Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Grow up on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? I didnt, but that didn't stop me from making these Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars. Even if you're not nostalgic for that classic childhood treat, these are a fun and easy cookie, perfect for the lunchbox (protein and fruit!) or for anytime. The recipe comes from Martha Stewart's Cookie book, a book that has fast become a reliable point of reference for a good cookie bake. A peanut butter dough is made, and most of it lines the bottom of a pan. Then the dough is topped with jelly, I used strawberry, and the remaining dough is crumbled on top of that. The dough was extremely easy to handle, allowing me to pat it in the pan easily. I omitted the chopped peanuts from on top, but add them back, if desired. I didnt chill these bars as directed before serving as I didnt want to keep the girls waiting, but I dont think any damage was done. Cut these bars small, a little will go a long way. Serve with tall glasses of cold milk, if desired.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
from Martha Stewart's Cookies

3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups strawberry jam

Preheat your oven to 350. Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment. Set aside. Sift together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
Place the margarine and sugar in a bowl,
and cream until fluffy.
Add the eggs, vanilla and peanut butter,
and beat until smooth.
Add the dry ingredients,
and beat until all of the flour mixture has been incorporated.
Press 2/3 of the mixture into the pan,
and spread evenly with the strawberry jelly.
Crumble the remaining dough on top of the jelly; this dough crumbles quite easily.
Bake until golden, anywhere between 45-60 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Cut with a bench knife and serve.

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