For the inaugural “bake along” linky for Ina’s Garden, I chose these absolutely delicious peanut butter and jelly bars! (The recipe is posted here as well.)Special thanks to my sister (Codename: Chunklet’s mom) for recommending them to me! The bars have a nice mix of sweet and salty, crunchy and soft. The cake layer is thick enough that serving a slice with a glass of milk makes this a near perfect dessert.
The beauty of this recipe is two-fold. First, the jelly can be any flavor you want! You can go the traditional route with grape or strawberry or try something a bit off the beaten path like me and use blackberry. Second, because peanut butter and jelly are staples in the average pantry, you’ll always have them on hand to make these bars!
I may have used a pan that was slightly smaller than what the recipe calls for because the cake part of the bars was rather thick. (Not that I’m complaining!) By the way, I lined my pan with Martha Stewart’s 2-in-1 parchment paper and aluminum foil.
The crunch of the peanut pieces scattered over the top of the bars was pretty amazing, but I suspect that the bars would be just as tasty without them. The natural energy boost from the peanut butter and peanuts makes this a perfect after activity snack. If you haven’t seen the episode of “Barefoot Contessa” where Ina makes these bars, she brings them as a snack to her friend’s daughter’s beach volleyball game. I think these bars would definitely make a great snack after a game like that.
I really enjoyed making these peanut butter and jelly bars. The kitchen smelled wonderful during the baking process, and I had to keep reminding myself not to eat all the bars so I could send some to Chunklet’s mom.
If you couldn’t join us in Ina’s Garden this week, we hope to see you on May 19th when Chaya at Bizzy B. Bakes and Comfy Cook’s Kosher Kitchen hosts the inaugural themed choose-your-own recipe linky, “Pasta with Pizazz!” Check out my post here for more details about Ina’s Garden!