Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

I remember taking a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch when I was in elementary school. The gooey combination was a treat. I remember packing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when we were taking a long trip...getting up at dark thirty and driving for hours and hours...they sustained us through the wee small hours of the morning. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches travel well. They have kept me going on long plane rides. (And don't forget the carrots...there is something about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich eaten with baby carrots!)

There are also the yummy peanut butter squares that they used to make in the school cafeteria. I would trade anything for an extra peanut butter square...they had honey in them..yum! Of course, mom's peanut butter cookies are hard to beat and reign supreme at our house. I have turned to peanut butter blossoms...they have a chocolate kiss on top. Wouldn't want to compete with mom!

While I always associated peanut butter with George Washington Carver, it was actually first known in South America around 950 BC. As a crop they made their way from South America to Africa and then to Spain who traded the product to the American colonies. The first commercial peanut crop was grown in Virginia around 1840. Carver actually came up with 300 uses for the peanut and through his work with peanut agriculture science, made peanuts a significant crop in the South in the early 1900s.

The second recipe I made in the Barefoot Blogger challenge was Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars from Ina Garten's cookbook, Barefoot Contessa at Home. They are not the easiest bar to eat. They are definitely peanut buttery and the jelly is gooey making eating a challenge. It may be that there was too much jelly....maybe it should have been jam....jelly was what I found in the pantry so that is what I used. They tasted like a peanut butter cookie with jam spread on them.

The reviews that I read were all positive so I am thinking it was just me....I do enjoy peanut butter, they were just difficult to eat. Maybe I couldn't wait and they were still a bit warm....that is a fact, I couldn't wait.

Peanut Butter and 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 (recommended: Skippy)
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
2/3 cups salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

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.

It was the cool and cut into squares part that I failed at miserably!

Barefoot Bloggers are a group of cooks and bakers who enjoy Ina Garten and her recipes. As a group, Ina Garten's (The Barefoot Contessa) recipes are tested and retested. On the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month the Barefoot Bloggers post about their experiences preparing the recipes selected.


  1. This was the Bonus I couldn't do.... Peanut butter and jam is not a popular combination here, and I wasn't sure I would have any takers. Yours does look lovely and crumbly - if only it was possible to make just one!

  2. They look yummy! I am too into chocolate to make these now but next summer maybe for the grandchildren.


  3. That must be a hit with the small ones too..

  4. These bars look absolutely divine, Kate. I'm a big PB&J fan so will love this. Several of my favorite recipes are difficult to get out of the pan. I have no problem using a fork to gobble them up.

  5. I love peanut butter and jelly. I didn't gave time to make them for the challenge but hopefully i'll make them in the not too distant future

  6. i can’t help it—every time i see the words “peanut butter” and “jelly” in proximity to each other, i automatically start singing “it’s peanut butter-jelly time!” in my head. every time. :)


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