When Dallas, Billy, Josh and Killian went to the Bulls/Celtics game I decided to do a little baking. I like to bake when we have company because then I don’t have to eat everything myself. Plus, I thought they’d like a snack when they got back. Killian always says he loves my baking, so I thought the other guys would too.
I made this recipe from the Martha Stewart Cookies cookbook, of course. I’ve made a lot of recipes from that book this year. They always turn out great and this time was no exception. Returning from the game, the guys plowed into those bars. Especially Killian, who must have downed at least half the pan himself. Not that I am complaining, It’s the best compliment when you can’t stop eating something I made!
Martha Stewart’s Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars
This version of a well-loved combination from childhood concentrates the flavors into a sweet dessert that appeals to all ages. We like strawberry jam, but feel free to substitute any flavor you prefer. Makes about 3 dozen.
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 (I used black raspberry)
2/3 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped
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.
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.
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.