgic, yet fit for adults. Peanut butter crust, jelly in the middle, more peanut butter and topped with a sprinkling of more peanutty goodness. Be warned though – these little guys are sweeter than sweet. I undercooked them a bit – I can’t remember why I did that, but be careful doing that with these bars – when really undercooked, they barely hold together.
Shoot. These are just good. My mouth is watering thinking about them. So quit listening to me and just go make your own? I’m probably going to go whip up another batch anyway.
Peanut Butter Jelly Bars
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups (18 ounces) creamy peanut butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (18 ounces) raspberry jam or other jam (I used blackberry)
2/3 cups salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch cake pan. Line it with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.
3. 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.
4. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix until all ingredients are combined.
5. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
6. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix just until combined.
7. 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.
8. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown.
9. Cool and cut into squares.
Ms. Pantry Raid