Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars are the perfect dessert for the kid in all of us! Three layers of chewy, gooey goodness. A peanut butter cookie bottom smeared with jelly and topped with crunchy crumbled peanuts. This is the best dessert for the adults and kids alike! Seriously, who does not like this delicious combination? For some of you, maybe you have not had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich since elementary school. I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, in fact, whenever I am running late or have nothing left to bring for lunch, I always bring a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I have been wanting to make these for a while now and when I saw them in the March issue of Bon Appetit, I knew I had to try them. You can use any type of jelly or jam you prefer. I used my favorite, raspberry. 🙂

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

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  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup jelly or jam
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped salted dry-roasted peanuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 8 by 8 inch baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in small bowl; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat peanut butter, brown sugar, and butter until smooth. Scrape down bowl and add egg and vanilla; beat on low speed until smooth. Scape down bowl and add flour mixture; beat on low speed just to blend. Transfer half of dough to prepared pan (about 1 1/2 cups). Place remaining dough in freezer for 10 minutes. Use your hands to push the dough into an even layer at the bottom of the pan. Spread jelly over dough in even layer. Remove reserved dough from freezer and crumble grape-size pieces over jelly layer. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.
  4. Bake bars until top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool bars completely in pan on rack.

Source: Bon Appetit, March 2011

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20 Responses to Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

  1. These look delicious! I must be in a peanut butter & jelly mood these days… ordered pb&j cheesecake at a restaurant last weekend. yum!

  2. i love pb+j anything. seriously, who gets to eat all these yummy goods?!!! 🙂

  3. beth says:

    mmmm, those look yummy! i wish i could be at home baking these instead of at work having to deal with the blizzard we are having here in canton!

  4. I will ALWAYS be a fan of PB&J!

  5. Lucie says:

    I was never a pb&j kind of girl…until a while ago. Now I’m all about pb&anything! These sound great.

  6. Kristi says:

    I’ve made a version of these before. To. Die. For.
    Now I have to make them again.

  7. I love pb&j and still bring it to work most days! You can’t beat the flavor combination.. Def have to try these bars!!

  8. OMG, these look amazing and I feel so hungry. I wish I could reach into my screen and pull one out!!!!
    *kisses* HH

  9. I love PB and J and now that there is a dessert with PB and J I will just have to make it! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Sara says:

    PB&J bars are so delicious! I really don’t think there is a better combo out there. Well, maybe chocolate and peanut butter but that’s a whole other bar. Thanks for sharing!

  11. lynne says:

    yum! i love the combination!

  12. briarrose says:

    I love the concept and they look wonderful.

  13. These look AMAZING! I want one. Right now. So I believe I will make them : )

  14. Britt says:

    I love this! My mom used to make these for me when I was a kid.

  15. I made these tonight…Mine didn’t look near as wonderful as yours, but they sure tasted delicious!!! My 5 year old son asked me if I would make these for his entire life…Even when he’s all grown up! (I’m going to take that as a GREAT dessert!) Thank you!

    • Rene says:

      Adorable. This is a recipe that kids can help Mommies with like pressing down the dough into the pan and spreading the jelly/jam or dropping the broken up dough pieces on top with the chopped nuts.

  16. Rene says:

    Make them twice now using two diff brands of pb and two diff jams (not grape jelly). Both times for adults who flipped out on how good they were. I used chunky pb which was all I had on hand the first time and that worked but the dough was a little more dry than when for the second time, I used the organic pb that you need to stir first which made the dough very easy to mix and work with. The bar was not as crumbly after cooking, with the gooey, organic pb. In each case I used high quality jams, like Stonewall Blueberry and a wonderful Blackberry jam. O M Goodness. Had to give up the recipe so everyone could have this much fun sharing them. Don’t hesitate. It’s the best “bring with” treat when visiting anyone or welcoming new neighbors. Goes great with cold milk or hot coffee. Simple, easy, delicious.

    • Christina says:

      I am so glad that you enjoyed them! Thank you so much for letting me know…I love hearing from those who have tried the recipes I have posted. These are one of my top ten favorite bar cookies…they are sooooo delicious! 🙂

  17. Pingback: Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes | Sweet Pea's Kitchen

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