Peanut Butter & Jam Bars

CATEGORIES: Bars and Brownies, Sara

People often ask me where I learned to cook. I really had to think about it at first since I can’t really pinpoint an exact point in my life where I became interested in all things culinary. I didn’t take a class, or watch a show, or read a book. I just…cooked. I always have. But as I reflect on my life and my past and all of the things that have made me into the person that I am, the answer to that question is crystal clear. I learned from my Mother. She wasn’t a chef or even a super fancy cook. She just made good food. And she made it often. Growing up in our house, meal times were consistent, treats were plentiful, and the kitchen was the heart of our home. We all gathered there and we all helped out (some more willingly than others, *cough* Drew…) My Mom always took time to include the “little helpers” even if it meant a less-than-perfect finished product. That’s a lesson I remind my perfectionist-self of often. For her, cooking wasn’t a dreaded obligation, it was a cherished opportunity. And constant exposure to that just led to a natural interest for me. My Mom created a lot of memories in our kitchen and it’s something I really try to do with my own kids. You don’t have to be a top chef to teach your children how to cook or how to appreciate good food. It’s all about the time!

Okay, therapy session over. I mention all of this because this is one of my Mom’s recipes and biting into one of these blissfully sweet bars is like taking a big chomp into my childhood. I don’t know how anyone can resist this flavor combo. We made these all the time growing up for summer pot-lucks, Christmas plates for neighbors, our weekly “Family Nights” and on lazy Sunday afternoons simply for the purpose of inhaling. As I made this batch to photograph, I made a special point to let my toddler grab a stool and help out and I smiled when he bent over and stuck his tongue directly on the icing I was about to snap a picture of. So what are you waiting for? Go whip up a batch and start making some memories with your own family!

 


Are you a PB fan?? Then you better try these too!

38 comments

  1. I think my first cooking memory was standing on a kitchen chair so I could reach the counter kneading pizza dough with my dad 🙂

  2. When I saw the title to this post, a million images filled my mind and I almost started to cry.
    For me, I remember Christmas time and family, a healthy Mom slapping Drew's hand away from the reserved dough saying "Stop eating that or there won't be enough to cover the top!" and then me sneaking a bite while she escorted him out of the kitchen.
    I also remember the rule that we couldn't give away the pieces on the outer edge of the pan, so we always got to eat the "crust." Good memories 🙂

  3. I picked up a vintage Sunbeam Mixmaster at the thrift store today (bartered it down to $10!!!) and christened it with THIS recipe!

    They are cooling right now – I used raspberry jam (I have a massive jar I'm trying to use up-the Daring Bakers challenge this month should help with that, too!). Halved the glaze and squeezed it on with a ziploc baggie rather than spreading it – I can't WAIT to try them!!!

    Thanks for this recipe – if it's alright I'd love to show it off on my blog in the next few days, with a link right back here of course!

  4. Yum! I love PB and J and can't wait to try this recipe. Do you think I could use crunchy PB? I love your blog and have made a bunch of the recipes. So good and so easy! Thank you.

  5. Keith Fam- yes, you could definitely use chunky PB if you're a chunky kind of gal (well ya know, in terms of Peanut Butter 😉

  6. a friend of mine just told me about your blog and i tried this recipe first… amazing!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

  7. This sounds like something my kids would LOVE!! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Can't wait to try it out!

  8. I will have to try this. Looks yummy and I LOVE PB! I haven't been able to access your blog the last few days from my favs because you were under the daily bite. So I had to google best bites and add you to my favs again. I hope others aren't having problems. Love your blog. You do a great job. and your pictures… Please… They are out of this world! I so need to take you up on your offer.

  9. These look tasty for me and the kids. Voting – done! I love the food/cooking memories you shared about your childhood. I have a long way to go, but I hope to provide that for my kids too.

  10. I learned from my mom too. You know, I'm not a fan of PB&J as a sandwich at all, but turn it into dessert and it sounds wonderful. 🙂

  11. Both my mom and grandma cooked from their senses and preferred to do it alone especially my grandma. As i got older I could help with peeling potatoes or making a salad but that was about it.

    Your bars are going on my must try list.

    Btw, I made the snickerdoodle ice cream and blogged about it! Thanks for sharing.
    ~ingrid

  12. So I know my mom won't ever comment on here but she made these for my family (and hubby) while I have been out of town and they all loved them and said they were DELISH.

    My husband seriously went out of his way to tell me about them. LOL, that's rare for him about treats.

  13. I think I seriously am addicted to Peanut Butter…I have tried something similar to this before and it was delious! I will have to try out your recipe with my homemade Strawberry Jam!

  14. I'm going to be adventurous and try these with apple jam. 🙂

    I don't know why, but it's my absolute favorite!

  15. I LOVE apples and peanut butter, so I bet they'd be great with apple jam! Let us know!

  16. Ahhhhhh, PB&J. They look wonderful and I can't wait to make these bars. Of course, we already go through peanut butter and jelly at a rate that is frightening!

  17. Hi, this may seem very obvious to everyone but may I be sure about the ingredient…when it states "1T or 1t" or anything, does it mean "one teaspoon", thanks. I just tried your pizza dough and sauce and I have to proudly say that its THE BEST pizza I have made and my family love it, THANK YOU!

  18. Lydia,

    a capitol "T" always signifies tablepoon and a lowercase "t" is always teaspoon 🙂

  19. Hello,

    I'm new to your site, and PB&J Bars was the first recipe I tried. I took them to a party last night, and they were a huge success!

    Thank you for the recipe! I'll be sure to try some more. 🙂

  20. Oh, my — I'm totally making these as soon as I step away from the laptop! (I'll be using gluten-free flour, but I bet they'll be delicious!)

  21. So…. am trying to find some yummy dessert recipes that I can make and safely package for our camping trip in a week….. do these need to be kept refrigerated or will they do okay sitting in a camper?

    Thanks!

  22. I just made these with my girls (5 & 3 1/2) and they are so delicious! Both girls were "ooh"-ing and "mmm"-ing and saying things like "Mom, these are SOOO good!" 🙂 Thanks for the great recipe!

  23. Stacey, just pop them in an airtight container, either at room temp or in the fridge is fine.

  24. These are my absolute FAVORITE bars EVER!! They never stick around more than an afternoon because if the kids don’t eat them all, I do.

    Curious, am I allowed to “Pin” this??

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