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Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Yield: 24 bars

Description Edit

Not for the faint of heart, these devilishly rich layered bars feature a peanut butter shortbread coupled with the jam of your choice, topped with even more shortbread AND chopped peanuts! You need to be a real lover of peanut butter with these - also, do not let the title of the recipe confuse you. Follow the recipe and use JAM, not jelly.

Ingredients Edit

Directions Edit

  1. In a KitchenAid mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter and sugar until light yellow, about 2 minutes.
  2. Reduce the speed on the mixer to low and add the vanilla, eggs and peanut butter, blending until all ingredients are combined.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mixed until just blended. The dough will be crumbly - this is normal!
  4. Grease and flour a 13 x 9" pan. Take about ⅔ of the dough and pat it into the pan, making sure to spread the dough evenly to all sides of the pan. If you think the crust may be too thin, take small globs of dough and keep adding to what you've already patted out.
  5. Spread the jam evenly over the top of the dough using a small spatula. As a note, 1½ cups of jam should be about 18 ounces worth.
  6. Drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the top of the jam. Do not worry if jam is showing through the dough; the dough globs spread just a little when they're baking. Top with the chopped peanuts.
  7. Bake at 350 °F for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool in the pan completely, then cut into squares.

Notes Edit

  • Using a stand mixer makes all the difference in the world. Using a hand mixer will not give you the "shortness" in the dough that a stand mixer will.
  • I prefer not to put trans fats into my body, so I do not use any of the major commercial brands of peanut butter. I use Smuckers natural peanut butter because there's 0 trans fat, no sugar or any other additives - the type of peanut butter you use will make a difference in texture and flavor.
  • Do not use jelly. Use a thick jam or preserves. You may think everything seems runny once it comes out of the oven but once everything cools off, the jam will thicken up. Don't be put off by the jam seeming like it never cooked; it's not supposed to be solid!
  • These are incredibly rich; cut them into smaller squares for this reason (your yield, therefore, will be higher than 24 bars). However, your family might rip through these incredibly fast so it won't really matter how small you cut them!

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