A homemade Strawberry Vanilla Jam is sandwiched between two layers of sweet –n- salty peanut butter crumble that is liberally mixed with roasted peanuts. These Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam Bars taste like your favorite peanut butter and jam sandwich without the bread!
Wisdom comes from truly unexpected places. It does. Song lyrics, for example. I’ve found some life real nuggets combing through song lyrics and titles, boo.
Don’t believe me? Flow with me…
Many of my male friends agree with Bel Biv Devoe: “Never trust a big butt and a smile. That girl is poison. Poison!”
Want to pursue a dream? You have to go all in. There’s no other way. Like Big Daddy Kane says, “Ain’t. No. Half. Steppin’”.
When your life becomes as stagnant as a dark alley puddle, Tracy Chapman says, “You gotta make a decision. Leave tonight or live and die this way”.
On failing relationships and hope: “And when you’ll say you have have nothin’ in common, no common ground to start from and you’re falling apart” – Deep Blue Something believes that as long as you have the one thing you both kind of like – it’s one thing ya got.
Finance: Wu Tang Clan was right: “Cash Rules Everything around Me”.
Karma: Bob Dylan knows his shit – “For the loser now will be later to win, for the times they are a-changin’.”
Boom. Wisdom Nuggets. All of them.
I could do this all day. But I won’t. Instead, allow me to shift your focus away from the infinite wisdom of song lyrics and straight to these Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jam Bars.
Like a tale as old as time – Not really, but kinda – The peanut butter and jam (or jelly) combo has been around for ages and ages.
Fact: Peanut butter and jam is our “go to” situation. Hungry? In need of a quick and tasty snack? Have a picky kid? Every one of these scenarios has been remedied with peanut butter and jam. Facts, boo. Oh, and I make a bomb ass jam. That helps.
I’m here make these bars your “go to”. A dessert to present your crew – One that tasty, easy to make, and triggers happy childhood memories. These bars of incredibleness begin with a crumble that serves as both – The crust and topping.
You mix some flour, oats, brown sugar, roasted peanuts, and salt until combined. No need to break out the mixer here. All you need is a bowl, a fork, and a song in your heart. You melt unsalted butter with smooth peanut butter. Give that situation a quick mix and pour that mouthwatering badassness over the flour/peanut/sugar combo. Mix until moistened, then layer that bad boy as follows: Crumble, strawberry jam, crumble.
I used my homemade strawberry vanilla jam for these bars which is the bomb.com.biz.shiz. If you haven’t made my strawberry vanilla refrigerator jam, now’s the time. BUT! If you don’t feel up to making jam (it’s cool, boo.), just buy some good quality strawberry jam and you’ll be alright.
Bake this jammy till the top browns and the jam bubbles. These Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jam Bars are perfect just the way they are. Crumbly, a lil’ sweet with heavy peanut buttery notes, and bites of roasted peanuts. The jam is like the icing on the cake, but on the inside. I like to eat these Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jam Bars while they’re still warm with some vanilla ice cream ‘cause I’m a fatty like that and it’s wise to do so. You can eat them any old way you want, though.
But truly, homie – Please.Do. ‘Cause you’d be really missing out otherwise.
- Unsalted butter cut into 1 inch pieces - ½ cup (1 stick)
- Smooth peanut butter - ½ cup
- Vanilla extract - 1 ¼ teaspoon
- All-purpose flour, spooned then leveled - 1 cup
- Unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped - 1 heaping cup
- Old-fashioned rolled oats - 1 cup
- Light brown sugar, packed - ¾ cup
- Salt - ¼ teaspoon
- Strawberry vanilla Jam - 1 heaping cup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and adjust oven rack to the middle position.
Cut a sheet of parchment paper in half and then line bottom of an 8x8 inch pan with 1 sheet of parchment. Add the second sheet of parchment over the first sheet, in the opposite direction. The sheets should cross each other and have a small overhang. This will facilitate the removal of your bars from then pan. Alternatively, you can line the pan with aluminum foil the same way. If, and only if you are using foil, spray a light coating of vegetable spray.
To a small heatproof bowl, add the unsalted butter and peanut butter. Cover and place in the microwave on high at 30 second intervals and heat until melted. Depending on your microwave this can take anywhere from 45-60 seconds. Remove bowl from the microwave, add the vanilla extract, and give it a stir to combine and set aside.
In a medium bowl, add flour, chopped peanuts, oats, sugar, and salt. Mix with your hands or with a fork to combine. Stir in the melted butter/peanut butter mixture and mix with a fork until the mixture is well coated with the butter/peanut butter and all dry ingredients are well moistened.
Spread half the oat/peanut crumble mixture, covering the bottom of the pan. Press to form a thin crust that’s about ¼ inch in thickness. Spread the strawberry vanilla refrigerator jam over peanut/oat crumble mixture evenly using a small offset spatula. Sprinkle remaining peanut/oat crumble mixture over the strawberry jam.
Place pan in the oven and bake until the crumble is a golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes. Set on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Use the parchment paper “handles” to remove bars from pan. Cut into squares and serve.
Makes 16 small squares or 8 large squares.