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Half Batch Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

by on June 19, 2009 · 20 comments

I was flipping through channels the other day and stopped for a few minutes to watch Ina Garten. She was making these cookies and talking about taking them to the beach to share with a friend. I was kind of jealous of the friend even though she was probably imaginary, but the scenario drew me in and I couldn’t get the cookies off my mind – and I don’t even like peanut butter & jelly. Good job, writers!

Reviews on Food TV were great, but sadly a few people brought down the star level by giving one star and complaining the bars were dry. Huh? These bars are extremely moist. The bottom layer isn’t even baked first, so you’d have to really add too much flour to make these dry. Then again, most people still don’t realize that a cup of flour can weigh anywhere from 4 to 6 oz which leaves a huge margin for error when a recipe has 3 cups. People who got dry bars must have scooped their flour. I weighed it and the bars were perfect. Now I’m off to the beach! Okay, not really. Full recipe here.


Half Batch Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Peanut butter & jelly bar recipe that's made in an 8 inch square pan.
Recipe type: Desserts
Serves: 16
  • 4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature (114 grams)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (144 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 extra-large egg, at room temperature*
  • 1 cup (9 ounces) creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (6.75 oz/190 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup raspberry jam or other jam
  • 1/3 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line an 8 inch square metal pan with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed of an electric mixer until light yellow, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla, egg, and peanut butter and mix until all ingredients are combined, scraping sides of bowl.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture and stir gently until incorporated.
  4. Spread 2/3 of the dough into the prepared pan. 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; it will spread in the oven. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and bake for 37 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and cut into 16 squares.
  5. *Recipe calls for an extra-large egg rather than the usual large.

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Published on June 19, 2009

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara June 19, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Mmmmm, I’ve made these a couple times and they are delicious! I heart peanut butter and jelly. :) Yours look great.

Louise June 19, 2009 at 1:17 pm

These look good and simple. I make Rose Berenbaum’s PB&J cookies. They are round pb cookies with a jelly center. I don’t screw around with the cherry pieces like the recipe states. In fact, I often cook down raspberry jam.

Sue June 19, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Fascinating! I’m not a pb&j fan either! Those writers must have done a really good job! Wouldn’t you just love to be Ina’s friend? I would!
Have a great time at the beach! lol! Fuzz is a little old for the wading pool but your Corgi might like it and then you can pretend you’re at the beach.
It’s hot and humid here today and I’m a little punchy.

Louise June 19, 2009 at 2:00 pm

I guess Fuzz won’t eat these either as they are PB & “Jelly”. :-(

Katrina June 19, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Yep, I’ve seen Ina make these before. They do look good. I just read a blog (forgot whose) a couple days ago that put Nutella in between instead of jam.
They look yummy to me.

Carrie June 19, 2009 at 2:23 pm

I also saw this episode earlier this week. Must admit that I can’t stop thinking about them either!

Mindy June 19, 2009 at 2:29 pm

Anna, you’re so silly. :)

This recipe is great. I think I’ve made it two or three times in the past. May need to find a reason to make it again. I do have a (peanut butter-loving) friend who just got a new job. I think that’s a good enough reason, don’t you?

Have a nice weekend!!!

VeggieGirl June 19, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Mmmm!!!! Classic sandwich in bar form. Can’t lose with an Ina recipe.

Haha I’d like to go to the beach too! :-D

dawn June 19, 2009 at 3:53 pm

I love these, make them a lot and eat them all–a lot! lol

Megan June 19, 2009 at 4:57 pm

I just made these (and posted them) last week, and used Nutella instead of jam.

Either way, they are AMAZING!

James June 19, 2009 at 5:08 pm

These bars are so good, but so rich. I did the full recipe and cut into 20 pieces and one was enough to keep me going from breakfast time till about 2 P.M.

I think that the dough would make a fabulous peanut butter cookie as a stand-alone. The part of the dough that is scattered on top has this amazing sandy texture that just melts in your mouth- perfect for a peanut butter cookie in mind.

Emily June 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm

I’d “like” this if I were on Facebook right now.

Erica June 19, 2009 at 7:33 pm


Have you experimented with nutella with this recipe in place of peanut butter.

they look just beautiful.

Anna June 19, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Wow, I love the Nutella idea!

James, these are definitely rich. I cut mine smaller than yours, but they were still rather filling.

Emily, you are too funny. I guess thanks to Facebook you have a little mental checkbox with “Like” on it. All I do on Facebook is play poker.

Tora June 19, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Well, it all started with this extra jar of raspberry jam in the fridge…how in the world did it get there? Two jars in the fridge is just one jar too many, and then as I surfed the web as usual this morning, there it was!

Kismet? Fate? Serendipity?

Who knows, at any rate, I know have sitting on my counter, a 9 x 13 Pyrex dish filled to the brim with these lovelies and I. CAN’T. THANK. YOU. ENOUGH. They are fabo!!!

May the food gods of Olympus smile on you and Ina forever.

oh, and thanks!

Trish June 19, 2009 at 9:31 pm

I am sold. I think this will go ever so well with my guys and I bet it will be a hit at work too! Oh, did I mention I bring all my baking in to work? What,,,,,you didn’t think me and my two boys could eat all the food I make did you?! Grin

Nicole June 20, 2009 at 7:06 am

Yum! I was thinking of making these :D

Heather at Easy Peasy Recipes June 20, 2009 at 8:49 am

Those look delicious and would certainly beat eating the standard PB&J sandwich any day.

Katrina June 20, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Ha! I was right about seeing someone make these with Nutella. I’d forgotten it was Megan, sneaking in some nuts while her very allergic daughter wasn’t around! Thanks for the reminder! ;)
I’m really craving something with peanut butter now! Sigh.

Anne June 22, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Thank for posting this recipe. I have seen Ina make these several times then I read how “dry” the bars were. I now weigh my dry ingredients and my bars turned out nice and moist. I do think the bottom layer could be a little bit thinner. But all in all, a delicious bar!

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