Posts Tagged by peanut butter

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookie Bars

PB & J Bars

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.

PB & J Cookie Bars

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.

PB & J Cookie Bars

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.

PB & J Cookie Bars

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.

PB & J Cookie Bars

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookie Bars

Makes 16 bars.

Ingredients:

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!

Directions:

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?

One Ingredient Homemade Peanut Butter

Homemade-Peanut-Butter

We have recently discovered the joys of homemade peanut butter. All these years I’ve spent so much money on jars of peanut butter at the grocery store, having had no idea how easy and yummy peanut butter is when you make it from scratch.

So…one ingredient peanut butter.  I love this!  No preservatives, no weird oils or chemicals. The one ingredient, of course, is the peanuts. I start with raw peanuts from the local farmers market.  If you live in the Atlanta area, and haven’t been to the DeKalb Farmers Market, you have to go! I get a 5-pound bag of peanuts there for less than $10. Its a real bargain!

Homemade-Peanut-Butter

Next, I roast the peanuts without salt or oil or any seasonings. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and place a layer of raw peanuts on a baking sheet. Maybe about 3 cups – enough to cover the sheet without piling up.  Throw the pan in the oven for about 10 minutes.

Homemade-Peanut-Butter

 

Around the time you start to smell their roasty yumminess, take them out and give them a toss, shake the pan and turn them with a spatula.

Homemade-Peanut-Butter

Put them back in the oven for another 6 to 8 minutes. They will be a nice golden brown when they’re ready. They’ll go past golden brown really (I mean REALLY) fast, so keep an eye on them. Take them out and let them cool right on the sheet pan.

Homemade-Peanut-Butter

Once they’ve cooled, toss the whole batch into a food processor or blender. Add about a teaspoon of salt (if you want) and turn it on. It will look like the peanuts don’t want to do much of anything that comes close to resembling peanut butter…but, like the song says “let it go.”  You’ll notice a chopped nuts stage, then something that just looks crumbly.  After about two minutes, it will start to get creamier and I start to get a little giddy!  Scrape the sides when you need to, and magically it will turn into a nice creamy peanut butter. Let it go another minute or so and you’ll be in peanut butter heaven.

As the magic begins, you’ll see the transition between crumbly weird peanuts and beautiful, smooth peanut butter.

Homemade-Peanut-Butter 6

 Done!

Homemade-Peanut-Butter

Test it for seasoning, and add a little salt if it needs it. This is also the point that you can add other flavorings to the peanut butter. Mix in things like cinnamon, honey, cocoa powder, garlic powder or maple syrup. How about a bit of Chinese Five Spice? We usually enjoy it just plain, but my husband also likes it with a little cinnamon and honey. If you like crunchy, toss in some chopped peanuts.

Have this on some fresh baked bread with some yummy preserves or jam and you’ll never go back to store bought peanut butter, I promise! Store this in a sealed container in the refrigerator – how about in an old peanut butter jar? It will keep for a month or more, but I promise I won’t last that long!

Homemade-Peanut-Butter

 

Next time, I’m going to try making some with almonds or sunflower seeds. Back to the Farmer’s Market!  I wonder if pumpkin seeds would work?  I think I have already have a jar of pepitos.

 

Have you made homemade nut butter before?  What flavor or nut is your favorite?