PB&J Bars

Would you like some ooey gooey goodness?

Some stick to the roof of your mouth sweetness?

A bite of “I beg for a tall glass of icy cold milk?”

Of course you would.

The pb & j sandwich is a classic. It is a sandwich of childhood, student living and midnight snacking. It has sweet and salty flavours and 3 food groups all in a tight, convenient package.

This is not a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but it is a close relative. It’s like that hot cousin that all your friends want you to introduce them to.

The best part is the simplicity in igedients it shares with the humble pb & j. It was created by Bon Appetit Magazine as part of a “pantry raid”, in attempt to provide recipes that you already had the ingredients for. I think the only thing I was missing was the dry roasted peanuts.

One note of caution. A lot of folks commented on the recipe online, saying they had to bake the bars longer to get them to “set”. I baked mine about as long as indicated and after cooling and cutting, the base of the bar was in fact a little soft, seeming only just solid enough to support its jam and crust. It was by no means cookie levels of solid.

To that I say “awwww yeah.”

Its slightly undone texture made it a real pb & j experience. It wasn’t a jam topped peanut butter cookie, it was a soft and gooey, stick to the roof of my mouth, milk required, stat, sort of experience.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

PB&J Bars

Recipe from Bon Appetit

I successfully doubled this recipe in a 9×13 inch pan.


  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup grape jelly or other jelly or jam (I used my favourite, raspberry jam)
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped salted dry-roasted peanuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan with heavy-duty foil, leaving 2-inch overhang around edges and pressing firmly into corners and up sides of pan. Coat foil with nonstick spray.
  3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat peanut butter, sugar, and butter in large bowl until smooth. Add egg and vanilla; beat on low speed until smooth. Add flour mixture; beat on low speed just to blend. Transfer half of dough to prepared pan (about scant 1 1/2 cups). Place remaining dough in freezer for 10 minutes. Using fingertips, press dough evenly onto bottom of pan. Spread jelly over in even layer. Remove dough from freezer; using fingertips, break into grape-size pieces and scatter over jelly layer. Sprinkle chopped nuts over.
  4. Bake bars until top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool bars completely in pan on rack.
  5. Using foil overhang as aid, lift bars from pan. Gently peel foil from edges. Cut into 16 squares.

DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.


4 thoughts on “PB&J Bars

  1. These look great! I made PB and J bars from Ina Garten once and they were great. Who doesn’t love a childhood favorite in dessert form…yum!

  2. Brianna – thanks for following! :)

    nutmegnanny – Ooh, I’ve never seen Ina’s, I think I need to go locate those!

    Morgan – I feel like I’m always either on a peanut butter binge or a chocolate binge. Or both. ;)

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