These Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookie Bars have a sweet blueberry jam sandwiched between chewy peanut butter cookie bars. This takes the classic peanut butter and jelly combination to a whole new level! Plus, you can use any jelly you’d like—strawberry, raspberry, apricot, etc.
Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches were my sandwich of choice in elementary school. Not only were (are) a classic, they always lasted better in a lunchbox than a deli sandwich did.
The combination of peanut butter and jelly is something completely nostaligic, and a flavor that for me at least, never gets old. Between the sweet jam and the rich peanut butter, it’s satisfying and comforting, and altogether perfect.
These Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookie Bars totally bring me back to warm afternoons at the lunch tables, counting down the minutes until we could jump on the swings and hit the four square courts.
If you’re feeling nostalgic, or in need of some comfort food, these blueberry Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars might be the perfect dessert bar you need in your life.
Why I Love This Cookie Bar Recipe:
- Peanut Butter Cookies: This recipe is based off of my favorite peanut butter cookies. These are loaded with rich peanut butter flavor, and are soft and chewy with just a hint of crunch from the honey roasted peanuts.
- Jelly: You can use any jelly you want in this recipe, which makes this such an easy dessert to whip up on a moment’s notice. I opted for a blueberry jam with fresh blueberries, but you could make these peanut butter and strawberry bars, raspberry bars, grape, etc.
- Simple: This is a very simple recipe. Once the peanut butter cookie dough is made, it’s divided in half, the jam goes in the middle, and then it bakes. 100% easy.
- No Chill Peanut Butter Cookie Bars: I repeat, this is a no chill peanut butter cookie dough recipe and it is ahhh-mazing.
Peanut Butter Cookie Bars:
- Unsalted Butter: I typically use unsalted butter in all of my baking because I get to control the amount of salt.
- Creamy Peanut Butter: For this recipe, you need to use a peanut butter like Jif or Skippy. An all-natural peanut butter will not hold up well in this cookie dough (it’ll dry it out and be super crumbly).
- Brown Sugar: Brown sugar adds a hint of molasses and keeps the cookies soft and chewy.
- Granulated Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Baking Soda & Salt
- All Purpose Flour
- Any Flavor Jam: I opted for blueberry jam, but you can use any flavor you like.
- Berries: If desired, you can add some fresh berries over the jam; however, don’t go overboard otherwise they will add too much extra moisture.
- Salted Peanuts: You can use regular salted peanuts, but my preference is honey roasted.
How To Make These PB & Jelly Bars:
- Cream Batter: With a standing mixer or hand mixer, cream the unsalted butter and peanut butter together. Next, add in the brown sugar and granulated sugar. Mix in the egg. Next, add in vanilla.
- Dry Ingredients: Add in the baking soda, salt, and flour. Mix until combined.
- Prepare: Press about 2/3 of the peanut butter cookie dough into the bottom of a 9×9 (or 11×8) baking dish. Top with jam. Top with berries. Lastly, add the remaining dough on top.
- For the remaining dough, take little bits of dough and flatten them in your hand before placing them on top of the jam.
- It’s fine if not all of the jam is covered in these peanut butter and jelly bars, but flattening the dough will help cover more of the jam as well as help the pb&j bars to cookie more evenly.
- Topping: Lastly, sprinkle with honey roasted peanuts.
- Bake: Bake until the bars are golden brown and set in the middle. If the PB&J cookie bars are browning too quickly, then tent a piece of non-stick foil on top and continue cooking until the center of the bars set.
- Store these Peanut Butter Blueberry Jelly Cookie Bars in an airtight container.
- They can be stored at room temperature, or they can be stored in the fridge. My personal favorite is in the fridge, but they’re tasty either way.
- I’ve never attempted to freeze these peanut butter cookie bars with jelly inside; however, I have frozen baked plain peanut butter cookie bars before so I think these will freeze well.
- Wrap them tightly and store them in a freezer safe container, then thaw in the fridge overnight or at room temperature.
