Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars



This is the sad time of year when kids have to go back to school. I feel for them. It's tough going from a fun-filled summer to being stuck in school all day. No more sleeping in. No more time at the pool. No more hanging out with your friends every day. No more ice cream novelties and riding your bike and playing in the sprinkler. No more staying up late and watching Nick at Nite.

No more going to the bathroom whenever you need to go.

Yeah, I said it. It was always a HUGE deal if you needed to use the restroom during class in grade/junior/high school. You got in trouble for it! I was always afraid to ask to go the bathroom. That is so, so wrong. If I ever have a kid and he or she gets in trouble for having to use the restroom during class, I'm going to barge my way in to that school and be a raging bitch to the teacher.




It's going to be tough adjustment for those poor kiddos. It's a stressful time of year for them. Quizzes, spelling bees, essays... they deserve a break every now and then. If I had kids going to school, I would be very nice to them and support them in any way I could.

I would also feed them talking shredded wheat for breakfast, and pack them a good lunch. Because everyone loved lunchtime! It was a time when you could relax, cut loose, and enjoy some Capri Sun, Funyuns and Nutty Bars.

My mom always packed me a good old pb&j. Oh yes, those were delicious. I love the combination of peanut butter and jelly. If you aren't aware of how to construct a pb&j sammich, please watch this helpful guide I found you:


Whaaaat?! You're supposed to wipe the knife clean before you dip it into the jelly? NO! I think not.



I once made a peanut butter & jelly bar by Ina Garten, but this was years ago. I remember them being very good, so I wanted to come up with my own recipe. The bars consist of three layers; a peanut butter cookie dough with crushed up crackers in it is baked, then topped with grape jelly. Then the remaining same dough is sort of crumbled up and sprinkled over the top for an interesting texture.

I hate to repeat myself, but these bars were pretty good, and I received rave reviews on them. Make them and pack them in your kid's lunch! He or she will be delighted, and also have energy to get through the rest of the monotonous day.

I like to use Smucker's grape jelly. It's cheap and good!





I baked these bars at Eric's apartment, and he was my assistant. It was a grueling job, sitting on the couch and watching poker, and then taking these out of the oven (using Christmas mitts) and sampling them, but he did just fine. I think I could use his assistance again in the future.


Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely ground buttery crackers
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup grape jelly

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8-inch baking dish or an 11x8-inch.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt, whisk in cracker crumbs until combined.
In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together peanut butter, butter and brown sugar until creamy, about 1-2 minutes; beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in flour mixture until just combined. Evenly spread half of the cookie dough into prepared baking dish. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown around edges.

Remove dish from oven and evenly spread jelly over the surface. Dot the top evenly with remaining cookie dough. Return dish to oven and bake an additional 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes about 15 bars


51 comments:

  1. OMG - these bars look so good! I have never tried grape jelly, but I'd be happy to give it a go. I agree with the kids at school and the prohibition on going to the loo - when you gotta go, you gotta go, and my friends and I can all think of some pretty near misses when we tried to hold on so we didn't have to face the embarrassment of asking to go in class.

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  2. This brings back memories. The combo of peanut butter and jelly was a staple of my childhood. I don't mind re-establishing this memory.

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  3. You write the best things Em! Going back to school after a fun filled summer is always hard. Especially those first few weeks when it's still warm and all you can think of is swimming! I gotta hand it to you, these bars look delicious...you are a genius!

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  4. I was going to mention the oven mitts, before you even said anything.

    I don't wipe the knife off, I use TWO knifes. Actually, I use a spoon for the seedless raspberry jam that takes the place of the grape jelly.

    I once saw someone spread peanut butter on both halves of the bread and THEN put the jam on top of THAT. Isn't that wild? Oh wait, that was my son and he said he invented that method. You really get a maximum hit of pb and j that way.

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  5. THANK YOU!! I used to hate that in school too, when you needed a hall pass or whatever to use the freaking restroom. Sheesh, haha.

    On a brighter note, hellll yes for the classic PBJ in a dessert-y form. Holy yum.

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  6. Oh...so that's how you make a pb&j!! :) These bars sound delicious to me because I too am a HUGE fan of pb&j. I've made Ina's bars a few times, but I'll have to try yours next. Smuckers's Grape?? No, no, no. Smucker's Strawberry is the way to go! :)

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  7. Those look yummy! I think I will make them for a back to school suprise for the lunch boxes. Only 18 days left of summer vacation.
    :o(

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  8. Those PB & J bars look so delicious and moist! I made some a few months back but these look fantastic, I may need to make some more but try out your recipe.

    And I totally agree with the restroom thing at school. Its been 5 years since I graduated high school, but I still remember having to swap out detentions with my teacher in order to take a bathroom break!

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  9. Yay for peanut butter jelly time, they look delicious! I was a picky eater growing up and always took PB sandwiches to school (no jelly!), how horrible is that?

    Looks like you had a great sous chef :)

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  10. Nice touch with the crackers. These bars do look delicious. Men can be so helpful when it comes to "testing" the final product, can't they?

