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Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

  • Yield: Makes about 3 dozen
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Source: Holiday Cookies 2001, Special Issue 2001


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberry jam, or other flavor
  • 2/3 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan with butter, and line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease the parchment, and coat inside of pan with flour; set aside. Place butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. On medium speed, add eggs and peanut butter; beat until combined, about 2 minutes.

  2. Whisk together salt, baking powder, and flour. Add to bowl of mixer on low speed; combine. Add vanilla. Transfer two-thirds of mixture to prepared pan; spread evenly with offset spatula. Using offset spatula, spread jam on top of peanut-butter mixture. Dollop remaining third of peanut-butter mixture on top of jam. Sprinkle with peanuts.

  3. Bake until golden, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool; cut into about thirty-six 1 1/2-by-2-inch pieces.

Reviews (18)

  • fnwyen 18 Jul, 2012

    Love, Love, Love, this recipe! My family gobbles them down in a heartbeat. I found a solution to making them less "doughy" or undercooked...I use my 11x17 jelly roll pan PLUS I do not use all of the dough. I usually have a soft ball size amount left over. It is great for making into cookies with hershey family loves those too!

  • Tarc 25 Sep, 2010

    Fantastic bars, and they freeze beautifully, but boy, these are not from the faint of heart. I've never met anything that was 'too sweet' but these bars are as decadent as you can imagine - in a good way.

  • CookieMac 14 Sep, 2010

    Is the bottom cookie layer supposed to be doughy? I don't know if it's right, it's like it's not even baked?

  • meredithvc 15 Mar, 2010

    My attempt was a bit messier than those pictured, but really delicious.

  • lbippes 9 Mar, 2010

    Has anyone actually used Nutella instead of jelly and how did it turn out.

  • RBYB 29 Mar, 2009

    to wife21mom22: would toffee bits on top add some crunch?

  • Junecutie 28 Mar, 2009

    I made these using almond butter instead of peanut. The strawberry jam was great
    with the almond taste. I also substituted coconut oil for the butter but cut back to
    3/4 cup. Then I sprinkled honey oatmeal granola on top. Everyone loved them.

  • patcash 28 Mar, 2009

    I have not made these cookies /bars yet but I can see where the confusion may be. To me, if it says in the recipe to spread the mixture into the pan then that indicates to me that it is a somewhat soft mixture and if these people said that they had to press it into the pan than the instructions are misleading.or something is wrong with the recipe. I will try making these and see how mine come out. : )

  • acgardea 28 Mar, 2009

    wife21mom22- you could put some chocolate covered sunflower seeds or just some roasted salted sunflower seeds. That would be delicious. If you have a Trader Joe's near you they have both. Also, Cost Plus has the chocolate covered kind. A regular grocery store may have the plain shelled sunflower seeds too.

  • cowgirlsewer 28 Mar, 2009

    To Writer #1, "snperch": Step 2, after "Add vanilla" says 'transfer 2/3 of mixture to prepaared pan." (That's the peanut-buter mixture in your bowl.) The 2/3 peanut butter mixture becomes what you see as the "crust." Spread your jam on top of this "crust." The other 1/3 of the peanut butter mixture that's still in your bowl becomes the "dollops" on top of the jam. Enjoy the rest of your day. :-)

  • snperch 28 Mar, 2009

    The directions don't seem to match the picture. it looks like there is a crust on the bottom before the filling. Am I missing something?

  • Loumal 28 Mar, 2009

    I am gong to replace the peanut butter with Nutella and sprinkle chopped hazel nut on top. Because I really like chocolate. I also like taking an idea and making it my own.


  • shenzi 23 Jan, 2009

    My bars turned out great!!! I thought the dry batter was a sure sign the bars would not turn out, but they did. They were moist and tasted great. I think i might try them with a chocolate filling next time.

  • shenzi 19 Jan, 2009

    My peanut butter batter was dry, go figure? I certainly could not spread it in the pan. Rather i had to press it in the pan. What did I do wrong? How creamy/wet is the batter supposed to be?

  • jwh15 27 May, 2008

    Delicious! It's like a thick peanut butter cookie - with jam! Make sure you have a glass of milk nearby because you are going to need it. It was fast and easy to make and they turn out looking just like the picture!!

  • TaniaG 25 Apr, 2008

    I agree, these are amazing! I made them for a girs coffee night in and they just flew off the tray! The girls went for 2nds and 3rds! I have since passed this recipe on to quie a few people. Instead of using chopped peanuts on top I sprinkled granola bits (which I pre-roasted with honey) on top. If you use a cranberry spread you can always add some dried cranberries on top with the as well.

  • misterduck 10 Apr, 2008

    These are AWESOME! I made a batch and took to a party and they were gone right quick! Everyone was asking for the recipe. I used Smucker's Blackberry Fruit Spread as my "jam" and it worked really well. These are TOTALLY worth making if you like peanut butter! Two Thumbs Up!!

  • wife21mom22 25 Mar, 2008

    This looks scrumptous! Has anyone tried this by subsituting sunflower seed butter for the peanut butter? Also, any ideas as to what I could put on top for the crunch intead of peanuts?

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