Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars | Cookies and Cups

So guess what happened to me on Sunday?

Yeah, my site got hacked.

It basically sucked.

I certainly won’t bore you with all the gory details…most of which I don’t understand myself, but I will say that I have an awesome girl who helps me with all the internetty stuff that comes with having a website.  She also has a blog which is insanely cute, so you should check that out too!


Anyway, it took a couple of days but we got all the hackery bits off my site.  Apparently google rules the internet and if they think your site might be jacked, then the rest of the internet sits up and listens.  So anyway, my site works now.  And google says so.  So it must be true.


Luckily during this trying time I had plenty of emotional eating resources on hand.  You see, I ordered THIS book last week.  Which is amazing.  (Actually I ordered this one and this one too.)

And inside the pages of that book I found a recipe for Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars.

Don’t ask me what made me choose PB&J bars as the first recipe to try, but I did…and Lordy Mercy it was the right call.


I’ve made PB&J bars before and thought they were ok.  Nothing major.  But these.  THESE are major.  In every freaking way.

They aren’t just a peanut butter cookie bar with some jelly dropped on top.  Oh no.  They are a declious cookie crust, topped with a thick layer of peanut butter filling (which is basically a thick peanut butter frosting), topped with jelly (I used strawberry preserves because I’m friendly with those folks over at Smucker’s) and then a yummy layer of crumb topping.  I mean, crumb topping never hurt anyone.


So anyway, these are Peanut Butter and Jelly bars all amped up.

They cure a hacked heart, I know this to be true.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars | Cookies and CupsI changed the original recipe up a little bit.  I made it a little easier, with less steps.  Because sometimes I get lazy and don’t have infinity hours to make a pan of bars.

First make your cookie crust…

And when you bake it, set the pan on a baking sheet.  It’ll just help the bottom not brown too fast!
 photo IMG_6808_zps8aa42b87.jpgWhen that’s baked, make your filling.   photo IMG_6812_zps2bbe17fc.jpgLike I said before, it’s basically a thick peanut butter frosting…Butter, peanut butter and powdered sugar…

 photo IMG_6814_zpse5046948.jpgSpread that all over the crust.  Now I was a bit skeptical of this layer.  I didn’t think that it would withstand going back in the oven.  I mean, it seems like I should spread it on the crust with some jelly and call it a day.  But I wanted to give the recipe a fair shot…

I stuck this in the freezer and made the crumb topping.

 photo IMG_6816_zps3ee04a95.jpgWhen the crumb topping was made, I pulled the pan out of the freezer and spread 2 cups of yummy strawberry preserves all over the top.

 photo IMG_6819_zpse6f309b2.jpgYou could use grape jelly if that’s what you like, but I urge you to use a nice quality jelly.  It really plays a huge part in the flavor.
 photo IMG_6821_zps0d70bfd5.jpgSprinkle the crumb topping on top of the jelly layer.  Make sure that all the jelly gets covered!

 photo IMG_6822_zps6b7fc872.jpgThen bake it up!  It might get a little bubbly around the edges, but that’s ok!

You have to let these guys cool COMPLETELY before you cut them into squares.  The middle layer gets loose while baking, but after it cools and chills, it’ll be great.  I promise!
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars | Cookies and Cups


Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

  • Author:


makes 20 bars


Cookie Crust

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces
  • 1 egg

Peanut Butter and Jelly Filling

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups grape or strawberry jelly or preserves

Crumb Topping

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 6 Tbsp cold butter, but into cubes


Cookie Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray
  3. In mixing bowl combine sugar, flour, salt and butter. Mix together on medium speed until dough begins to hold together. Add egg and mix again until dough just comes together.
  4. Press dough in the bottom pf prepared pan evenly.
  5. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes until dough starts to get golden.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  7. Reduce oven temperature to 325°

Peanut Butter and Jelly Filling

  1. In mixing bowl with paddle attachment beat the butter until smooth. Add in the peanut butter and continue beating until incorporated and creamy.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and continue beating until smooth.
  3. Spread this evenly on top of crust with an offset spatula.
  4. Freeze this while you make your crumb topping.

Crumb Topping

  1. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and brown sugar. Next whisk in the oats. Pour this mixture into mixing bowl and add your cubes of cold butter. With paddle attachment beat on low speed until loose crumbs form.
  2. Take pan out of freezer. Spread your 2 cups of jelly or preserves on top of the peanut butter layer.
  3. Sprinkle the crumb topping on top of the jelly layer evenly, covering the jelly completely.
  4. Bake bars for 20-25 minutes until the top is brown.
  5. Allow bars to cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack and then transfer to refrigerator to continue to cool, approx 2 hours.
  6. When completely cooled cut into squares.


bars can be stored in refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Recipe adapted from Baked Explorations


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41 Comments on "Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars"

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Melissa @ Treats With a Twist

Yes!! I knew it!! I have all of these cookbooks too and that was one of the first recipes I tabbed as a “must make this now”!!! These look amazing! I am totally a PB&J girl!

Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust

How sucky! That you got hacked, not the bars (those rock). Did they say how it happened? Or how to avoid it??

