Peanut Butter & Jelly White Chocolate Bars
Soft peanut butter cookie bars topped with a layer of jam and white chocolate chip streusel.
When it comes to sandwiches, good ‘ole peanut butter and jelly is the bees knees. Forget the ham & cheese, the Italian hoagie, the fancy schmancy turkey club. In my sandwich world, nothing comes close to peanut butter & jelly.
When we were growing up, my sister always begged for peanut butter & fluff, or as some call it – a fluffernutter. Not me, a PB&J in some squishy white bread was always my jam. Uhh, no pun intended.
This may come as a shock to most, but I truly love peanut butter and jelly more than I love peanut butter and chocolate.
There’s just something so comforting about the ubiquitous combination of peanut butter and jelly. Fruity, sweet, luscious jams paired with sticky, thick, creamy (or crunchy!) peanut butter. To me, it’s a duo that just cannot be beat.
A match made in heaven. ♥
I took my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe and used it as the base for these bars. I added some more peanut butter to make the cookie bar a bit denser so it held together underneath the layers.
While my cookie recipe calls for creamy peanut butter, I opted for the crunchy version in today’s bars. I wanted some texture in the bottom layer. The peanut butter cookie layer is bursting with peanut butter flavor and crunchy peanut chunks. It’s sweet, but not overly so. I wanted the jam and the white chocolate chip streusel to really stand out as the sweeteners in each bite, so I reduced the sugar in cookie base. Feel free to add more or less – go by your tastebuds!
For the middle, I spread a thick layer of raspberry jam. I was going to use peach jam (my fave!), but I felt the raspberry jam gave these bars a pretty look and nice pop of color. You may use any jam you love most.
The final layer is a sprinkle of oats, brown sugar, and white chocolate chips. Enough said. Streusel is my middle name, did you know?
What I loved most about these bars is all of the different textures. The peanut butter cookie layer has peanut chunks, crumbly edges, but a chewy and soft interior that I absolutely loved. The juicy jam layer absorbs the brown sugar from the streusel, so each bite is sticky and gooey. And the melty white chocolate chips dotted on top bring it all together to make one unique, yet nostalgic treat.
…for all you kids at heart.
Peanut Butter & Jelly White Chocolate Bars
Yield: 16 squares
Soft-baked peanut butter cookie bars layered with raspberry jam and a white chocolate streusel.
White Chocolate Streusel
- 2 Tablespoons (30g) light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (45g) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 cup (45g) white chocolate chips
Peanut Butter Cookie Layer
- 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/4 cups (310g) crunchy peanut butter (or creamy)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup (330g) raspberry jam (or any flavor jam you prefer)
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line an 8x8 baking pan with aluminum foil or spray generously with nonstick spray. Set aside.
Make the streusel first: In a small bowl, mix together the streusel ingredients and set aside.
Make the cookie layer: In a large bowl, using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth. Mix in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla (in that order). Slowly mix in the baking powder, flour, salt, and cinnamon. Do not overmix.
Spoon peanut butter dough into prepare baking pan, spreading it into one even layer. Spread jam over top. Top evenly with white chocolate streusel.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. My bars took about 38 minutes. I topped mine with a few more white chocolate chips as they came out of the oven. Allow bars to cool completely before cutting into squares. Bars stay fresh covered at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5.
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