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  11. what a lovely assistant. :) meanwhile, it’s inevitable that whenever iread the words “peanut butter and jelly,” that cursed “it’s peanut butter jelly time” song pops into my head. grr.

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  12. Peanut butter and jelly have to be one of the best combinations on the face of this planet! I made these bars awhile ago and they were fabulous! I love PBJ bars!!!

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  13. LOL love the Christmas mitts. It's that time of year again for me to make my famous pb&j bars....how time flew...
    These look good.

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  14. oh simply delicious! I m imagining the taste. Ha that video made me laugh. I don't think anyone needs a video on how to do a sandwich :)

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  15. I'd much rather have those than a PB&J anyday. Believe it or not I've never eaten one. My Mom didn't make 'em.

    Btw, my guys are happy to get back to school and hang with friends...new school supplies & clothes!
    ~ingrid

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  16. these look great... and yeah, some teachers were a little crazy about not letting kids go to the bathroom. i understand it was because some kids abused it just so they could go hang out in the hallway for a while, but if you've gotta go, you've gotta go.

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  17. Wow! You've converted my favorite snack into a dessert!! Thank you!!
    And lol, I love Eric's involvement in making it!!

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  18. Peanut butter & jelly bars by Ina!! I've wanted to make these ever since the first time I saw that episode... right on!!

    Cheers,

    *Heather*

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  19. Ah, back to school time. Listen, you're going to have some lucky kids if you bake them up some treats like this. They are awesome :)

    Wait to go to the bathroom. Didn't someone famous once say "You're not coo unless you pee your pants?" :)

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  20. These look de-lish. Love the crackery addition!
    Do I detect a little haha to all those little youngun's you're talking about having to go back to school?
    Don't worry. I feel the same when I send mine back after summer is O-VER! ;)I remember one of my best friends in third grade sat right in her chair and wet her pants all over the place because she was scard to ask to go. Why do they make such a big deal? Sheesh, when you gotta go, you gotta go!

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  21. I totally agree about the bathroom thing! That is just outright cruel & unusual punishment if you ask me!

    Your pb&j bars look super yummy & you guys look so cute making them! :)

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  22. I would eat the whole pan...How do you make so many delcious things and stay so thin!?!?!

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  23. PB and J is pure comfort food for me. I bet these are even better! Glad you got yourself an assistant:)

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  24. I spend a whole lot of time making PBJ sandwiches since my bfs 5 year old likes to live on them . . . He doesn't like crust so I find it's fun to create different shapes (his favorite is a smiley face so he can make it frown because it knows hes going to eat it) . . . I'll have to try these out on him!!

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  25. Haha- Sue, that is wild, wild stuff. I actually use your technique with the spoon now that I think about it.

    Amy, wow! I like that. I think I get more muscular during the summer from lifting so many heavy trays.

    Blonde Duck - Denise Austin. :)

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  26. You had me at the mere mention of peanut butter, not that you need an assistant but I am sure it was fun.

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  27. It's peanut butter jelly time :D! I'm loving the Christmas oven mit :)!

    I hated that rule in school, I was always paranoid. I think it should be illegal, seems so inhuman.

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  28. Yum...PB and J was my favorite in high school. Looks great! So great that I gave you an award. :-)

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  29. No, no... You're supposed to apply the jelly first, (and it should be a large amount) then you wipe the knife clean on the second slice of bread. Then, and only then, do you apply a generous portion of peanut butter. I was never one to cut my sammiches in half, either. =^_^=

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  30. What a treat for the kiddos! I can't believe you got in trouble for using the bathroom. I think now they would have an issue with that because if you hold it you will get a UTI.

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  31. I wonder how many teachers are aware of how easy it is to get a bladder infection??

    Those bars sound yummy. I never thought to add the crackers. *bookmarks*

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  32. I'm so glad I don't have to go back to school!! But I'll eat anything with a pb&j theme any day!

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  33. I'd take this over a PB&J sandwich any day!

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  34. Those look VERY good!

    I had to laugh about the bathroom thing at school... so true! For one, I hated using the bathroom at school!

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  35. MMMMM I may need to make these up with some of my home made jam YUM!!

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  36. LOVE pb&j bars - and your look so yummy!!!

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  37. omg i would be so happy to find these in my packed lunch! and i totally agree with you; why is there a limit to bathroom usage in elementary school?!?

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  38. i'm singing--peanut, peanut butter. and jelly :) these sound amazing!

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  39. You guys are too cute! :) I loved this post, Emily! I agree the bathroom thing is terrible...and I agree that these bars will make a day at school go down better!

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  40. Ooh, I think these look fabulous! Not greasy at all :)

    You made me laugh several times today.
    I needed that!

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  41. my husband loves you. he is the biggest pb and j fan out there. thanks emily!

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  42. These bars looks great! By the way, you look great! Love the recipe!`

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  43. wow! i'm going to try this right now!

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  44. These look so good! Perfect time of year to make these. To bad I don't have any kids, but I think I could take care of eating them all by myself :)

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  45. Funny, the way yr assistant holding the pan, looks like there's a bare tree growing out of the bars....

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  46. Indeed. I hear trees grow well in peanut butter soil.

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