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I’m taking some time off the next few weeks to spend with my family and our new baby girl. In the meantime, I’ve asked a few of my amazingly talented blogger friends to fill in with guest posts. Joanne of Eats Well With Others has been a dear friend of mine ever since I met her in real life at the Big Summer Potluck last year. She’s just as much of a gem as you’d think she is by reading her blog, and the food she makes is just as delicious as you’d expect by looking at it — or in my case, drooling. So much drooling. Ahem. Anywho, welcome Joanne and these peanut butter and jelly bars that I’m pretty sure — nope, definitely sure — I want to stuff my face with every minute of every day.

Will you allow me to predict the future for a second?

I don’t really foresee Steph being a PB&J kind of mom.

No, she’ll be sending little Avery off to school someday with cilantro-lime tofu sandwiches on cracked wheat bread in her lunch box. Complete with a side of rutabaga fries.

Quite honestly, that sounds like what I wish I had for lunch every day, so no judgment from me.

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But a life with nary a PB&J in it is a sad life indeed, which is why I am sharing these peanut butter and jelly bars today!

Personally, I prefer them to PB&J in sandwich form because peanut butter shortbread cookie crust + fudgy peanut butter jelly insides + MORE peanut butter shortbread topping + salted peanuts for some extra crunch.

That beats out Wonder bread any day.

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Less of a blondie and more of a bar cookie, these are the perfect mix of sweet, salty, and stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth good.

As it should be.

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yields: 24 bars
 
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 extra-large eggs, room temperature
  • 18 ounces creamy peanut butter (I used Skippy Natural!)
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 18 ounces raspberry jam
  • ⅔ cup salted peanuts
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13-inch cake pan. Line it with parchment paper, then grease it again.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix until all ingredients are combined.
  3. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour to the peanut butter mixture and mix until combined.
  4. Spread ⅔ of the dough into the prepared cake pan, making sure it covers the entire surface evenly. Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam. Sprinkle with the peanuts. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool and cut into squares.
 

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