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We've instituted a new policy with The Kid, who is reaching that stage of life known as food pickiness. She can either eat her dinner, or she can make her own. At almost-4, the only thing she can really "make" is a PB&J. And say what you like about this classic, but there's something great about the peanut butter and jelly combination.
But I wanted to go a step above, so I created the Ultimate PB&J bars. Creamy peanut butter, homemade jam, a squeeze of honey, and a sprinkling of mini peanut butter cups will make these stand apart from the classic staple.
First, grab some softened butter. And don't photograph it.
Sorry about the light here. Every other surface in the kitchen was full, and the sun was shining oddly here.
4-Berry Jam from my Etsy site. It's got strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries.
Chopped peanuts, chopped candy bars (mmm...Snickers...), or chocolate or peanut butter chips would be delicious too.
By the way--if you miscalculated and had too much leftover dough for the topping, just press it down into a cookie shape and bake it. Instant peanut butter cookies!
These bars are enhanced by just the right PB&J flavors. You get a bit of the jam, a bit of the chocolate, a hint of honey, and an intense peanut butter flavor. Kids and adults alike will love these, I guarantee!
Recipe: The Ultimate PB&J Bars
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. peanut butter
2/3 c. brown sugar
2 tbsp. honey
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 half pint jar (1 c.) jelly
1/2 c. peanut butter chips, or mini peanut butter cups
In a large bowl, whip butter and peanut butter together until fluffy. Add brown sugar and honey, and mix again. Add egg; mix again.
Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir until just combined. Stir in vanilla.
Spread 2/3 of the dough into a greased 8x8 or 9x9 pan. Press mixture evenly in pan. Spread jelly over peanut butter dough. Break the rest of the dough into small pieces and scatter over the top. Sprinkle chips or cups over the dough.
Bake in a 350F oven for 40 minutes or until fully cooked. Let cool before serving.