Paige's Pantry is empty. I don't mean a little empty. I mean like really empty. In the "old days'" (bc the crappy economy) I was always making sure that I had "back stock" of everything you could imagine for any baking emergency that may arise. I guess an empty pantry forces one to be a little creative, hence the creation of these PB&J Bars. Most recipes that I found called for peanut butter chips...pb chips?! I don't even have any chocolate chips! And the jelly part...I had 6 jars of different types of jellies and jams that were almost empty (apple, black cherry, raspberry, marmalade, apricot, and tart cherry) so I figured I might as well clean out a shelf in the fridge while I'm at it and mix the jams/jellies all together. Since I couldn't find an exact recipe for bars that I wanted to try, I decided to concoct one out of a cookie recipe. I thought they turned out pretty yummy, but definitely needed strawberry jam for a true "pb & j" flavor.
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. quick cooking oats
1 c. strawberry jam (more or less to your liking)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat for a few minutes to really get it nice and light. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and oats and mix until combined.
Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Pat 2/3 of the dough mixture into the pan. The dough will be sticky, so use wet hands to pat it down. Bake for approximately 15 minutes. Cool until the puffiness goes away.
Spread jam onto the baked layer (if you have not waited for the puffiness to go down, the jam will not spread, but will sink...and yes, I found this out when I was too impatient to wait for it to cool.) Take remaining 1/3 of dough, break it up into small pieces and place it evenly on top of the jam layer. Using wet hands, pat it down.
Bake for about 30 more minutes, until top is browned and doesn't jiggle. Cool slightly before cutting; refrigerate to set up.