Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars with Macadamia and White Chocolate

Who says peanut butter and jelly is for kids? ………………..
…………… it’s definitely not, especially when it’s dressed up this way; a delightful, buttery, crumbly bar with a touch of sophistication – macadamia and white chocolate!

You’re going to LOVE these, but I do have to warn you about one very real danger; they can go from a wishful thought to reality in less than an hour – very, very, VERY, dangerously delicious!

PB&J Bars w/ Macadamia and White Chocolate

1 stick butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
¾ cup smooth peanut butter
½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¾ cup strawberry jam, or other flavor (I used my Strawberry Freezer Jam)
½ cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
½ cup white chocolate chips, roughly chopped

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8×8-inch pan with baking spray and line with foil, leaving a 2 inch overhang. Spray the foil with baking spray and set aside.

2. Place butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. On medium speed, add egg, vanilla and peanut butter; beat until combined, about 2 minutes. 
3. Whisk together salt, baking powder, and flour. Add to bowl of mixer on low speed till just combined. 
4. Place approximately half of mixture in freezer for 10 minutes. Place rest of dough in prepared pan and pat evenly with fingertips. Using offset spatula, spread jam on top of peanut-butter mixture. Remove dough from freezer; using fingertips, break into small pieces and scatter over jelly layer. 
5. Bake bars for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with macadamia nuts. Return to oven, bake another 10 minutes and sprinkle with white chocolate. Bake 10 more minutes, cover with foil last 5 minutes if getting too brown. 
6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Using foil overhang as an aid, lift bars from pan. Gently peel foil from edges. Cut into 16 squares. Can be made 3 days ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature. These also freeze well. Thaw before serving.

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living Magazine, March 2011

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