Salty peanut butter & sweet strawberry jelly have always been a perfect combination. Now these two lovebirds take over your basic cookie bar. They are amazing! I almost wish I didn’t make them because I cannot stop eating them. Almost. But then I have another bite and I am really glad they are in my possession!
These aren’t winning any health awards, but everyone deserves a treat sometimes.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. water mixed with 1 tbsp. ground flax seeds
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (I like Earth Balance brand)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup strawberry jam
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 350. Line a bar pan (8x8x2) with aluminum foil, let the ends hang off a bit. Make sure the foil is firmly pressed into the pan bottom and corners.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In a food processor/with an electric mixer combine peanut butter, sugar, and shortning. Add the flax seed mixture and vanilla. Mix until smooth and well combined. Slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter, 1/2 cup at a time. Mix till well combined.
Divide the dough in half. Spray the foil lined pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place half of the dough in the foil pan and press down evenly onto the bottom of the pan. Place the remaining dough in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Spread the jelly over the first layer of dough. Remove the dough from the freezer and crumble the dough ontop of the jelly layer. Sprinkle on the chopped nuts.
Bake for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown. Allow to cook for at least 30 minutes. Lift the bars out of the pan using the foil overhang. When completely cooled, cut into 16 squares.
*Adapted from Bon Appetit
Per bar: 283 calories, 15g fat, 1.6g fiber, 5.5g protein