Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars from Ina Garten | Brittany's PantryYesterday, I was in desperate need of these bars.

I don’t know why, but in the middle of researching different counter stools to go in my new kitchen, I read something that triggered the memory of these bars, and I suddenly said to myself, “I must eat these now.”  I jumped up and ran across the house and started to hunt through my basement for the the cookbook I knew contained the recipe.  It took a half an hour to find it, but I emerged victorious!  And even though I had to mix them in my living room and clean up the dishes in my bathtub, it is completely worth it.

The first time I made these was for The Great American Bake Sale.  I tested the recipe and loved them so much, I turned around and made another batch right away.  Don’t let the name fool you!  These are not just a treat for children!  Although children do seem to like them…  These are rich and sweet and a wonderfully nostalgic dessert to have in your recipe box.  The flavor is classic but far from boring.  Outrageous!
Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars from Ina Garten | Brittany's PantryPeanut Butter and Jelly Bars
Adapted from Ina Garten
Obviously you can use any kind of jam or jelly to make these.  Even though I am not a huge raspberry fan, the tartness of the jam balances perfectly with the richness of the bar.  We found that blueberry and strawberry tasted fantastic, but the overall flavor was too sweet.

2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 c creamy peanut butter (we like JIF)
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 c raspberry jam (1-18 oz jar)
1 c salted peanuts

Cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, vanilla, peanut butter, and mix until well combined.  Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.  Press 2/3 of the peanut butter mixture into a sprayed, 9X13 pan.  Spread the jam evenly over the dough.  Drop the remaining batter in small globs evenly over the jam and sprinkle with peanuts.  Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely!  Cut into 24 bars.