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Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars are utterly irresistible! Oaty peanut butter clusters floating in a pool of sweet strawberry jam make these bars a memorable treat.
If you’re looking for an easy weekend baking project, or a great after school snack for kids of all ages, these deliciously easy bars answer the call. 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 peanut butter and jelly bars will be a new potluck favorite!
How do you make peanut butter and jelly bars?
These easy to make bars come together in minutes! The simple base is made with butter, peanut butter, quick oats, old-fashioned oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and sugar. Once blended, 3/4 of the mixture is pressed (firmly but not too firmly) into the bottom of a 8×8-inch baking dish. Your favorite jam or jelly is spread over the base and the remaining oat mixture is crumbled in clumps on top. Easy-peasy! Bake for 25 to 30 minutes and you’re good to go! I used Stonewall Kitchen Strawberry Jam for these bars, but any flavor will do.
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 while 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?
I’ve not tried freezing these bars, as they’ve always disappeared before we could get that far. If you try freezing this recipe be sure they are cooled completely before storing. I would also freeze the whole pan in one piece and cut them after they’ve thawed. To thaw, place them in the refrigerator overnight before cutting. They refrigerate very well so I bet they would freeze well, too. Remember, these peanut butter and jelly bars are quick and easy to make, so perhaps freezing isn’t necessary. You can store them at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerate for up to 5 days. They taste great either way.
Which is best for these bars, jelly or jam?
Our peanut butter and jelly bars are a little on the sweet side, so I 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.
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 bars 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
- ½ cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup quick cooking oats
- ½ cup old-fashioned oats
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 (12.5-ounce) jar strawberry jam (see notes)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees 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 3/4 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 middle, spread the jam evenly. Crumble the remaining oat mixture on top in clumps. Press down on the topping gently to make the top more even. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 - 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature or refrigerate for longer storage.
- These bars are sweet and thick so I recommend cutting into 16 pieces.
- I do not 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. A natural fruit spread would also be good too.
- This recipe is easily doubled and baked in a 15x10x1 inch sheet pan instead of the an 8x8-inch or 9x9-inch square. The 8x8-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 I suggest making half strawberry jam and the other half apricot - so good!
Here are a few more recipes you might also enjoy:
Perfect-Every-Time Brownies from scratch – An easy, rich, fudgy brownie that’s perfect served warm with a scoop of ice cream or tucked in a lunchbox for a wonderful treat! Click HERE to get the recipe.
Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars with Bourbon & Sea Salt ~ a delicious and super nutty take on one of our favorite holiday pies! More toasty nuts and less filling than the pecan pies we all love, these bars are much easier to make too. Click HERE to get the recipe.
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Carmelitas are a simple, rich bar cookie with tons of pecans, chocolate chips, and dollops of dulce de leche piled on a soft oatmeal crust then baked for a delicious treat! Click HERE to get the recipe.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Tricia