You know when you see a picture of some food on instagram and then you have dreams about it and just have to make your own version? No? You mean you’re not obsessed with food to the same levels I am? You don’t plan pretty much every meal for the foreseeable future and read cookery books for fun? Oh OK. I accept it, I am a food nutter. Anyway, I saw a friend make these bars and couldn’t start thinking about them.
My boys watch a lot of American films/telly at the moment and are just starting to cotton on to that humourous element which us Brits still have at such moments. Americans calling things by different names. Setting aside the ever-hilarious casual usage of ‘fanny’ which as yet doesn’t mean much to my boys (only a matter of time) the boys think it’s ridiculous that they would put ‘jelly’ on toast. Jelly? But it’s wobbly and would go everywhere – snarf, snarf, snarf……….
This recipe does not call for jelly my friends, it needs jam. Of course, I could have just called it peanut butter and jam bars but then it would lose that whole yankee-cool vibe (me, affected much?!).
I am not actually a jam fan. The band or the fruit spread. I like making jam but, aside from on a scone with a large amount of clotted cream, I don’t really like eating it that much. So when I was adapting this recipe I cut down the quantity a bit. Feel free to add more if you love it although bear in mind that jam bubbles up like a bastard when it is cooked and then welds on to any cooking pan and clings on like the devil itself. You’ve been warned.
These bars aren’t quite biscuit and they aren’t quite cake. Somewhere in between. The first mouthful is a bit salty and you’ll be unsure if you like them, the second mouthful gives the sweet hit and then before you know it you’ll have eaten at least 3.
Peanut butter & Jelly Bars
125g Marg or butter
150g sugar (caster or granulated)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
250g smooth peanut butter
210g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
125g strawberry or raspberry jam
50g salted peanuts crushed in a pestle and mortar or chopped roughly
Pre heat oven to 180c and grease and line with baking parchment a tin. I use a square one that measures about 21cm x 21cm
I use my kitchenaid for this but of course you can use a food processor or mixer or even by hand.
Cream the butter and sugar in the mixer until golden and fluffy, then add the vanilla, egg and peanut butter – mix together. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until just combined.m
Put 2/3 of the dough into the baking tray and squish down with a fork to cover the bottom. Dollop the jam with a teaspoon over the top. I quite like it spread not to evenly so on some mouthfuls you get more jam than others. Then onto the top of the jam, using a teaspoon again, dollop the remaining dough and then flatten out with a fork.
Top with the peanuts and pop in the oven until golden brown. This takes 35 to 40 minutes in my oven (which is a fast oven)
Take out and cool before cutting into squares.
I have frozen half of these to prevent myself from eating too many of them in one sitting. Be warned they’re a bit addictive.