Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

When I came across this recipe over at Vegan Good Things back in May, I very swiftly bookmarked it. Anything with peanut butter in it is pretty much awesome in my books. But PB&J? That’s even better. I never thought that it would take me this long to get around to making this recipe, but it seemed like every time I went to make it, I was missing one of the rather basic ingredients. Peanut butter… Jelly… heck, I didn’t even have an 8×8 pan until last week. But finally, the stars have aligned because today I decided to finally make these little babies.

Vegan Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Modifications to the Recipe

  • I used coconut oil instead of the margarine (and nonstick vegetable oil spray). I think coconut oil is a much healthier option and I’ve had so much success baking with it that I don’t really buy margarine anymore. The trick is to chill your coconut oil beforehand, so that it has the same consistency as margarine/butter.
  • I used whole wheat flour instead of unbleached all purpose flour to make the bars even healthier still.

Vegan Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Foiled Tin Vegan Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Measuring Cups

I went with raspberry jam on this one because I’ve always loved raspberry jam in cookies and other baked goods. Speaking of jam, I absolutely love St. Dalfour jams. They come in cute little glass jars, and the best part is that they’re vegan and contain no preservatives, artificial colors or flavors. Check-out the 3-ingredient list: raspberries, grape juice and fruit pectin. Awesome! Oh, and it turns out that a jar contains about a 3/4 cup of jam – which is exactly what this recipe calls for. It’s jelly destiny!

St. Dalfour Raspberry Jam St. Dalfour Raspberry Jam

As for the bars, they taste like a gooey PB&J sandwich, yet they’re a little bit crumbly too. It is well advised to serve them with a big ol’ glass of (non dairy!) milk… but if you want to get really serious, a scoop of (non-dairy) vanilla ice cream would be out of this world.

Updates

October 8, 2011 – I cut these guys right from the counter top last night, but I realize now that they would have been easier to cut had I put them in the fridge for about 20 minutes (after they had cooled completely on the counter). This is because the coconut oil really firms up when cold. I stored the bars in the fridge overnight and a little taste-test this morning (hey, no one said running a food blog would be easy!) tells me that’s the way to store these guys, especially if you make them with coconut oil. ALSO, after eating a few of these, I’ve realized that they’re quite sweet. So if your jam is very sweet, you could probably reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup. Hope this helps – let me know if you make them!

Vegan Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
PB&J sandwiches, in dessert form! These vegan bars are made with creamy peanut butter, sweet jelly, and salty dry-roasted peanuts.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • ½ + 1tsp coconut oil, hardened in fridge until the consistency of soft butter
  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup smooth peanut butter
  • ¾ cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 vegan egg (such as Ener-G Egg Replacer)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup jelly or jam (raspberry or strawberry)
  • ⅓ cup coarsely chopped salted dry-roasted peanuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 8 x 8 x 2-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 1 tsp coconut oil. Set aside.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt in small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat peanut butter, sugar, and remaining coconut oil in large bowl until smooth.
  3. Add vegan egg and vanilla; beat on low speed until smooth.
  4. Add flour mixture; beat on low speed just to blend.
  5. Transfer half of dough to prepared pan (about scant 1½ 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.
  6. Bake bars until top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool bars completely in pan on rack.
  7. Using foil overhang as aid, lift bars from pan. Gently peel foil from edges. Cut into 16 squares.
  8. MAKE AHEAD: can be made 3 days ahead. Store in an airtight container in fridge.
Notes
Adapted from: http://vegangoodthings.blogspot.com.au/2011/05/peanut-butter-jelly-bars-some-vegan.html

Vegan Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Vegan Month of Food 2011

20 Comments

  1. Those look like the bomb! PB&J is a classic for a reason :)

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thanks Faith – I totally agree!

      Reply
  2. Wow, those look incredible. Thanks for the coconut oil tip. I’ve actually never used it.

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thanks Heather. Coconut oil is awesome in your baking. I’ve added a little update to the bottom of the post. Keep that in mind when you bake with it :)

      Reply
  3. Oh, man. You know, I’m not a big peanut butter fan really but… PB&J? I do like that. And those look really wonderful. Thanks for sharing your pictures, I might need to try this recipe too!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thanks so much. PB&J were meant for each other. Checking out your blog now :)

      Reply
  4. Leinana says:

    Your bars look great! I’m also a big fan of the St. Dalfour jams. So happy you tried out the recipe & liked it! :)

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thanks again for the awesome recipe, Leinana :)

      Reply
  5. Great idea to use Coconut Oil instead of margarine, I’ll have to try that sometime with my baking. Although I admit I don’t bake as much as I should. :)

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi Heather – Coconut oil is a great replacement and I’m trying to use it more and more. I don’t bake very often either but it’s nice to have it as an option. Let me know if you try it and how it works out for you!

      Reply
  6. Preeti says:

    YUM! Love peanut butter and Jelly and vanilla ice cream would be great with these. I agree, the St Dalfour ranges of jam are really good!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi Preeti! Thanks so much for your comment. I need to check out your blog now, I’m so behind on my reading!

      Reply
  7. Mieko says:

    I am so going to make it this weekend! I made a few jars (actually, a couple of dozens to be more accurate) of fruit jams this summer, so I’ve been looking for ways to use them not just on toast. Thank you for the post!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi Mieko – I’m glad you’ll be using this recipe – and wow – it will be amazing with homemade jam. Please let me know how they turn out :)

      Reply
  8. Cara says:

    Ohmygoodness! These look soooooooo good!!!! I’m such a sucker for anything that is peanut butter and jelly-ized. But these…these look heavenly! I want one RIGHT NOW :)

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi Cara – Thanks for your comment. Let me know if you try them :)

      Reply
  9. Looks great, I love pb and j combinations, actually I like almost anything which involves pb.

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Me too! Thanks for your comment :)

      Reply
  10. justme says:

    coconut oil is good to use but is INCREDIBLY fatty. beware those of you on diets!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Yes, it’s fatty but much healthier than margarine :)

      Reply
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