Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

It’s kind of like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the bread. And with a lot more peanut butter. And a little more amazing. Use your favorite jam (oh, use some of the homemade stuff if you want this to be even more decadent!)

I made these pareve, and used earth balance shortening and natural peanut butter. I actually use Skippy brand because 1. it was on sale, and 2. it is much creamier than most natural peanut butters. And though that’s not what I always prefer in pb&j sandwiches, it’s definitely better for the texture of the cookie. No trans-fats in this recipe! Use butter if you want it to be even more amazing, but then you can’t serve it to your family after Friday night dinner.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars, adapted from Ina Garten:


  • 1/2 pound earth balance, or your favorite natural margarine or shortening (or butter, of course!)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups (18 ounces) peanut butter
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (unless you have really salty peanut butter. then just leave it out)
  • 1 1/2 cups (18 ounces) jam. I used raspberry, but use your favorite flavor)
  • 2/3 cups roasted salted peanuts, chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease and flour a 9×13 cake pan (I used a pyrex)

3. In the bowl of your electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium until they turn light yellow, about 3 minutes.

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, then add the vanilla and peanut butter. Mix until just combined.

5. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.

6. Add the flour mixture to the wet with the mixer on low. Mix only until just combined.

7. Spread about 2/3 (just eyeball it) of the batter to the bottom of your baking pan. Smooth it out and make sure it’s even using a knife or spatula.

8. Spread the jam on top, evenly.

9. Take spoonfuls of the batter and drop the rest on top of the jam. Don’t worry if the jam layer is not completely covered, the dough will spread during baking.

10. Sprinkle with the peanuts.

11. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown.

12. Let cool before cutting into bars (or else they’ll fall apart and crumble – they’ll still taste good, though!). I cut them into 24 bars. They’re really decadent, so they don’t have to be big to be enjoyed!

Etrog Jam

etrog jelly

An etrog is a very interesting fruit. You never really hear of it except for during Sukkot, and even then nobody eats it; we just shake it. It doesn’t help that they’re really expensive, and not that easy to eat.

This was my first experience cutting into an etrog. It’s a citrus fruit similar to a lemon, but you can’t squeeze the juices out. I guess you can use the outside like you would lemon zest, but it would be much harder, since the surface isn’t very smooth.

Jewish superstition connects etrog jelly to pregnancy and fertility. I have heard that it eases labor pains, helps a woman get pregnant, and can be eaten any time during pregnancy for health and luck.

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