Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars
I made my own peanut butter, I made my own jelly, and then I made peanut butter and jelly bars.
A few months ago I bought some of “that recalled peanut butter.” I am pretty sure I was a victim since I was sick for over a month. Now that I think about it I should have gone to the hospital doctor, but I was too sick, and by the time I was well enough to go to a doctor I had recovered. After I recovered I heard on the news there was a recall going on. I checked and sure enough I had one of the jars being recalled. Trader Joes said to bring it back, but every time I looked at it, my stomach flipped. I have been a while working my way back. TJ’s has since found another source and stocked new peanut butter, but it contains lecithin so that rules it out for me. I hate to be so pedantic about food, but it seems we can’t trust corporations any longer. I bought peanuts and decided to make my own peanut butter.
The thing about this “peanut butter recipe” is, it is just procedure. Add peanuts and whirl. No soybean oil, no sugars, no high fructose syrup, no preservative, no contaminants; just peanuts and a Cuisinart. I know some add an oil, but I did not feel the need. It was creamy enough as is. I bought a pound of peanuts, 50% less salt for $3.29, which is about the weight of a jar of peanut butter, but I bet you can’t buy a jar for $3.29. I won’t be buying peanut butter any more.
Then because my mind is always thinking about what else can I make, I began to think peanut butter cookies, but I got distracted by the peanut cookies. By the way the best cookies I ever made or ate. Thank you Anna Pump.
Then I starting thinking about jam. Chris at The Café Sucre Farine makes freezer jam that I have been wanting to make since she posted. It was not yet strawberry season for me, and I wanted my berries to be organic. Finally all the stars aligned and I made it. It is so easy, so fresh tasting, and so delicious I think I could just sit down with the jar and spoon and eat it as is.
But instead I decided to use it to make Ina’s peanut butter and jelly bars. With extra peanut butter that has no preservatives I thought I should use it while it was still fresh.
I only made a half batch of the bars because they are dangerous.
Both the peanut butter and the jam are really delicious on their own, and I am so glad I made the bars, but I am going to tell you like David Lebovitz said when he made yogurt. He said when he posts a back to basics recipe like homemade yogurt, someone will email him and ask why he doesn’t get his own cow. No, I can’t get a cow. So like David, please don’t ask me to grow my own strawberries and peanuts because I can only carry this so far and besides I have to research those peanut butter cookies that I planned to make.
Thanks again Ina for testing your recipes. I can always count on you. Thanks Chris for a great strawberry jam recipe, and being such a supportive friend. I will only be making your recipe from now on. It is better than my Mom’s. Thanks to friends and family that have gifted me with various kitchen equipment. I think about you every time I use them and I love you for your thoughtfulness.
- 1 stick butter
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 cup or 9 oz peanut butter (Ina used Skippy)
- 1 ½ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ raspberry jam or other jam (9 oz) I used strawberry.
- ½ cup salted peanuts
- Mise en place
- Prepare a 9x9 pan with parchment paper
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes.
- Add vanilla, egg, and peanut butter; mix until well combined.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix just until combined.
- Spread two thirds of the dough in the prepared pan, using a knife to spread it evenly. Spread the jam evenly over the dough.
- Drop small spoonsful of the remaining dough evenly over the jam.
- Don’t worry if all the jam isn’t covered; the dough will spread when it bakes. Sprinkle with the chopped peanuts.
- Bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown.
- Cool and cut into small squares.
I am taking this to