These peanut butter and jelly bars will take you back to your childhood when PB&J was an everyday staple. Not in my house though, our staple was kim-chi and rice sandwiches...haha...I kid - only kim chi and rice - no bread involved. Since PB&J reminds me so much of little kids, I wanted to give these to my niece and nephew - until genius here realized her nephew's allergic to peanuts. Poor little guy - oh well, more for auntie :) I always feel badly for people who have food allergies or restrictions to their diet. I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't eat what I wanted all day, every day. The world would be such a gloomier place. Anyway, these bars were delicious! They had the perfect amount of peanut butter to jelly and were soft, crunchy and ooey and gooey and nummy and yummy! These are quite addicting and would make a great snack for children and adults of all ages. Just make sure there's a tall glass of milk nearby. Also as an added bonus, since peanut butter is classified as a "good fat" this means they must be good for you, right? ^_^
BTW - these are delicious straight out of the fridge. They get a bit fudgey and taste heavenly.
Other bars, cookies and brownie bites you may enjoy:
Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, and Oatmeal
Peanut Butter, Chocolate, Cheesecake Swirl Brownies
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
Adapted by Barefoot Contessa at Home, by Ina Garten
Makes 9 large bars or 16 small bars
2 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature + 1/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt*
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 cup (9 ounces) creamy peanut butter (recommended: Skippy)
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cups (9 ounces) raspberry jam or other jam**
1/3 cups salted peanuts, coarsely chopped***
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 8x8-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, yogurt 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. (Dough will become one cohesive ball of dough. Leave any remaining flour that has not been mixed in with the dough ball in the bowl (you won't miss it) - This will not be a wet dough but will be spreadable and yummy)
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. Sprinkle 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 35-40 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely for about 2 hours and cut into squares. I would also refrigerate any leftovers since there is yogurt in them.
*Original recipe calls for one stick of butter. To make mine healthier I subbed in butter and yogurt. I've also substituted unsweetened apple sauce for the yogurt.
**I would add more jelly next time since I like a higher jam to PB ratio - probably a total of one cup.
***I also used roasted salted almonds instead of peanuts for the topping