I was never that kid who went into paroxysms of glee over a spoonful of peanut butter. (I preferred my peanut butter spread on a slice of whole wheat bread…topped off with a healthy helping of chocolate chips.)
But Shake really likes peanut butter. So for his Family Birthday Dinner dessert, I made these Peanut Butter & Jelly Blondies from a recipe in Bon Appétit.
The recipe was quite simple and didn’t take much time at all. The dough is pretty interesting — it clumps together in a very sticky peanut buttery pile. With some prodding, I got it to spread out over the entire pan.
We are fond of the Bonne Maman jams, but when I asked him which flavor he wanted, Shake couldn’t decide. He was torn between Four Fruits and Wild Blueberry. (OK, technically, these are preserves, not jelly, but whatever. In case you care about what the difference is between jam, jelly, preserves and, for the heck of it, Jell-O, here’s the explanation.) Anyway, being the nice gal that I am, I said he could have two flavors.
So we definitely had the jelly part covered. However, the one failing I see with this recipe is that it doesn’t call for nearly enough jelly, just a paltry two tablespoons. I doubled that, seeing as I had two flavors and wanted ample amounts of both—not that I really measured; I just sort of eyeballed it and scattered it liberally wherever it seemed like it could use a good dollop of jamminess.
I sort of thought that the fruit might liquefy a bit and spread out, but not so much. The baked version looks pretty much the same as the unbaked.
So, if you are going to make this recipe, I suggest you just go crazy with the jam. The bars themselves are pretty thick, as you can see, and they are not very sweet themselves, so you really can’t overdo it with the fruit.
Dense, salty, sweet and fudgy (in a non-chocolate kind of way), these were a big hit. (I did, however, forget to add the sea salt. Oops. Don’t tell Shake: he doesn’t know he missed anything!)