January 30, 2013

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

I had the best intentions of making biscotti yesterday until I saw a recipe for Ina Garten's PB & J Bars. And then Baby was suddenly craving them like no other ... never mind that neither Baby nor I have ever had them. They sounded incredible. They are incredible. I made only a half batch since I have no willpower right now with sweet treats (but the recipe below is for the full batch). Bonus points for me, too, because I'm using our preserves.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla
2  eggs, at room temperature
2 cups creamy peanut butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups strawberry jam or other jam

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch cake 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, 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.

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. Drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam. Don't worry if all the jam isn't covered. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and cut into squares.

The number of servings depends on whether you're pregnant. If you're pregnant, a half batch will be lucky to make it 2 full days. If you're not pregnant, then this recipe yields at least 12 bars, if not more.

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