Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars | Cookies and Cups

This Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars are exactly what the doctor ordered on a rough day. It’s an easy dessert idea that tastes like childhood!

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.

How to Make this Easy Cookie Bar Recipe

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: Cookies & Cups
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 20 bars 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars are exactly what the doctor ordered on a rough day. It’s an easy dessert idea that tastes like childhood!


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

Keywords:: easy cookies, cookie bar recipe, peanut butter and jelly cookies, pb&j cookies

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Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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41 Responses
  1. Rieneke

    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? 😉

  2. Cindy

    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?

  3. 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!

  4. Norma

    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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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?!?!?!!!

    1. shelly

      Well, I made the Sweet and Salty Brownies next, sorry to disappoint, I’m posting them tomorrow…BUT the S&P cookies are third, promise!

  7. 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!

  8. 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 and I’m really glad that you worked it out!!!

  9. 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!

  10. 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!!

  11. Reese

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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 from the base to the streusel! Beautiful, Shelly!

Leave a Reply

Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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