Thursday, June 24, 2010

52 Cookies - Chapter 25

We eat a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in our house.  I personally love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  And when I find that there is nothing in the house to pack for one of my kids' school's good ol' P B and J to the rescue!

It's ridiculous, sometimes, the number of jars of jam/jelly that are in our fridge at any given time.  Different flavors to suit the different tastes of the five members of my family.  I grudgingly buy grape jelly (pure sugar) for Evan.  In the summer, I make homemade freezer jam in either or all of the following flavors:   strawberry, black raspberry and red raspberry.  Jenna and I are going blackberry picking this Friday and I cannot wait!  But I digress...I do that a lot...just ask my husband...there I go again.

So, it comes as no surprise that when I happened across this recipe for PB&J Bars in Family Fun magazine, that I would tear out that page with no hesitation.  And bar cookies are tops with me when I am pinched for time.  These cookies are very yummy and I would like to experiment in the future with another flavor of jam.  Today I used red raspberry.  The recipe called for seedless.  I'm not sure why.  The jam I used wasn't seedless and they are just fine.

PB&J Bars 
Here's What You Need:
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups creamy or crunchy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups jam
1/2 cup salted peanuts, chopped

Here's What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly oil and flour a 9x13 inch pan, or line it with foil and then lightly spray with oil.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and set it aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed with your mixer.  Turn the mixer down to low and add the eggs, vanilla and peanut butter.  Beat the ingredients until all are incorporated.  Slowly add the flour mixture and mix well until a soft dough forms.

Spread about 3/4 of the dough evenly in your prepared pan.  Spread the jam evenly over the top as well.  The 1 1/2 cups of jam called for equals out to an entire 18 oz jar.  Take the remaining dough and drop little pieces of it here and there over the top of the jam.  Now take your chopped peanuts and scatter those about.

Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes.  My recipe instructed me to bake it for 45 minutes, which I regret.  The top turned out a little more brown that I would prefer, but it's not burnt by any means.  The house smelled like heaven while this was baking.  My recipe also claims that you will yield 18 bars.  I think you can (and should) cut them slightly smaller and you'll get a few more out of it, more like 24 or so.

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