Averie @ Averie Cooks
I am so sorry to hear about your site hack situation. If youre ever looking to write a nonfood post and are in a jam for some content, WRITE about THAT! What you did, how it all went down, what you think was the cause or how it happened, what you’re doing differently now, etc. It’s one of my greatest fears! And these PB & J bars. Epic. I made something like this last year (not on my blog) and they were incredible. The layers take a bit of time but so worth it! I love each and every layer… Read more »
Kathy - Panini Happy

These look amazing, Shelly!! I suddenly can think of nothing else but PB&J. 🙂 So glad to hear you got your site back up and running!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

That peanut butter part looks particularly lovely! Great recipe 🙂

Colleen @ What

Wow. That peanut butter layer looks amazing! It might be dangerous for me to make these because my bars would end up without that layer…it would be in my belly. 🙂 Awesome looking bars!!


Hackers suck!!! I’m so glad to see your site back and running…take that hackers! And pb and j bars totally sound like pure comfort food for when nasty people try to ruin you! I would love to hear more too about how it happened and what you did to prevent it again.


Wow….your timing on this is perfect. I am 8.5 months pregnant and I hate sweets right now but I am obsessed with pb&j sandwiches. This will be perfect for a potluck I have on Sunday that I was struggling to figure out what to bring. My baby says thank you.

Audra | The Baker Chick

Ooh I adore these! I love peanut butter and jelly anything- and that peanut butter layer looks so creamy and perfect!

Sorry about getting hacked. That’s the most stressful thing. I had something similar happen to be yesterday and I didn’t sleep all night out of worry. Glad things are back to normal!!

sue @ Cakeballs, cookies and mor

I was so upset when my computer kept blocking your site, then my site because I have you linked. thank goodness you fixed it, too many good treats to miss.

Lauren at Keep It Sweet

So happy your site is back up! Peanut butter is the ultimate emotional eating fix.


Glad to have you back! I totally agree that PB&J bars add just the right spark to a gloomy day(s); I threw cookie butter into a batch recently and it was a godsend, but I’d love to try this base recipe!

Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes
Wh-wh-whaaaaat?!?! I’ll be honest, I looked at the picture of the bars at the top, and I just freaked out a little… lost my mind a little… and didn’t read your post a little… I am sorry. These just look so amazing and I needed to get out my calendar and work them into my schedule: between the crust, the jelly, and the PB, I’m just totally in love. But now I’ve gone back and read your post and just wanted to say how sorry I am about the site hack – that kind of stuff is SO intensely frustrating… Read more »

I was absurdly upset when your site got hacked so I imagine you must have been comatose. These PB+J bars look amazing. If anything was going to help you get through, it was going to be these!


Ummm….I love myself a good old peanut butter and jelly sandwich and these bars sound glorious! Thanks so much for sharing this yummy recipe 🙂


Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies

The next thing you make from that book HAS to be the salt and pepper cookies. Trust me on this.

Katrina @ In Katrina

Stupid hackers. I’m sticking to my guns…fail.


Peanut butter is my all time favorite food! I just made your Peanut butter Nutter Butters cookies (totally cute and taste awesome) and that recipe is a keeper! Thanks for sharing another great recipe.

I’m so glad you’re website is up and running, what would we do without ya?!?!?!!!

Kim of Mo

your site and another one I follow were giving my antivirus software heart failure…I was getting WARNING! STOP! DO NOT PROCEED! etc. It was frightening! Glad you got it all worked out, b/c these bars look incredible!


So glad your site got fixed! I was very upset when my security software wouldn’t let me access your site! I love reading you blog and getting your recipes and thought I’d lost you forever! So glad you’re back and blogging again! I have a friend I’ve got to make these bars for. He’s a PB&J fanatic! Thanks for sharing!


You did it again!! Kudos Dear .. delicious 😉

Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

Wow, these look so scrumptious and decadent! Lovely recipe!

Colette @ JFF!

Those look SO goooooood.


Ahhh these look awesome! My stomach is grumbling. PB – my reason for being!


I am literally going into the kitchen to make these right now they sound that good!

Caroline @ chocolate & carrots

I wondered what was wrong! My browser wouldn’t let me go to your website or see your feeds from Google Reader. I’m so glad it’s all better now. Any tips for the rest of us to prevent or what to do if it happens to us? I’m always terrified of that happening. So glad it’s all fixed!

Carla @ Carlas Confections

Soo glad it didnt take long to get your site back up! And Im glad you shared these! So yummy!

Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen

Sorry about the hacking…bleh. Glad that you have everything back up and running though.

All three of the baked books?! I’m slightly jealous.

My grandma makes wicked homemade raspberry jam that would be killer in these. Pinning!

Joy @ Baking-Joy

Yuuum! Such a great combination, these look amazing!

luv what you do

I have made these before with PB chips but I love the idea of an entire PB layer. How amazing! I would be licking that beater blade all day!


Made these last night and they are so good! Do u think I could freeze them? Husband is bringing them to work on Thursday for baking competition. Should I freeze them until then or just refrigerate?


Hi, Made these yesterday and although they taste good I was wondering how you are able to get them into such neat squares! I was unable to get mine out of the pan without them looking pretty messed up! Is there a trick to this or are you just really really good at it? 😉


I made these over the weekend and they were a huge hit. SO yummy.


do you uses salted or unsalted butter?


What do you mean by vanilla-is it vanilla extract?


Do you have to freeze the peanut butter layer? I am afraid my freezer does not have the space for a 9 x 13 pan.