There are some things you just never grow out of:  getting excited at the sound of an ice cream truck, relishing in a “snow day” from work, enjoying a good old peanut butter and jelly sandwich and wondering how it can taste this good.  

Do you ever wish you could go back to the carefree days of being a kid again?  It’s so funny how we took time for granted and felt like the summers would never end when were kids.  Now it seems like you blink and Labor Day is coming up around the corner.  I think that these Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars are a great way to reminisce about your childhood and simply enjoy some classic comfort food.

I have been on a peanut butter kick lately and I have had this recipe for Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars tucked away for years and thought that I would finally give these layered bars a try.  I think these bars would make a great picnic treat, addition to a lunchbox or just a snack when you need to be comforted and reminded of the ease of being a kid.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

by Mercedes Porter

Keywords: bake dessert peanut butter bar

Ingredients (16 bars)

  • 3/4 cup peanuts
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup jam (flavor, your choice)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line an 8-inch square or round baking dish with parchment paper so that the paper extends over the edges of the pan.

In a food processor, pulse peanuts to chop.  Pour peanuts into another small bowl and set them aside.

In the same food processor bowl, combine flours, brown sugar, salt and butter and pulse until a coarse meal forms.

Add peanut butter and vanilla and again, pulse to combine.

Remove 2/3 cup of the peanut butter dough from the food processor,  add to bowl with chopped peanuts and mix together with your hands.

Pour remaining peanut butter dough from the food processor into prepared pan and press down gently and evenly.

Spread jam over dough evenly using a large spoon.

Top jam with chopped peanut mixture and press down gently.

Bake about 40 minutes or until top is lightly browned and jam is bubbling.

Cool completely in the pan.

Lift bars out of the pan using the overlaying edges of the parchment paper.  Cut and serve.

Recipe adapted from Everyday with Rachel Ray

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 combine flours, brown sugar, butter and salt in a food processor and pules until coarse crumbs form

add peanut butter and vanilla and again, pulse to combine

remove 2/3 cup of dough and add to bowl of chopped peanuts and set aside

pour dough into prepared pan and press down gently

spread jam over dough

top with chopped peanut mixture and press down evenly

bake and cool completely before cutting and serving

you might need a glass of milk with these bars 🙂


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11 Comments ( Reply )

  1. Cassie
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 11:51 am

    I’m sort of always on a PB kick and I would definitely eat waaaay too many of these!!


  2. Jessica@AKitchenAddiction
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

    Peanut butter is always a good thing at my house! These would disappear in no time!


  3. emily (a nutritionist eats)
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

    What a great lunch box treat! I love your milk jug too! 🙂


  4. Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

    PB&J is still one of my favorites, these bars looks fantastic!


  5. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 8:47 pm

    Those look buttery, crumbly, sweet and perfectly salty…I can always appreciate a darn good PBJ!


    • Mercedes
      Jul 31, 2012 @ 8:23 am

      Thanks Hayley, you have it exactly right!


  6. Deborah
    Aug 01, 2012 @ 10:57 pm

    Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches are seriously one of my favorite things ever. Put them into a dessert bar and I know I’ll be in love!


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