Tasty Tuesday: PBJ Bars

I was home for just over two days, and I’m off again today on my next vacation, but I couldn’t let two weeks go by without a post. So, today, I’m sharing my favorite vacation treat – Peanut Butter and Jelly bars! I found this recipe years ago here, and they’re a hit every time I take them on vacation or to a party.

PBJ ingredients

I gathered all my ingredients (I omit the peanuts that are called for in the original recipe. I’m a creamy peanut butter girl all the way! :)) and preheated the oven to 350 degrees.

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

Next I creamed together the butter and sugar on medium speed for about two minutes until it looked like this:

PBJ cream

Then it was time to add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix on low speed until everything was combined and looked like this:

PBJ mixed

Now it was time to sift together my dry ingredients (flour, salt, and baking soda). I’ve been known to skip this step in the past and just add the dry ingredients, but sifting does actually make a difference in the final consistency of your dough, so don’t skip it!

PBJ sifting

I slowly added the dry ingredients to my peanut butter mixture until everything was fully combined and looked like this:

PBJ dough

In a greased 9×13 pan, I pressed about 2/3 of the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. (Side note, how cool is my pan? It belonged to my grandmother so it’s seen its fair share of cakes and bars over the years and is still in awesome shape)

PBJ bottom crust

Then, I added a full jar (18 ounces) of raspberry jam and spread it evenly over the bottom layer. Next I crumbled the remaining dough on top covering the entire pan as evenly as possible, and it was ready for the oven.

PBJ into oven

I set my timer for 45 minutes and let the oven do its magic!

PBJ bake time

I tested the bars at 45 minutes with a toothpick and they were done and looked golden brown on top.

PBJ done

I let the pan cool, and resisted the urge to dig in so I could take a full pan on vacation last week!

Now I’m off to New Jersey for my family reunion and I’ll be back next week talking about ideas to celebrate the Opening Ceremonies for the 2016 Olympics. Can’t wait!!

Party on!



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