These peanut butter & jelly bars are the perfect back to school treat! This is a recipe you seriously need to try, it’s really versatile and beyond delicious. Use any kind of fruit preserves you like.
The recipe was adapted from Giada’s Apricot Oat Bars, which are definitely one of my favorite treats to make. I just tweaked it a bit to make it more appealing to our 3 year old, and everyone loves them! The crushed pretzels on top are a must…
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1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter
1 cup strawberry (or any fruit) preserves
1 cup coarsely crushed pretzels
Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×13 pan (preferably a metal one, but glass will work, too) by spraying with cooking spray AND lining with parchment paper. (This is important, the bars are hard to get out of there otherwise.)
Coarsely chop your pecans. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add in the oats and the pecans and stir together.
Melt the butter, then allow to cool slightly. Beat the egg. Then add the egg, melted butter, and vanilla to the dry ingredients, stirring until well combined.
Place a little more than half of the mixture into your prepared pan, and press it down with your fingers to create the bottom layer of the bars.
Heat the peanut butter in the microwave (for 20 seconds or so) to soften so it’s easier to spread. Spread the peanut butter over the crust, leaving at least a half an inch border around the edge. Then on top of the peanut butter, spread your fruit preserves.
To your remaining crust mixture, add in the crushed pretzels and stir. Add this crust mixture evenly to the top of the filling, and press it down so it’s mostly flat.
Bake until golden, about 35-40 minutes. Wait until the bars have cooled for at least an hour before cutting into them or they will fall apart. Then put one on a plate, have a cup of coffee or a glass of milk, and fall in love.
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