When I am in a hurry, bar cookies come to the rescue. They need less time to bake than drop cookies that require multiple oven sessions. And when I am in a hurry AND I want to speak to my inner cookie monster, I make Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam Bars. These taste so much like the iconic children’s sandwich that, for me at least, nothing will do but a big glass of ice-cold milk to go with them.
The bars are soft, even slightly goopy, so store them in the refrigerator and then bring to room temperature before serving. They can be refrigerated before or after cutting, but either way they should be cooled completely first. I find them easier to cut when they are chilled.
I use chunky peanut butter because I love the crunch of the peanuts, but smooth will work just as well. Likewise you can change up the flavor of the jam. Strawberry is my favorite but raspberry, grape, apricot or peach will work just as well. Use jam that has some chunks in it, rather than clear jelly. The jelly seems to liquefy a bit more and the squares will be even softer.
Got a stash of homemade jam to use? I’ll be right over.
Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam Bars are not good candidates for freezing because the bars are already moist. They will just get wetter when thawed.Bake a batch for after-school snacks or for an after Weekday Supper treat, and there will be plenty to share a few with a neighbor, or the teacher.
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup chunky peanut butter
- 1 egg
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup strawberry jam
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 teaspoons hot water
- Cream sugars, butter, peanut butter and egg. Stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder, and mix well. Reserve 1 cup dough. Press remaining dough into ungreased 9- by 13-inch pan. Spread with jam, and then crumble reserved dough and sprinkle over jam. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven until golden brown, approximately 20 minutes. Cool while preparing glaze.
- To make the glaze, heat butter over low heat. Mix in confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Beat in hot water, 1 teaspoon at a time, till smooth. Drizzle glaze over top and cut into 2- by 1-1/2-inch bars.
Weekday Supper recipes are great for when life gets busy! It’s easy to find them. Search the #WeekdaySupper hashtag across social media or click here for more on our Sunday Supper website. Also check out the Weekday Supper Pinterest board for plenty more ideas and inspiration.