Best Make Ahead Tips:
- Peanut Butter Dough: You can make the peanut butter cookie dough a couple of days in advance. Keep the cookie dough in the fridge (stored in an airtight container) until ready to bake.
- You will need the dough to soften a bit before making the PB and Jelly Bars, so let the dough sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes or so.
- You can make the entire dessert bar ahead of time. I suggest making these the night before, as it will give the blueberry jelly in the bars a chance to firm up before being sliced into cookie bars.
What Other Jelly Or Jam Can I Use Instead Of Blueberry?
- You can use any flavor you think would pair well with peanut butter.
- My personal favorites are:
What Size Baking Pan Should I Use?
- Thick Bars: For thick PB&J Cookie Bars, use a 9×9 square baking pan. This is the size pan I used, and you can see in the photos that the cookie bars are fairly tall and thick.
- Thinner Bars: You can use an 11×8 rectangular pan for slightly thinner bars. These will cook a pinch faster, and they will be a bit thinner in size.
- Thin Bars: For thin bars, use a 9×13 pan. These peanut butter and jelly bars will be significantly thinner, but they will cook faster and they will feed more of a crowd.
Other Cookie Bar Recipes To Try Next:
- Marshmallow S’more Cookie Bars
- Peanut Butter Marshmallow Cookie Bars
- Chocolate Oreo Cookie Bars
- Chocolate S’more Cookie Bars
- Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Other Peanut Butter Recipes To Try Next:
- Peanut Butter Pie
- Soft Peanut Butter Cookies
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches
- No Bake Peanut Butter Pie Bars
- Gooey Peanut Butter Bars
Quick and Easy Baking Tips:
- Parchment Paper: Line your baking pan with non-stick foil or parchment paper. It will make removing the bars from the baking dish much easier.
- Jam: You can use any jam you’d like for these Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars! I opted for blueberry jam with additional blueberries, but you can use strawberry jam with fresh strawberries, raspberry jam with fresh raspberries, etc.
- Don’t Under Bake: This is a recipe you don’t want to under bake. The jam in the center will make the bars take a little bit of time to bake all of the way through.
- Cover With Foil: As you’re waiting for the peanut butter bars to bake all of the way through, tent a piece of foil over the top of the cookie bars to prevent the top from burning.
Comfort food to the max.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter (like Jif or Skippy*)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg, large
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup fruit jam/jelly (I used blueberry jam)
- 1/3 cup fresh blueberries, or any berry, optional
- 1/3 cup honey roasted peanuts you can use regular salted peanuts as well
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line your baking pan** with parchment paper or non-stick tin foil. Set aside.
- With a standing mixer or a hand mixer, cream the unsalted butter and peanut butter together, until light and fluffy.
- Next, add in the brown sugar and the granulated sugar. Cream the mixture until well combined.
- Next, add in the egg and mix until combined.
- Add in the vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
- Finally, add in the salt, baking soda, and all purpose flour. Mix until all ingredients are combined.
- Press 2/3 of the peanut butter cookie dough into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
- Next, spread the jam/jelly over the top of the cookie dough in an even layer (or as even as possible).
- Next, if adding fresh berries, sprinkle them over the top of the jam.
- Take the remaining peanut butter cookie dough and spread it over the top of the jam. Take a little dough at a time, flatten it into your hand, and then place it on top of the jam.
- (It’s okay if not all of the jam is covered, but flattening the dough will help to cover more of the jam as well as help the cookies to bake more evenly.)
Sprinkle the top with peanuts.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the tops of the cookie bars are golden brown and the center is set. If the bars are browning too quickly, tent a piece of non-stick foil over the top of the bars and continue cooking.
- Allow to cool before cutting and serving.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge.
*Natural peanut butter does not work well in this recipe. I highly suggest using Jif or Skippy (or something similar). Natural peanut butter is a little too dry for this recipe.
**For thick cookie bars, use a 9x9 square baking pan. However, you can use an 8x11 or a 9x13 rectangular baking dish as well. The bars will be thinner in size, and the bake time will most likely be a few minutes less.
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