PB&J Bars

Yes, you read that title correctly. This is a recipe to turn your favorite childhood sandwich into a dessert bar. So go stock up on your favorite peanut butter, and make this recipe. And don’t try to be healthy and buy the healthy peanut butter. Give into your childish tendencies and buy the Jiffy or Skippy peanut butter. We all know it tastes so much better!!

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Recipe adapted from here.

Ingredients
Crust-
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
1 egg

Filling-
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups of jelly or preserves (I used strawberry)

Crumb topping-
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup rolled oats
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9×13 inch pan with wax paper and then spray the wax paper with cooking spray.

2. Prepare the crust by mixing the flour, sugar, salt, and butter in a food processor. Pulse until the dough starts to turn into crumbs. Now add the egg and pulse a few more times. Pour the dough into the pan and use your fingers to press it into the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes.

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3. Cover the dough with foil, and place another pan on top to hold it down (or use pie weights if you have them but I did not). Bake the dough for 15 minutes. Then remove the top pan or pie weight and bake for 5 more minutes, but keep an eye on it to make sure the dough doesn’t start to brown. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees, and let the dough cool on the counter while you make the peanut butter filling.

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4. Now make the peanut butter filling by mixing the butter and both kinds of peanut butter in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until it is smooth. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix again. Once smooth, spread it on top of the dough. Place the pan in the fridge while you do the next step.

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5. To make the crumb topping, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, brown sugar, and oats in the electric mixer. Add the butter.

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6. Now spread the jelly on top of the peanut butter, and then top with the crumb topping. Press down. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

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7. Allow the bars to cool completely. I even placed them in the fridge for a few hours before using a pizza cutter to cut them into small bars. I kept these in the fridge until I served them to help keep their shape.

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