I got the cookbook Martha Stewart’s Cookies for Christmas and there are a bunch of recipes that I can’t wait to try! I’m still in my holiday mindset and not quite organized about baking in the New Year yet! I luckily had all of the ingredients to make these bars and my husband loves PB & J so I thought that these would be a good place to start. I ended up using raspberry preserves in the recipe, since I actually had enough of that.
I lined the pan with foil which is different than the recipe calls for. I figured that they would be sticky and hard to cut because of the jam. I’m really glad I did that so I could just lift the cookies out of the pan and then cut them on a cutting board. Cutting ended up being very easy. I did let them cool overnight, which also helped.
These are soft and have good flavor, but I was surprised that they didn’t have a more pronounced peanut butter flavor. You can taste it there, but I wanted it to be stronger. Still, they are very good and I’m sure my husband will like them a lot.
1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2-1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
3 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups jam, jelly or preserves
1 cup salted peanuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.
Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. While the mixture is running, add the eggs and the peanut butter. Mix until thoroughly combined. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add to the butter mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Add the vanilla and stir to combine.
Spread 2/3 of the dough in the bottom of the prepared pan. Pat down evenly. Spread the dough with the jam and then crumble the remaining dough on top of the jam. Sprinkle with the salted peanuts.
Bake for 45-60 minutes, until golden. Tent with foil while baking if the cookies get too dark too quickly. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies