Peanut Butter & Jelly bars are one of my favorite alternatives to plain peanut butter cookies and a delicious treat to send with your kids lunches or in my case to your husband’s office! They’re cakey while being fudgy because they have 2 full cups of peanut butter. The strawberry jelly is a contrast to the richness of the bar and the top is topped with chopped peanuts. Pour yourself a giant glass of milk, these bars are going to make your day! I mean, c’mon, look at this amazingness…
If my introduction wasn’t enough of a motivating factor in getting you to make these pb&j bars, then the fact that they are an Ina Garten recipe should push you off the fence and into the kitchen immediately. I’ve been a long time fan of Ina’s recipes and on special occasions when I need something beautiful, down to earth, easy and indulgent I reach for her recipes. With two sticks of butter and two cups of peanut butter these bars are definitely a “sometime” treat (Cookie Monster reference anyone?) but they are so incredibly rich that you won’t need a big piece to feel completely satisfied. I cut these into 32 pieces and still felt like it was the perfect amount with my morning cup of coffee. The plate from my husband’s office came home empty too, so I guess that is another 30 or so thumbs up too! Let’s not waste another moment! Onto the baking!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 by 13 by 2-inch cake pan with baking spray.
Using your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix until all ingredients are combined. Tons and tons of peanut butter! In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the stand mixer just until everything is just combined. Spread 2/3 of the dough into the pan evenly, I used a spatula to do this.
Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Tear off bits of dough and got it over the jam evenly.
Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars
- Yield: 20 servings
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Course: Dessert
- Cuisine: American
- 2 sticks unsalted butter , at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 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) strawberry jam or jelly
- 2/3 cups peanuts , coarsely chopped (I used honey roasted)
Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 by 13 by 2-inch cake pan with baking spray.
Using your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes.
Add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix until all ingredients are combined.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the stand mixer just until everything is just combined.
Spread 2/3 of the dough into the pan evenly, I used a spatula to do this.
Spread the jam evenly over the dough.
Tear off bits of dough and got it over the jam evenly.
Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown.
Cool completely before cutting into squares.
Adapted from one of my favorite TV cooking show hosts, Ina Garten.
Yield: 20 servings, Amount per serving: calories
All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert, Inc.
These bars are VERY rich, if you want something more cakey, try reducing the peanut butter to one cup. Want to try different variations? Replace the jelly with Nutella (I know, already rich and I am making them even more rich…but hey sometimes I just go for it!) or change up the flavors of jelly. I topped mine with honey roasted peanuts, you can add other toppings as well. Want even MORE peanut butter? Top with peanut butter chips.