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Bringing Home the Bakin'

bake my cake and eat it, too

Sitting in my kitchen last night, seeking inspiration for my latest post, I leafed through my mom’s stack of this month’s magazines: Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, Saveur, the list goes on.  While doing so, I watched my younger sisters pack their lunches, each complaining that we didn’t have “good food” at our house.  I don’t know about you, but when I was in school, daily lunches meant rubbery hot dogs and mystery meat loaf; the school cafeteria was a stranger to all things organic and local.  Today, sushi lunch is expected, and vitamin waters have replaced juicy juice.  In a world where nutterbutters just don’t cut it anymore, I bring you Bon Appetit’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars.  These will surely please even the most P.B. and Jaded of taste testers.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars – Bon Appetit, March 2011


  • 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
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped salted dry-roasted peanuts


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. 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. 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.
  • Bake bars until top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool bars completely in pan on rack.
  • 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.

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