I was flipping through channels the other day and stopped for a few minutes to watch Ina Garten. She was making Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars 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
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line an 8 inch square metal pan with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray.
- 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.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture and stir gently until incorporated.
- 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.
- *Recipe calls for an extra-large egg rather than the usual large.