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.
My sister Sarah always begged for peanut butter & fluff when we were little… or as some call it… a fluffernutter!
Not me, a PB&J in some squishy white bread was always my jam.
And so were hot dogs. Cut up hot dogs, hot dogs rolled in crescent rolls, smothered in ketchup, swimming in my mac n cheese… OBSESSED.
Moving right along…
This may come as a shock to most, but I truly love peanut butter and jelly MORE than peanut butter and chocolate. Don’t hate me. And please don’t leave!
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.
And when you layer them in a cookie bar… and top it all with melty white chocolate chips and a brown sugar oat streusel?
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. I turned to my favvvvvvvorite crunchy PB ever. More often than not, you’ll find this jar in my hand with a spoon in the other hand. Love.
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!
I’m a sucker for a cute baked good.
The final layer is a sprinkle of oats, brown sugar, and white chocolate chips. Enough said.
Streusel is my middle name, did you know?
Just kidding. Not really.
I love streusel anythinggggggg.
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 Cookie Bars
makes 16 squares
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 and 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (or creamy)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup raspberry jam
White Chocolate Streusel
- 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper or spray generously with nonstick spray. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together the streusel ingredients and set aside.
In a large bowl, using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed. 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 evenly. Top with prepared streusel.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Mine 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.
RECIPE SOURCE: SALLYSBAKINGADDICTION.COM
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