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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned some of the things I love, and some of the things I hate about being in the kitchen.

One of the things I love is fixing after school snacks for my kids. I only have one or two mornings that I am home alone while everyone is at school, but I try to use those days to have a little surprise treat for when the kids get back.

Here is a new recipe I tried the other day which was happily gobbled up by some hungry young scholars. Over the summer I had experimented with making some strawberry jam without added sugar. It didn't go over so well. I can't blame the kids, actually. The flavor was good, but the consistency was closer to apple sauce than to jam. Needless to say, the peanut butter and jam sandwiches weren't very much appreciated. As a matter of fact, they weren't very much consumed. (Heh... remember the part where I hate packing lunch boxes?).

Well, the no-added-sugar jam went into these bars, and as long as you promise not to tell my kids, they shall never be any the wiser. Of course, you can make these bars with any jam or jelly that you like best.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
(from Family Fun Magazine)

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinamon
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups peanut butter
1 1/2 cups jam

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In your mixer, combine the butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Mix on medium until well blended. Reduce the speed to low, and add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until it is all incorporated.

Spread about 2/3 of the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Spread the jam evenly on top of the dough. With the remaining dough, form mounds and place them in three rows of 8. This will allow you to cut 24 squares with one mound on top of each. Sprinkle any remaining crumbs evenly over the entire pan.

Bake it until is is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Let it cool, and then cut into squares to serve.