Saturday, March 5, 2011

Peanut Butter and Jelly (or Nutella) Bars

I am aware that in some places peanut butter has become a class c controlled substance, I myself work in a "peanut aware" environment, however for those of you who can eat peanut butter with wild abandon, you should make these.  And probably share them, otherwise you may be staring at the pan and wondering how you managed to eat the vast majority of them in approximately 24 hours.  Some of you may know that I am possibly the most indecisive person ever, it took me weeks to decide on a new cell phone plan, Cheesecake Factory style menus are a nightmare because there are far too many options, and I can spend ages trying to pick a movie to watch on Netflix.  Needless to say, I couldn't decide what filling to sandwich between the two peanut butter cookie layers in these bars, so I made a big pan and filled half with raspberry jam and the other half with Nutella.  And now, I cant decide which I liked better, both are such delicious and classic combinations, so good luck deciding what to do if you make them.  I am full of helpful suggestions aren't I?  I tweaked this recipe ever so slightly, although if you wanted to, you could just use this technique and substitute your favorite peanut butter cookie dough recipe instead.      

It starts like a basic peanut butter cookie, grease (or line) the pan, let the eggs and butter come to room temperature and mix the dry ingredients together.

Then cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars together, add the eggs and vanilla and then mix in the dry stuff.

Split the dough in half and press half into the bottom of a 9x13 pan and put the second half in the freezer.

Spread your desired filling on the dough, I have half nutella and half seedless raspberry jam.  I didn't measure this, just eyeballed it, keep in mind that the cookie bit is pretty thick so you want a good filling to cookie ratio so that you can taste it through all the peanut butter.

Take the second half of the dough from the freezer and crumble it over the top.  I didn't use quite all the dough because it seemed like too much, once the fillings were completely covered I took the rest and made a bonus cookie.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, the tallest bits of the crumble should be a nice golden brown.  Let cool before cutting.

Peanut Butter and Jelly (or Nutella) Bars from Sweet Pea's Kitchen
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 sticks butter, room temperature
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup jelly (approximately)
3/4 cup nutella (approximately)

Preheat oven to 350 and either grease well or line a 9x13 pan.
Mix flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.
Cream the peanut butter, brown sugar and butter until smooth, then mix in the eggs and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Press half of the dough into the bottom of the pan and put the rest in the freezer.
Spread the jelly over half the pan and spread the nutella over the rest, or substitute whichever filling you so desire.
Cover the filling with the remaining dough, crumbling it into chunks about as large as marbles.
Bake for 30 minutes.  Cool before cutting.

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