Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

It’s back to school time in Boston. The little kids start up again on Wednesday here in Massachusetts. When I was young, I always got nervous before the first day of school. Maybe excited is a better word for it? Either way, I could never fall asleep the night before the first day of school. It was part anxiety about whether I’d wake up in time after enjoying sleeping in all summer and part excitement about seeing my friends every day again.

Peanut butter and jelly is such a classic nostalgic flavor combination. It can whisk anyone back to the 3rd grade lunch room. These bars do just that. They’re ooey gooey and delicious.

I originally thought I’d have enough of my homemade blueberry and strawberry jam to use in these bars. When I realized I was almost out, I let Hubby choose the jam flavor for these bars. He went with Bonne Maman Four Fruits Preserves. It’s got strawberry, raspberry, red currants, and cherries. It is a high quality jam that really did shine in these bars.

Hubby and I both agreed that we liked the middle pieces best. I usually and edge person and actually prefer corners the best. But with these bars, the peanut butter started to take over as you got closer to the edge of the pan. The center pieces had a great ratio of PB&J. If I were to make these again, I’d either add more jelly to the mix, or at least spread it further to the edge (I had read in the reviews of the recipe that if you have jelly exposed it would burn, so I was nervous about that).

What do you remember about going back to school when you were young?

One Year Ago: Fish Tacos
Three Years Ago: Spice Cupcakes

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Yield: 24

Ingredients:

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs, at room temperature
2 cups (18 ounces) creamy peanut butter
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (18 ounces) raspberry jam or other jam
2/3 cups salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch cake pan. Line it with parchment paper, then grease and flour the 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; it will spread in the oven. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and cut into squares.

Recipe from Ina Garten

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34 Responses to “Spicy Peach Jalapeno Jam”

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    Shannon — September 19, 2013 at 9:23 am

    ooh, i am drooling thinking about this over melty brie!! fabulous 🙂

    • beantownbaker — September 25th, 2013 @ 4:08 pm

      It’s definitely as good as it sounds.

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    Queen Sashy — September 20, 2013 at 9:55 am

    what a lovely jam! there are still some peaches at the market and i need to make this asap.

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    Claudia — September 20, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Sounds wonderful! When do you add the liquid pectin and how long do you let it boil after you add it?

    • beantownbaker — September 25th, 2013 @ 4:14 pm

      Sorry about the mistake in the recipe, I have updated the recipe to reflect when to add the pectin.

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    Rima — September 21, 2013 at 10:32 am

    That sounds delicious, but when do we add the pectin, and can we use powdered pectin instead of the liquid one? Thank you so much…

    • beantownbaker — September 25th, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

      Sorry about the mistake in the recipe, I have updated the recipe to reflect when to add the pectin.

      I’m still new to canning, but I read in the Ball book that you can’t swap different kinds of pectin and should only use what the recipe calls for…

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    Loretta — September 23, 2013 at 11:26 am

    when do you add the pectin ??????

    • beantownbaker — September 25th, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

      Sorry about the mistake in the recipe, I have updated the recipe to reflect when to add the pectin.

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    Kelly — September 28, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    How long does this keep?

    • beantownbaker — September 28th, 2013 @ 8:36 pm

      If you process the jars in a water bath, they will be fine on a shelf for up to a year. Once opened, you want to refrigerate it and it will keep for about a month in the fridge.

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    Toni — June 21, 2014 at 10:04 am

    The number of cups of chopped peaches would be very helpful. Also, are the pectin pouches 3 or 6 oz?

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    Megan Wilson — July 15, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    The flavor was outstanding! However, it never fully set-up into a jelly. It was more of a jam/thick sauce – even after re-processing with a 2nd pack of pectin (I gave in and used the powder) On my other batches, I used 2 dry packs – and I’m not sure if those will even set correctly. 🙁

    • beantownbaker — September 2nd, 2014 @ 7:22 pm

      Sorry to hear this didn’t set up for you…

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    Nick — July 17, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    With sealed jars what is the shelf life of something like this?

