Thursday, May 12, 2011

Famous duos

Bonappetit: Photo by Dan Forbes
Recipe by Lauren Chattman

Bacon and eggs. Milk and cookies. Spaghetti and meatballs. Sonny and Cher. My favorite duo? Peanut butter and jelly. It's a perfect marriage--salty and sweet, crunchy and creamy (I prefer chunky peanut butter), a little protein, a bit of fiber, and some carbohydrates.

The March 2011 issue of Bon Appetit contains an article written by pastry chef Lauren Chattman--"Pantry Raid". Ms. Chattman gives us six amazing desserts you should be able to whip up without a trip to the grocery store. All of them sound amazing. But today I'm craving PB & J.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars


  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup grape jelly or other jelly or jam
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped salted dry-roasted peanuts


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan with heavy-duty foil, leaving 2-inch overhang around edges and pressing firmly into corners and up sides of pan. Coat foil with nonstick spray.
  • Whisk flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat peanut butter, sugar, and butter in large bowl until smooth. Add egg and vanilla; beat on low speed until smooth. Add flour mixture; beat on low speed just to blend. Transfer half of dough to prepared pan (about scant 1 1/2 cups). Place remaining dough in freezer for 10 minutes. Using fingertips, press dough evenly onto bottom of pan. Spread jelly over in even layer. Remove dough from freezer; using fingertips, break into grape-size pieces and scatter over jelly layer. Sprinkle chopped nuts over.

  • Bake bars until top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool bars completely in pan on rack.

  • Using foil overhang as aid, lift bars from pan. Gently peel foil from edges. Cut into 16 squares. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.


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