Friday, December 30, 2011

peanut butter-n-jelly bars and a happy new year!!!

It's New Year's Eve Eve and it's time to bust out your resolutions. A lot of people have dieting on their lists, but before you start your New Year's diet, go into your kitchen and make these. Now! 

When I was tasting them earlier I was kinda convincing myself that these would be a great breakfast item. Yeah, right?! These peanut butter-n-jelly bars are just wrong.....but in a good way.

Peanut Butter-n-Jelly Bars
2001 Holiday Cookie Issue by Martha Stewart

Makes about 3 dozen

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter @ room temperature, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter ***Other recipes called for Skippy, but I went with a natural and organic peanut butter***
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs @ room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt ***I used kosher salt***
1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 cups strawberry jam ***I like raspberry***
1 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped 

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper, dust with flour, and tap out the excess; set aside. Place butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add peanut butter and vanilla and mix to combine. Add eggs one at a time; incorporating each egg until it's creamy and a homogeneous mixture, about 2 minutes.

2. Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder. Add to the butter mixture, and beat on low speed until combined. Transfer two-thirds of the mixture to your prepared pan. Press down dough evenly with your fingers or an offset spatula. Using your offset spatula, spread 1 cup of jam on top peanut butter mixture. With the remaining third of dough, drop small clumps/dollops of peanut butter dough on top of jam. Sometimes the jam is completely covered by the third of the peanut butter dough. Not to worry, here is where you would dollop the remainder 1/2 cup of jam in tablespoons on top of the peanut butter clumps. Sprinkle with chopped salted peanuts.

3. Bake until golden, 45 to 60 minutes, rotating halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Run a knife around the edges and refrigerate, 1 to 2 hours. Cut into about thirty-six 1 1/2-by-2-inch pieces.

For Chris, Sarah, Eddie & Marilyn.....Happy New Year!!!

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