    • beantownbaker — September 2nd, 2014 @ 7:22 pm

      In general, I would try to open them within 6 months. I have kept jars of jam for up to a year without any problems.

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    Lindsay L — July 28, 2014 at 8:57 am

    This is my second year making this and i just wanted to tell you that it is outstanding. i’m sure others are wondering about yield — I got 9 half-pints from one batch. How long do you process this? I did 15 mins to err on the side of caution. Thanks!!

    • beantownbaker — September 2nd, 2014 @ 7:26 pm

      I always process for 10 minutes.

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    Dee Ann — August 2, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Does this make the five half-pint jars shown or does it make more? Since everything sort of comes together at the end in canning (hot jam, sterilized jars, etc., and boiling water) I like to know ahead of time how many jars to prepare. Thanks.

    • beantownbaker — September 2nd, 2014 @ 7:28 pm

      It made 6 jars for me. It will depend how big your peaches are too.

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    Roxanne Riddle — August 10, 2014 at 11:23 am

    With my jams, I usually use real lemon juice, but not in such large quantity,Did you use fresh or “jarred” lemon juice?

    • beantownbaker — September 2nd, 2014 @ 7:29 pm

      Yes, I use jarred lemon juice here.

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    Blaire Prince — August 17, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    According to “foodinjars.com” you can substitute 2 TBSP powdered pectin for 1 pouch of liquid pectin. 🙂 just thought I’d share that little tidbit! This recipe is FANTASTIC! Thanks Jen!

    http://foodinjars.com/2013/07/canning-101-how-to-substitute-pectin/

    • beantownbaker — September 2nd, 2014 @ 7:30 pm

      Thanks for sharing this!

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    krista jackson — August 24, 2014 at 11:34 am

    I am looking forward to making this jam this evening!! I was seaching for a recipe for peach and jalapeno jam and this one caught my eye! Because you posted it my the day I was married, then reading your story and that you live in Cincy! I was born and raised north of that area!

    • beantownbaker — September 2nd, 2014 @ 7:31 pm

      Small world! I hope you enjoyed this jam.

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    Kim — August 28, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    This recipe should come with a warning label. I feel like I just made crack. I changed it up a bit and used cherries instead of peaches. I was having a hard time finding a cherry pepper recipe and had cherries in my freezer needing evicted and this one looked so good I used it as my baseline. THANK YOU for sharing it! If you are interested, it was a mix of sweet and tart cherries, and I added an extra jalapeno to a double batch. I just got done putting up nearly 11 pints of the stuff and am sitting here like a child licking the residue off my ladle it is that freaking good. Definitely recommend you try it with cherries some day if you like them. I am picking peaches this weekend and will definitely be making this as posted because I am sure it is divine. Ive been making jams and jellies since i was a child and this is the best one yet. Thank you again, can’t wait to try it properly with peaches!

    • beantownbaker — September 2nd, 2014 @ 7:32 pm

      Cherries! What a great change. I’m goign to have to try that out.

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    Bonnie Kandalec — September 2, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    It would have been nice to know how many jars I would need to make this recipe!!!

    • beantownbaker — September 2nd, 2014 @ 7:33 pm

      I got 6 jars. I’ll update the recipe to reflect the yield.

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    Christine — July 10, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Oooooh. I am making this this weekend – thanks for a fantastic-looking recipe!

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    Sam — July 12, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    First time jam maker. Went to the farmer’s market this weekend and bought peaches and jalapenos (along with a bunch of other stuff). Thought I’d try my hand at making a jam/jelly because we love it on pork chops. This recipe was perfect. Thanks for sharing… and thank you to Google for popping it towards the top of the search list. Thank you Beantown Baker!

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    Daina — July 27, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    How long do you need to water bath can it??

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    McCaverty — August 16, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Made this today – delicious but decidedly soupy. I thought maybe once it cooled it would set up more, but no.

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