From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I made these for myself this weekend, because, as you know, butter cookies enriched with jelly and peanuts are just what you need after being sedentary for a month. I'm sure they moved directly to my hips, but not before I enjoyed every buttery morsel. These cookies are the adult version of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and while I can't promise for sure, I think they will make you feel like a kid again. The recipe for the cookies was developed by Ina Garten and while most folks who have made them like the cookies, others have found them to be dry and crumbly. I can't speak to what their problems might have been, but I can tell you we enjoyed the cookies and I would make them again. Because the bars are expensive to make, I want to share some tips with you. The measurement of flour can be tricky because of the way we scoop it. In a perfect world, we'd all weigh our flour and results would be consistent from one kitchen to another. That's not going to happen any time soon, so, I wanted to let those of you who decide to make these know how I measured mine. I have for years been a fluff, spoon and level gal and I suspect the quantity of flour that I use is a smidge less then that used by those who fluff and scoop. That distinction can sometimes be important and probably explains why some folks ended up with dry and crumbly cookie bars. It is equally important to let these sit for at least an hour before you cut them. This is the type of cookie that improves with age, so I made mine the day before I cut and served them. Our bars were very moist and we really enjoyed them. These are not an everyday cookie but if you are looking for an occasional treat, do give this recipe a try. Here is how the cookies are made.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Ina Garten
8 ounces unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature (2 sticks)
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups peanut butter
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 (16 ounce) jar strawberry or raspberry preserves
3/4 cup salted peanuts, chopped
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
2) Beat butter with an electric mixer until smooth; add sugar gradually until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter until combined.
3) Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to butter mixture and mix until just combined.
4) Spread 2/3 of the dough mixture into prepared pan; spread evenly with strawberry preserves and top with dollops of remaining dough.
5) Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and bake 45 minutes or until golden brown.
6) Place baking pan on wire rack to cool for about an hour. Cut into 16 even squares.
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