Sunday, February 12, 2012

Baking GALS Round 7 - Peanut Butter Jelly Time, Peanut Butter Jelly Time, PeanutButterJelly, PeanutButterJelly

We’re taking it back to elementary school for this round – sort of.  I couldn’t exactly ship the guys PB&J sandwiches, but I wanted to send something just as comforting.  A while back I was watching Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten) and she made peanut butter & jelly bars that looked relatively easy.  I knew I had to make them soon.

Well they were just as easy as I suspected.  You basically make shortbread dough (butter, sugar, flour and vanilla) and add peanut butter.  Add some jam and a crumbly topping and there you have it – delicious bars that will remind you of that soft, slightly squished sandwich that was sitting in your locker or lunchbox or backpack for the last few hours.  YUM.

And for your viewing pleasure….

Recipe courtesy Ina Garten

½ lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 extra large eggs, room temperature
2 cups creamy peanut butter (Ina recommends Skippy, I recommend Jif)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
1 ½ - 2 cups raspberry jam (or other flavor – I prefer strawberry)
⅔ cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped (½ cup is plenty)


Preheat the oven to 350ยบ and grease a 9x13 inch cake pan.  Line it with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper.

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes.  Add vanilla, eggs and peanut butter with the mixer on low speed until all ingredients are combined.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.  With mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture.  Mix until just combined. (You may need to mix final addition with a spoon as the dough gets rather thick)

Spread ⅔ of the dough into the prepared cake pan and spread evenly over the bottom using a spatula, or quite frankly – your hands.  Spread the jam evenly over the dough.  Drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam.  Sprinkle with the chopped peanuts and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown.  Cool and cut into squares.