From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Somewhere, at some point in your life, someone told you to "never say never." Chances are it was your mother who hadn't yet realized you knew more than she did. I remember those heady days, but the universe conspired against me, and following a particularly embarrassing debacle, I quickly learned it was much better to say "almost never" rather than bet the ranch on the outcome of my endeavors. Are you ready for my disclaimer? Folks who follow my blog on a regular basis know I prefer "from scratch" cooking. They also know I've been known to take a shortcut or two when it's necessary. This weekend the Silver Fox and I attended a large multi-age barbecue. I was responsible for the sweet stuff and spent more time than I should making the adult desserts. I was time-pressed to produce something that would appeal to the children. A couple of ideas popped into mind. I decided to go with ice cream sandwiches, which could be made with cookies and ice cream from the grocery store, and peanut butter and jelly bars. I knew Ina Garten had a recipe for the bars, but I wanted to make something a bit less involved than that. I let my fingers do the walking and they found a truly simple recipe for the bars on the Land O' Lakes website. The base of the recipe was a packaged cake mix. I looked at the clock and gave myself absolution and permission to proceed with the shortcut version of the cookies. I'm glad I did. This is a nice recipe and it is nearly effortless to prepare. I hope you'll give it a try. Here is how these moist bars are made. Enjoy!
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Land O' Lakes
1 (15.25 to 16.5-ounce) package yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 large egg
1-1/2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
1 cup strawberry or grape jam or preserves
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1) Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 13x9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, extending foil over edges. Butter foil. Set aside.
2) Combine cake mix, butter, peanut butter and egg in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Stir in oats. Set aside 1-1/2 cups of mixture.
3) Press remaining oat mixture evenly into prepared pan. Spread jam over oat mixture, then crumble reserved oat mixture over jam. Top with chopped peanuts.
4) Bake 30-35 minutes or until top is golden brown and set. Cool completely. Lift bars from pan using foil ends. Cut into bars. Yield: 32 bars.
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