June 28, 2014

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

I have been very busy since my last post! I moved out of my sophomore year dorm room, went to Costa Rica for a month, went to Florida for a week, and now I am home for the summer!

When my mom told me that she was volunteering at a flapjack fundraiser for her friends going on a mission trip to Thailand, I volunteered to make a dessert for the bake sale at the event.  I have never worked as a waitress, but I also volunteered to help serve pancakes for the fundraiser, and it was a blast! I would consider the morning a success because I didn't drop anything :)

For the bake sale, I made peanut butter and jelly dessert bars. They tasted just like a PB&J sandwich in a crumbly, gooey, dessert bar. The peanut butter layer is full of peanut butter and powdered sugar, and I could eat it plain by the spoonful. These were perfect for the bake sale, and any PB&J fan will be sure to love them!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
1 egg

For the Peanut Butter Filling:
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the Jelly Filling:
2 cups of jelly or preserves (I used strawberry preserves)

For the Crumb Topping:
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup rolled oats
6 tbsp. cold butter, cut into cubes

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x13 in. light-colored pan with baking spray.

Make the crust: Combine the flour, sugar, and salt, and put in food processor with butter. Process until crumbs form. Add the egg and process until combined. Take dough out of food processor. Use hands to finish incorporating flour and ingredients so that dough is smooth and mixed well. Press dough into greased pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Put foil over the dough and place pie weights (or beans or another pan) on top of foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove pie weights and foil and bake for 10 more minutes. It is important to keep an eye on the crust because if left in the oven too long, it will start to crack! Mine had a few cracks, but it still turned out okay! Allow crust to cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Make the Peanut Butter Filling: Beat the butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Spread the peanut butter filling over the cooled crust. Put the pan in the refrigerator while you make the crumb topping.

Make the crumb topping: Use a fork to mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and brown sugar together. Add butter and incorporate until even crumbs form (you can use your hands, a hand mixer, a mixer with a paddle attachment, or two knives to help with this step).

Spread the jelly or preserves on top of the peanut butter filling layer. Sprinkle the crumb topping on top. Use your hands to press the crumb topping down gently before baking for 20 minutes.

Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting.

Adapted from the Brown Eyed Baker



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