peanut butter & jelly crumb bars


Unlike many kids, I rarely packed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for school lunches – you’d be more likely to find a turkey sandwich or cheese and crackers in my lunch pouch. In the last five years, however, I’ve developed an affinity for the salty-sweet combination of the PB&J. These peanut butter and jelly crumb bars are tasty and portable, making them great for kids or the kid at heart. My favorite way to snack on them is slightly warm so the flavors meld together just like the namesake. Fill the bars with any fruit jelly your family likes – I used homemade pomegranate jelly.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Crumb Bars
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups pomegranate jelly

Preheat oven to 350°F and coat a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter, peanut butter, and sugar in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture; beat just until incorporated – dough will be crumbly. Reserve 1 cup of mixture and set aside.

Press remaining dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking dish. Bake 10 minutes, until crust is light golden and center is set. Cool on a rack 10 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk jelly to loosen; use a small spatula to spread in an even layer over crust. Toss reserved dough with 2 teaspoons water until crumbs form and scatter over jelly layer. Bake for 15 minutes more, or until topping is golden. Remove from oven to cool completely in pan on a wire rack; cut into squares with a sharp knife. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

Yield – 24 bars (serving size: 1 bar)
Calories – 150
Carbs – 28

    1. My neighbor makes pomegranate jelly every year and we were fortunate to be gifted with a jar this year! This is her recipe: In a large pot, combine 3 1/2 cups pomegranate juice with 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1 package (2 oz) powdered pectin. Over high heat, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add 4 1/2 cups sugar and stir to blend; bring to a second rolling boil, then boil exactly 2 minutes. Remove jelly from heat and let stand a minute to allow foam to form; remove foam and pour hot jelly into hot sterilized jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of rims. Makes 3 pints.

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