Sunday, August 30, 2009

It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

I'm so upset that I nearly forgot to tell you about this recipe, because it really is SO GOOD. So Taylor's birthday is today, but as chance would have it I am in Bloomington and he is in Nashville. Not fair, but that's another story. After Taylor was shipping off to Belmont I found some time in the days before I headed to IU to put together a small package that contained a birthday treat :D.

I saw these once while I was running at the Monon Center and watching the Food Network. Let me just say Ina Garten is frickin brilliant. Peanut Butter Jelly Bars. If you like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, these will shoot you to the moon. If you don't like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, these will shoot you to the moon. They are so delicious that thinking about them is making me wish I had a kitchen on my floor. By the way, I DON'T HAVE A KITCHEN ON MY FLOOR. Now I'm just going to have to bake a ton every time I go home for a weekend!

When I made these for Taylor about half the tray made it into the box I sent him, the other half went straight to my mouth. I actually used to make these all the time, they're one of my favorite recipes, but I stopped when I realized that I could not make them without eating them in large quantities. These bars are the kind of thing you make and keep. Taylor's lucky he got any at all ;)

So the basic idea of these bars, the recipe for which I'll give you in a bit, is a peanut butter shortbread with jelly in the middle and chopped peanuts sprinkled on the top. Sound delicious? That's because IT IS. Shortbreads are pretty simple, this one is the best though because you have to use an entire jar of peanut butter. AN ENTIRE JAR!

Peanut Butter Jelly Bars

That's right, I used that whole thing. And as if that wasn't enough peanut for you, I used all these chopped ones, too.

Peanut Butter Jelly Bars

But we'll get back to that later. So you make this peanut butter shortbread and you spread about two thirds of the dough on the bottom on a 9 by 13 inch baking pan. Then you spread on top of that a jar of jam. Not jelly. Jam. Or preserves, I guess. Just not jelly. In case you were wondering, jelly is thinner than jam and doesn't have the seeds and such, the texture of jam in exponentially better and if you ruin this recipe by using sub-par fruit spread I will find you. So after you spread on the jam that you bought because you refuse to use crappy jelly, you put the rest of the peanut butter short bread dough on top. Now this part is a little difficult, but I believe in you! I like to take chunks of the dough and press it between my palms or the pads of my fingers to flatten it out and then evenly disperse pieces of the flattened dough on top of the jelly, looks something like this...

Peanut Butter Jelly Bars

Then you add all those peanuts you chopped up, pop the whole layered mess in the oven and nearly an hour later you open the oven door and find heaven.


The recipe for heaven, by the way, can be found at the Food Network website: Just type "peanut butter jelly bars" in the search bar and it should be the first link. Really, this is one of the best recipes I will share with you, and I promise they aren't too difficult at all.

Well, I have to get back to college now, classes start tomorrow. See you, I don't know when, I'm running out of things to write about. Did I mention my floor has no kitchen?


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