The second recipe for "A Week with the Barefoot Contessa" is the peanut butter and jelly bar. This was actually one of the first recipes I made from The Barefoot Contessa at Home, so I was excited for the chance to make them again.
I would like to go ahead and apologize for the awful picture. I did not do a very good job plating these, because of the way I baked them. The general recipe is a layer of jam sandwiched between two layers of peanut butter dough. When spreading my first layer of dough, I must have used way less than half, so the top layer is significantly thicker than the bottom; thereby leading to very unstable bars that fell apart when I took them out of the pan. And I just reread the recipe and noticed that the bottom layer is supposed to be 2/3 of the dough... oops! In fact, I probably wouldn't even blog them if I wasn't participating in the challenge. I will just have to make them again and update the picture.
Anyway, I also added extra jam to the middle layer, as the first time I made them they seemed a little dry.
So while I am incredibly disappointed in my presentation, the taste makes up for it. If you are a peanut butter and jelly fan (and really, who isn't?), then you will love these. Just be mindful of your peanut butter layers.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
adapted from The Barefoot Contessa at Home
makes 24 bars
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 cups creamy peanut butter (18 ounces)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 cups jam, any flavor (I used strawberry)
- 2/3 cups salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, vanilla, and peanut butter, and mix until well combined.
Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add to the peanut butter mixture, and mix until just combined.
Spread 2/3 of the dough in the prepared pan, using a knife to spread it evenly. Spread the jam over the dough, and drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam. Sprinkle the peanuts over the top and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and cut into small squares.