Peanut Butter and Jelly Squares

One more semester of my graduate program… Done!  This certainly calls for a celebration.  So what did I do?  I baked!  For reasons I can’t explain, when I like to relax and relieve stress, I tend to bake rather than cook.  It may be perhaps because I like the scientific aspect of baking.  Making sure that I’ve measured everything precisely, that the temperature is optimal, and that timing is precise (nobody wants burnt cookies)…all these things ironically calm my soul and comfort me.  Or maybe it’s because I was a baker for about a year.  I don’t think I’ve shared this with you before, but I used to bake wedding cakes and various pastries professionally.  Fun memories, for sure.  And no, I didn’t gain a whole bunch of weight during that time.  When you have to bake constantly in huge batches for 4-5 hours every morning, it makes you want to have nothing to do with sweets.

Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes, I LOVE to bake!  While I try to make them healthier, some recipes, you just gotta indulge.  Like this one…

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I came across this recipe from Food Network and knew instantly that this one was going to be a winner in my book.  And it sure didn’t disappoint.  I made very slight changes to the recipe, such as adding more peanuts (can never have enough nuts in my life).  Here it is…

Peanut Butter and Jelly Squares

Print this recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1 cup crushed roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup strawberry preserves

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Grease a 9 x 13 in baking pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt.
  3. In another bowl, cream sugar and butter until smooth.  Add eggs and vanilla extract.  Mix until combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and fold with spatula until uniform.  Fold in the pb chips and roasted peanuts.
  5. Pour the batter into the baking dish and spoon on the preserves. Using a skewer or knife, make swirly patterns into the batter with the preserves. Bake until the top is shiny and a cake tester comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  6. Cut into squares and serve.

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Oh my word!  These were out of this world!!  Hope you’ll try this recipe!

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18 Responses to Peanut Butter and Jelly Squares

  1. Linz says:

    What a fun recipe that sounds and looks delicious!! Well done, Min! 🙂

  2. Looks great! Nice to know someone else is a zen person when they cook! 🙂

  3. Khushboo says:

    Yum yum yum…look at those swirls! Looks delicious, Min and I love that you said that you just gotta indulge sometimes…so true! I’m all about the real deal but sometimes the only the real deal will do! I am spending the day indoors today because it’s far too cold and you’ve inspired me to get baking…hmmm :)!

  4. eatpraytri says:

    I bet Kyle would love these. I have never liked PB&J sandwiches for some reason. i know I am crazy!! I have a feeling I would like these though….

  5. These look insanely delicious!!!! Baking does the exact opposite for me, I’m constantly stressed when I have to bake something, so I usually leave it up to the professionals 🙂

  6. I think the only thing that could be better than a PB and J is a PB and J bar:)

  7. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says:

    I definitely bake instead of cook when I want to relax 🙂 And what a baking choice you made! This recipe looks fantastic! And congratulations on being done for the year!!

  8. Just finished my last final. Know what I’m doing tonight? BAKING!! Chocolate chip cookies, get in my belly!

  9. Those seriously sound like the best thing ever right now!! I wish I could just come over and sit down in your kitchen and eat some with you, hehe 🙂 I bet Malia would love them too, she eats PB&J almost every day for lunch. It’s funny how some kids never get sick of the same things over and over, I guess I’m a creature of habit too, so maybe she gets it from me!

    Hooray for being done!! Let the celebrating begin 🙂

    • Min says:

      It was so nice talking to you last night!!
      I, too, can eat the same things over and over again and never get tired of them. I believe I’ve been eating the same breakfast for about a month now. Pb & banana sandwich with a fried egg. What can I do? That’s what I crave hehe.

  10. First things first…CONGRATS on finishing the semester!! I’m sending you a huge hug!! Isn’t the freedom that comes with handing in your last final one of the best feelings ever? I was telling my friend today that I felt…for lack of a better word, SO HAPPY. 😀 It’s like I finally have permission to truly savor the season!

    Like you, I tend to bake when I’m stressed. The final product (cookies! muffins! pie!) is satisfying, of course, but it’s really the process in itself that’s most therapeutic. However, just as it’s a stress-relieving activity, it can very quickly become// a stress-inducing activity as well. :-p Today I baked about 4 dozen cookies for a party we’re hosting tomorrow night, and about half of them are nearly burnt because I forgot to set the timer. Ooof. Tomorrow I need to scramble to re-bake the cookies, decorate the cookies, and clean the house! Right now I’m kinda of wishing the re-baking part *wasn’t* part of the the equation. 😉

    These peanut butter and jelly squares are like my favorite childhood sandwich in dessert-form! I can’t wait to try them! Any peanut and peanut butter chip-containing treat is a winner in my book. 🙂 Do you think I can substitute oat flour for the all purpose flour?

    I hope you’re having a lovely week, Min! Happy Friday, happy weekend, and happy end of semester! ❤ xoxo

  11. Min says:

    Yes yes!! hugs and kisses to you as well!! CONGRATS!! Didn’t think this day would ever come!
    Aww… a house party hosted by you?..I wanna go….
    I’m sorry that you have to rebake those cookies..4 dozen? Isn’t it so true that whenever you have to cook or bake for a special occasion ( when you really have to deliver) that something aways goes awry? I think I start to put too much pressure on myself and start doing things I normally wouldn’t do…for instance, cooking for my in-laws! Yikes! The final product was always disappointing.

    Anyway, you can do it, Sara!! I can’t wait to hear all about it soon ;).
    As for substituting oat flour, I really don’t know. It was my first time baking these so I haven’t experimented with it yet. I’m not too familiar with oat flour either so I really can’t say…Have you had tried substituting in other recipes? I’m curious to hear how it turned out. I may have to try…
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend as well!! We did it!!!

  12. YUM!!! The title alone was enough to get me, but they also look delicious! Have a wonderful weekend!!

  13. jamesabyad says:

    These look so good!!

  14. Daang I just ate xmas cookies all day and I could still eat a bunch of those! looks great…

  15. Oh by the way the pictures look really good 😉

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