‘Peanut Butter’ and Jelly Bars

Posted on December 2, 2009. Filed under: Desserts, Peanut Butter |

I love when I discover that items in my fridge or cupboard are going bad. The key word ‘going.’ Not gone, but going. They only have a few crucial days left before I have to toss them. It means I get to make something!!!!! When I discovered I had some almond butter that only had a few days left, I knew exactly what I wanted to use it for. And, on Thanksgiving my grandma (well, my grandpa’s wife, but I have known her since I was born) gave me some homemade huckleberry jam. My favorite jam/jelly is huckleberry.

The combination of almond butter, huckleberry and whole wheat flour give these bars such an earthy hearty taste. Which I happen to love. I gave some to our neighbors who have kids and they devoured them. The peanuts on the top fool kids into thinking they are actually peanut butter, not almond butter.

Makes about 24 bars
Adapted from Ina Garten

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups creamy almond butter
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups jam (raspberry or strawberry would be really good)
2/3 cups salted peanuts, coarsely chopped (I would have used almonds, to go with the almond butter, but I was all out)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch cake pan. Line it with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla, eggs, and almond butter and mix until all ingredients are combined.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the almond butter mixture. Mix just until combined.

Spread 2/3 of the dough into the prepared cake pan and spread over the bottom with a knife or offset spatula. Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam. Don’t worry if all the jam isn’t covered; it will spread in the oven. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and cut into squares.


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