Did you give up anything for Lent this year? I haven't given anything up for a couple years because I never followed through. I always tried to come up with things at the last minute so it would end up being something like no more sweets, but it never really meant anything. A student at the beginning of Lent told me that she gave up hot showers. That was something I had never heard of somebody giving up before, so I was impressed!
In addition to hot showers, however, she gave up sweets for Lent. That's why I felt bad handing out these Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars during class as she and another student had given up sweets. She had prepared for that day by making herself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to pretend like she was eating the bars with the class. But as I folded back the foil to reveal these bars, sliced into them, and handed them to students, who bit into them and expressed joy at the combination of peanut butter, jelly, and milk in their mouths, she decided to have half a bar. I don't blame her.
If you also gave up sweets for Lent, I apologize for this post. But think of it this way: only two more weeks to go and you can make anything and everything you want! Just remember to bookmark this and go back to it after Easter.
I had just enough for all the students, so I didn't get to taste any except some of the crumbs. From what I hear, these bars are really good. Enjoy!
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
From Unfussy Fare
2 sticks (1/2 lb) unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temp
18 oz peanut butter [I used Jif's all natural creamy]
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
18 oz jam [I used strawberry]
2/3 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Grease and flour 9x13 glass pan.
Cream the butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, two minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix until all ingredients are combined. Slowly add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the peanut butter mixture. Mix just until combined.
Spread 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of the prepared glass pan. Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Drop globs of the remaining dough over the jam. Don't worry if all the jam isn't covered. The dough will spread as it bakes. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and bake for 45 minutes at 350F, until golden brown.
Cool and cut into squares.