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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16 Responses to “Winter Kale and Quinoa Salad”

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    Kelsey — January 12, 2013 at 10:02 am

    I’m with you–every ingredient in this salad is a winner on it’s own. Together? Forgetaboutit! The colors are beautiful and I can imagine how great it tastes with the balance of bitter, sweet, and tart.

    Love the new layout, also. Way to go!

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    Wicked Goodies — January 12, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Yum! I am also addicted to kale since doing a CSA here in Boston 🙂

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    Jill McOwen — January 12, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    It’s so funny, because as I was scrolling through Tastespotting tonight and saw this post, I had to click because it looked so familiar to my winter couscous bowl… and then, I couldn’t believe it when I saw my blog credited at the bottom! This is a first for me 🙂 Thanks so much for the credit!

    So you’ve recently moved back to Cincinnati? Which part? My family and I live in Anderson Township.

    • beantownbaker — January 13th, 2013 @ 10:02 am

      Thanks so much for the recipe!!

      We work in West Chester and are living in Oakley right now. Trying to find a house at some point…

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    Megan — January 13, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    I think this sounds amazing, Jen! And I love how colorful it is. I am always looking for new winter salads that are colorful, flavorful, and interesting.

    • beantownbaker — January 13th, 2013 @ 10:06 pm

      This is definitely colorful, flavorful, and interesting. I have seriously been OBSESSED with pomegranates this winter, and this salad totally feeds into that obsession.

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    Sues — January 14, 2013 at 7:39 am

    I’m on a major quinoa AND kale kick so this salad is right up my alley. So colorful and pretty, too!

    • beantownbaker — January 14th, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

      Pretty food is definitely always tastier than ugly food 🙂

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    Shannon — January 14, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    looks a lot like the one i posted last week 🙂 obviously, i’m all over it!!

    • beantownbaker — January 14th, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

      Very similar indeed!

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    Michelle — January 14, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    This is perfect for that kale and pomegranate I have in the fridge! I’m always excited to find new things to put together ahead of time for lunches and dinners, thanks! Hope you are settling in nicely 🙂

    • beantownbaker — January 14th, 2013 @ 3:49 pm

      I couldn’t agree more. Making food ahead of time saves the day during the week! I can’t imagine not eating leftovers… Things are going pretty well for us in Ohio so far. Hope things are going well for you and your little bundle on the way!

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    Cara — January 14, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Sounds great to me! I love the ingredients. And the colors 🙂

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    ErinsFoodFiles — January 17, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    This sounds right up my alley! YUM!!

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    Sarah — November 1, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    I was thinking about an easy and colorful, flavorful, and power-packed healthy side dish to bring for a potluck lunch after a trail work party this coming weekend. I had these amazing cute pumpkins to harvest from my garden and love both kale and quinoa. I thought to myself, mmmm, what if I made some kind of pumpkin kale quinoa and goat cheese salad to share? One quick internet search and I came across this gem! I modified and concocted a tad, which is normal for me. Thanks so much for the recipe and ingredient confirmations! The honey, olive oil, and smokey / spicy combo was the secret ingredient for me! Happy fooding!

    • beantownbaker — November 3rd, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it! I am always tweaking recipes to make them fit what I have on hand and what we like too.

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