Here comes a fun dessert! Yet another recipe from Barefoot Contessa At Home. John just loves peanut butter, so I thought if I could make a dessert that is based on that he would go crazy. Not to mention, who doesn't love a dessert based on your favorite lunch sandwich growing up? (Hopefully not you if you're reading this!)
Since this is a rich dessert, I decided to try and lighten it up a bit. I substituted part splenda for sugar and used white whole-wheat flour instead of white all-purpose flour. Since I've never made them any other way, I thought they were great!
I wasn't the only one, either! I didn't want these sitting around my house calling my name all week, so I brought them to work. Everyone I talked to absolutely loved them! I was told they are the perfect balance of sweet and salty - just enough of each. I also gave them to my middle school helpers (they are such sweet kids and soooo helpful!) and they were so excited and ate them right up. I bet those of you with younger kiddos would go pretty crazy over these. :)
On a side note, the pictures of the actual bars aren't that great because I took them on my phone in the morning when it was dark outside. I was in my classroom before school when I realized I hadn't taken any pictures, and the lighting was not great. Oh well!
Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars
Recipe by Barefoot Contessa At Home
Yields about 16 bars
*2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
*1 1/2 cups sugar (I substituted half splenda)
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
*2 cups creamy peanut butter (18 oz - Mine was only 16 oz, whoops!)
*3 cups white whole-wheat flour (or white all-purpose flour)
*1 tsp baking powder
*1 1/2 tsp salt
*1 1/2 cups raspberry jam or other jam (18 oz)
*2/3 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
*Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13x2-inch baking pan.
*Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes.
*Add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix until well combined, on low speed.
*In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the mixture slowly to the peanut butter mixture, on low speed. Mix until just combined.
*Spread two thirds of the dough in the prepared pan, using a knife to spread it evenly.
*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. The dough will spread when it bakes.
*Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and cut into small squares.
Note: You need to let the cool completely before you cut them or take them out of the pan. I became impatient and tried too early, and the result was a crumbly mess. I put a lid on my pan and left them over night. By morning they were perfect.
|Sugar and butter|
|Plus peanut butter, vanilla, egg|
|Now with the flour mixture...note its a bit crumbly.|
|Now add the jam|
|Add top layer|
|These are seriously so fun and delicious!|
|View of the pan missing a bar or two.|