Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

Peanut butter and jelly jogs so many childhood memories for me.  Lunchtime was one of my favorite times of the day during elementary school.  I brought my lunch every day and so did my best friend, so we were always able to sit together.  I made my own lunch a lot of the time and when I did, I always had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because, duh, I was 6-10 when I made them.  

I work at an elementary school now and I love watching the kids in the lunch room because I remember what a good time that was for me.

Anyway, these are some fancified PB&Js in bar form (with more sugar) and they are fantastic.

What’s your favorite childhood lunch?

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
¾ cup (packed) golden brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup of jelly of your choice

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 2. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with heavy-duty foil,
leaving 2-inch overhang around edges and pressing firmly into corners and up
sides of pan. Coat foil with nonstick spray. 
3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt in small bowl. 
4. Using electric mixer, beat peanut butter, sugar, and butter in large bowl
until smooth. Add egg and vanilla; beat on low-speed until smooth.
5. Add flour mixture; beat on low-speed just to blend. 
6. Transfer half of dough to prepared pan (about scant 1 ½ cups). Place
remaining dough in freezer for 10 minutes. 
7. Using fingertips, press dough evenly onto bottom of pan. Spread jelly over
in even layer. 
8. Remove dough from freezer; using fingertips, break into grape-size pieces
and scatter over jelly layer.
9. Bake bars until top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool bars completely
in pan on rack.
10. Using foil overhang as an aid, lift bars from pan. Gently peel foil from
edges. Cut into 16 squares.

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