Mar 12, 2014

Recipe Review: Peanut Butter Jam Bars

I love peanut butter and peanut butter and jelly (or honey) sandwiches are delicious, so today's recipe is what happens when a PB&J has an identity crisis and decides to become a dessert! Or, Une Gamine Dans La Cuisine's Peanut Butter Jam Bars.

Basically, you make a peanut butter dough, press part of the dough into a pan (I didn't measure to make sure I had the right sized pan), and top with a pre-made jam (probably best if you use homemade jam, but I didn't have the time attention span for that today).

Then you drop the remaining dough on top in globs and sort of connect them with your wooden spoon (or fingers - WASH YOUR HANDS before you start baking, always, please). Don't worry about gaps in the dough where the filling shows through.

Now you top with chopped walnuts, pecans, or peanuts. I used chopped pecans because I had a huge bag in the pantry (WHOOT, Sam's Club).

The pan ended up being a little small for everything that needed to fit into it, so I decided to make a little round on a baking sheet, as well.

To make it a little more interesting than just a little leftover from the big, proper thing, I topped it with peanuts and did half raspberry jam and half grape jelly (shhh - I actually sort of preferred the grape half).

I decided to blacken the smaller one to achieve that gourmet smoky flavor that really accents the richness of the peanut butter and develops a more nuanced flavor profile...or I was reading and completely forgot that I had something in the oven, so the little one burned.

It's whatever one you choose to believe.

Burn or no burn, the sun decided to swing around for its gorgeous mid-afternoon warm lights display through my window right as I was photographing the poor little burnt puck of a thing, so it became the subject of a mini-photoseries.

It actually tasted pretty good, considering how over-baked it was.

I just scraped off the burnt bottom and the rest was still delicious and moist. 

I know how you guys love that word. You're welcome, dears. 

Anyway, this is how the large pan turned out. The time was perfect, though it was longer than suggested in the recipe (just check the center to make sure yours is done, since I don't have an exact time to give you).

However, let's have a quick reminder of how the bars looked on Une Gamine Dans La Cuisine.

Peanut Butter & Jam Bars |une gamine dans la cuisine


In reality, the bars are crumbled.

Disclaimer - I used margarine instead of butter (since I didn't have any of the latter) and I probably cut the bars too warm, anyway, since the ragamuffins from next door were over and what under ten has any sort of patience?

Let's be honest - I'm 20 and have no patience. So maybe that will show up around menopause? 

The next day they cut much better, but are still very moist and gooey and a little messy.

These bars are delicious but also very rich, so a small slice suffices and we ended up having to freeze/give away most of the pan because it way just way too much to eat by ourselves, even over the few days/week that it would probably stay good.

These bars are great if you want to make a sweet treat to keep in the freezer or just a fun dessert spin on a PB&J for a party or to share with friends/neighbors.

What are your favorite nuts?

What's your favorite dessert?

What is your favorite type of sandwich?


  1. Charming Peanut Butter Jam Bars! I am a lover of different type of cuisine and searching from internet and other sources. Thanks for share and keep it up.


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