Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

To this very day one of my favorite things to eat for lunch is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I know most people probably stopped eating them after elementary school, but I could and would eat one every day, just ask Stephen. He loves to tease me when I can’t find anything to eat and I go directly to the cupboard and grab the jar of peanut butter. That said, when I stumbled upon this recipe I knew it was for me. It’s everything I love about PB & J but baked into delicious little bars + it’s quick to fix and you’ll most likely have the ingredients on hand. I adapted the recipe to better suit our tastes and it has turned out to be one of my favorite treats I have baked thus far! This recipe is really kid-friendly but is also great for adults too… just make sure you have a glass of milk nearby, you’ll need it!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars
Ingredients
1½ c. all-purpose flour
½ c. sugar
½ c. brown sugar
1 egg
8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ c. creamy peanut butter
⅓ c. dry roasted peanuts, chopped
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. vanilla
⅔ c. jam + ½ tsp. corn starch (mix together)

Peanut butter drizzle:
½ c. powdered sugar
¼ tsp. vanilla
1½ tsp. peanut butter
1 tbsp. milk, warmed

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, sugars and peanut butter. Beat till smooth, approximately 1-2 minutes. With mixing speed on low, add egg and vanilla, mix until incorporated.
4. Slowly begin to add dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Remove bowl from stand and fold in chopped peanuts.
5. Press ⅔ of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Then pour jam mixture on top. Smooth out. Place remaining dough in dollops over the jam. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top begins to brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, to prepare the drizzle, in a glass measuring cup, warm milk in microwave (10 seconds, on HIGH). Add vanilla and peanut butter, mix until smooth. Gradually add in powdered sugar. Once the mixture is smooth, drizzle over the cooled bars. Cut and serve.
Adapted from The Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook, PB & J Bars | Makes approximately 9-12 bars