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Our BEST Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
Easy Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars are irresistible!
Oaty peanut butter clusters floating in a pool of sweet strawberry jam make these Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars a memorable treat. If you’re looking for simple weekend baking project or great after school snack, try this simple recipe and thrill your whole family.
The flavor of these peanut butter and jelly bars is about as close as you can get to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, without the bread. Without a doubt, these one pan bars will be a new potluck favorite!
- Room temperature unsalted butter – feel free to use salted butter but omit the added salt.
- Smooth peanut butter like Jiff or Peter Pan – these have not be tested with an all-natural peanut butter product that is oily.
- Light brown sugar
- One large egg
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Quick cooking oats
- Old-Fashioned Oats – we use both quick and old-fashioned oats for the best texture. The whole oats add a nice chewiness to the peanut butter layer.
- Baking Soda – make sure your baking soda’s still active by using this quick, simple test.
- Salt – omit is using salted butter
- One (12.5) ounce jar of strawberry jam
Overview: How to make peanut butter and jelly bars
These easy to make bars come together in minutes! You’ll need an un-greased 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan or a jelly roll pan (15×10) if doubling the recipe.
1. Start by making the base:
In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and peanut butter until creamy. Add the brown sugar and blend. Mix in the egg and vanilla until blended.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Add the flour and oat mixture to the butter and blend on low speed until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and blend again until a crumbly dough forms.
2. Press the mixture into the pan:
Press a little more than 3/4 of the oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the jam evenly on top taking care not to leave more in the center of the pan. Crumble the remaining oat mixture on top in clumps. Press down gently on the topping to create a more even mixture.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top is light golden brown. Cool and slice.
The hardest part of making these bars is waiting for the pan to cool before cutting into individual pieces.
You don’t have to wait of course, but the bars are much prettier if cut after they’ve had a chance to cool. But (there’s always a “but”) slightly warm peanut butter and jelly bars are absolutely moan-worthy. Either way, cool or warm, you’re going to LOVE this dessert.
Can you freeze peanut butter and jelly bars?
If you want to freeze Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars be sure they are cooled completely before cutting and storing.
You can also freeze the whole pan of cooled bars in one piece and cut them after they’ve thawed. To thaw place the bars in the refrigerator overnight before cutting.
PB&J bars keep well at room temperature for up to 3 days or can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. They taste great either way.
Jelly or jam?
Peanut butter and jelly bars are a dessert bar, so they’re a little on the sweet side. We recommend using jam which typically contains more fruit and less sugar than jelly.
If you prefer to use jelly I would reduce the amount to 8 or 10 ounces instead of the 12.5 ounces of jam noted in the recipe.
You can also substitute whole fruit spreads, or make your own low sugar jam or jelly to use in this recipe.
Our favorite is Stonewall Kitchen’s Strawberry Jam for these bars, but any flavor will do.
Another terrific recipe from the SRFD Kitchen!
We share a lot of delicious dessert recipes here at SRFD, and all are well tested and approved by our terrific group of taste testers.
This peanut butter and jelly bar recipe received an A++ rating across the board from the whole gang.
Make these for your next picnic, potluck, lunchbox treat or tailgating party and bask in the compliments. These uniquely comforting bars have a personality all their own.
If you’re a fan of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, this recipe is for you!
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Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature (8 tablespoons or 4oz)
- ½ cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed (226g)
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (156g)
- 1 cup quick cooking oats (80g)
- ½ cup old-fashioned oats (40g)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 12.5 ounces strawberry jam (see notes)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Set aside an 8x8-inch square baking pan (ungreased).
- In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and peanut butter until creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat on medium speed until blended. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until blended.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and blend on low speed until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and blend one more time until a crumbly dough forms.
- Press a little more than ¾ of the oat mixture into the bottom of the ungreased prepared pan (don’t press too hard!). Spread the jam on top taking care not to leave more in the center; spread the jam evenly. Crumble the remaining oat mixture on top in clumps. Gently press down on the topping to make it more even. Bake at 350°F for 25 - 30 minutes or until the top is light golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature or refrigerate for longer storage.
- We don't recommend using all-natural style peanut butter as it tends to be more oily. For this recipe I use Jiff or another comparable brand.
- For this recipe I use jam instead of jelly as it typically contains less sugar. In my opinion, these bars are sweet enough using jam. I use Stonewall’s Strawberry Jam for this recipe but feel free to use your favorite flavor. An all natural fruit spread would also be good here.
- This recipe is easily doubled and baked in a jelly roll pan (15x10x1) instead of the 8-inch or 9-inch square. The 8-inch pan makes thicker bars as seen in the photos. Sheet pan bars will be a little thinner and should be cut into 36 pieces. Watch the baking time.
- When baking a double recipe make half strawberry jam and the other half apricot - so good!
Easy, quick and very delicious Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
These bars are easy to make, keep well, travel well and are freezable for up to 3 months. They’re great for any occasion, anytime of the year. Switch it up with your favorite jam or fruit spread and double the recipe for a crowd.
If you love this peanut butter dessert, we know you’ll also love our Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies. They’re chewy and soft and loaded with amazing texture. We also have a wonderful recipe for old-fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies that everyone loves.
And finally, for the ultimate sweet treat, make this smooth and creamy Peanut Butter Fudge recipe.