Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookie Bars
|August 2, 2014||Filled under Cookies|
It’s always a good day when you end it with peanut butter and jelly, no matter the form it takes! I was already in a pretty good mood last night – it was Friday, our daughter came home from college for the weekend, hubby had just mowed the grass, we had some awesome Mexican food for dinner…life was pretty rockin’ right about then. Later, the snacking instinct was triggered when we sat down to watch a movie. Hmmm…you know that thought process. What’s in the kitchen? What can I make with it? What’s super easy? What’s crazy yummy? Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookie Bars!
We’ve been making these bars forever. I think the recipe originally came from someone at church, who probably wrote it on the back of a receipt or an envelope (whatever was in her purse at the time!) to give to us. It’s the easiest thing to make and is pretty flexible. We’ve make tons of variations and they’re all delicious!
These cookies only take four ingredients and the combinations are endless. We’ve done this cookie with chocolate chip cookie dough, peanut butter cookie dough and even brownie dough. You can really use whatever dough you find in a roll. If you’re really ambitious and amazing, you can make your own dough, but I’m all about easy on this one! Change up the flavors of jelly or jam, and swap out the kinds of chips you add.
After I turned on the oven and lined my pan, I pressed about 2/3 of the roll of cookie dough into the bottom of my pan. It always looks like it’s not going to be enough, but somehow works out in the end. (I always think of the loaves and fish when I do this!)
Spread your favorite jam or jelly across the top of dough, but don’t go quite to the edges. We’ve learned over the years that this seems to keep the jelly from burning. I used some of our homemade strawberry jam, but we’ve used all kinds. If you use jelly, I found that it’s easier to spread if you stir it up a little to break it up before you put it in the pan.
Then, all you have to do is dump the chips, the rest of the cookie dough and the granola in a bowl and mix them together. I use my hands for this and just squish it all together. Little kids love this part! Sprinkle the mixture evenly in the pan – this time you can go to the edge.
Bake your masterpiece for about a half hour, then comes the hardest part…let them cool! Leave them in the pan until they cool, then use the foil to help you lift the whole thing out of the pan. Cut them into squares – I usually do four across and four down to make 16 bars, but for bigger appetites you could do 9 squares.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookie Bars
Makes 16 bars.
1 roll of refrigerated sugar cookie dough
3/4 cup of your favorite jam or jelly
3/4 cup peanut butter chips
3/4 cup granola (no dried fruit)
(optional) 1/2 cup chopped peanuts – if you’re a chunky peanut butter fan!
1. Line a 9×9 baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Preheat over to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Use about 2/3 of the roll of cookie dough to press in the bottom of the pan.
3. Spread the jelly/jam over the cookie dough almost to the edge.
4. In a separate bowl, crumble together the granola, peanut butter chips, nuts ( if you’re adding them) and remaining cookie dough, and sprinkle it evenly across the top of the jelly (this can go to the edges.)
5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cookie dough is golden brown.
6. Place the pan on a rack until cool, then lift the bars out of the pan using the foil.
7. Cut into bars and serve.
8. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
We made a s’mores variety of this a few times using snickerdoodle cookie dough, marshmallow creme instead of jelly, chocolate chips and crumbled graham crackers. So amazing!
How do you like your PB&J?
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