The other day my friend Palmaposted about the Peanut Butter and Jelly bars she made awhile ago on her blog. I knew as soon as I read about them that they would be perfect for Paolo . . . he being a peanut butter and jam freak. I popped over to the Bon Appetit site and printed off the recipe.
I like to think that I make a fine sandwich . . . roast beef, smoked provolone, lettuce, tomato, tapanade, a wee bit of homemade pesto mayo . . . that sort of thing. However, if I ask him what kind of sandwich he wants the answer generally is Peanut Butter and Jam! I'm shocked he doesn't demand it in a slice of Wonderbread.
Rarely to I give Paolo a peanut butter and jam sandwich for his lunch - I feel like I've taken a very easy road when I do. I gave in when he spied these bars on Palma's blog and demanded . . . . begged . . . pouted until finally I relented.
Yes, I am evil, but not to the core.
I, on the other hand, don't much care for peanut butter at all. Paul will eat it by the spoon out of the jar. I am OK if I eat it once every few months. I have to admit that these were very good. They are rich but taste like a thick peanut butter cookie - the jam serves to cut the richness of the peanut butter bar.
If you have a peanut butter fiend in your house they will be thrilled with these bars.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup grape jelly or other jelly or jam
2/3 cup coarsely chopped salted dry-roasted peanuts
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan with heavy-duty foil, leaving 2-inch overhang around edges and pressing firmly into corners and up sides of pan. Coat foil with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat peanut butter, sugar, and butter in large bowl until smooth. Add egg and vanilla; beat on low speed until smooth. Add flour mixture; beat on low speed just to blend. Transfer half of dough to prepared pan (about scant 1 1/2 cups). Place remaining dough in freezer for 10 minutes. Using fingertips, press dough evenly onto bottom of pan. Spread jelly over in even layer. Remove dough from freezer; using fingertips, break into grape-size pieces and scatter over jelly layer. Sprinkle chopped nuts over.
Bake bars until top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool bars completely in pan on rack.
Using foil overhang as aid, lift bars from pan. Gently peel foil from edges. Cut into 16 squares. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature