Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars are the perfect dessert for the kid in all of us! Three layers of chewy, gooey goodness. A peanut butter cookie bottom smeared with jelly and topped with crunchy crumbled peanuts. This is the best dessert for the adults and kids alike! Seriously, who does not like this delicious combination? For some of you, maybe you have not had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich since elementary school. I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, in fact, whenever I am running late or have nothing left to bring for lunch, I always bring a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I have been wanting to make these for a while now and when I saw them in the March issue of Bon Appetit, I knew I had to try them. You can use any type of jelly or jam you prefer. I used my favorite, raspberry. :)

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup jelly or jam
2/3 cup coarsely chopped salted dry-roasted peanuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 8 by 8 inch baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in small bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat peanut butter, brown sugar, and butter until smooth. Scrape down bowl and add egg and vanilla; beat on low speed until smooth. Scape down bowl and add flour mixture; beat on low speed just to blend. Transfer half of dough to prepared pan (about 1 1/2 cups). Place remaining dough in freezer for 10 minutes. Use your hands to push the dough into an even layer at the bottom of the pan. Spread jelly over dough in even layer. Remove reserved dough from freezer and crumble grape-size pieces over jelly layer. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.
Bake bars until top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool bars completely in pan on rack.

Source: Bon Appetit, March 2011