Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pie Bars

I've been debating whether or not to post this recipe, because the number of steps are a little high-maintenance, and might be a deterrent for many of my busy friends and family. But I am here to tell you, friends and neighbors-it's completely worth it. I've made Ina Garten's peanut butter and jelly bars, and while they are quite delicious-these are a completely different level. And I can tell you that as an expert, because I have hidden them from my family and eaten the entire pan myself. The crust is a basic pie crust, pressed into the pan; you will be severely tempted to eat the peanut butter filling with a spoon; and the streusel on top has a perfect taste of cinnamon. 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pie Bars
Makes 12 large bars, or 1 very large bar eaten with a fork from the pan over 3 days.
Source:, who got it from the second Baked Cookbook

For the Pastry Dough:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 egg
For the Peanut Butter Filling:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1¾ cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Crumb Topping:
¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup dark brown sugar (I used light brown sugar and have so far not been struck down)
2/3 cup traditional rolled oats
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
For Assembly:
2 cups jelly or preserves
1. Make the Pastry Dough: Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light-colored metal 9×13-inch pan.  Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add the butter and pulse until sandy (about 6 to 10 quick pulses). In a small bowl, whisk the egg and pour into the food processor. Pulse just until the dough begins to hold together.
2. Dump the dough mixture into the prepared pan. Using your fingers, press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and up the sides just a little (maybe a half inch). Place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
4. Remove the pan from the freezer, line it with aluminum foil, and fill it three-quarters full with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and weights and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.
5. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
6. Make the Peanut Butter Filling: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is completely smooth. Add the peanut butter and beat until combined. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again. Turn the mixture out onto the cooled crust and, using an offset spatula, spread it into an even layer. Put the pan in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the crumb topping.
7. Make the Crumb Topping: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the brown sugar and use your hands to rub it in until the mixture is uniform in color. Stir in the oats.
8. Place the dry mix in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and beat on low speed until loose crumbs form. (I did this step with a pastry cutter since I didn't want to wash my mixing bowl due to extreme laziness; you could probably also use your fingers to rub and mix the butter in)
9. Assemble the Bars: Spread the jelly in an even layer over the peanut butter filling. Sprinkle on the crumb topping, covering the jelly.
10. Bake the bars for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, or until the top is brown.
11. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely, then cut the bars and serve.

A few things going on at our house:
  • Owen is, at long last, A Pet Owner

We have had a ton of fun with "Guinea" the guinea pig, and she has proved to be quite resilient by surviving more than a couple near-death encounters with Little Carson David.
  • Last night I had a for-real Dream Within a Dream where it was Incepted into my mind that if I did not renew my van registration (which may have been due in September), I was going to get a ticket for $500. I decided to go ahead and renew it today.

  • And here are a few of my favorite photos from my sister's wedding last month:

Coming out of the Draper, UT LDS Temple

My Baby Sister

My own Baby Girl...
Who will be The Bride before I know it...

And who will be getting her own Baby Sister
(Me in my hugeness at only halfway)

The Kidlets

1 comment:

  1. We made these a week ago and are still dreaming about them. I reserved some of the pb filling to eat while they baked and devoured it way too quickly. Like most bar cookies they were even better the next day. Love, love, love.