Healthy Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Have you ever made the Barefoot Contessa’s peanut butter and jelly bars?  They’re really, really good.  Like, impossible to stop eating them good.  Of course, they have two full sticks of butter and a cup and a half of sugar in them so they are not, unfortunately, the healthiest choice around when it comes to snacking (but still fall-down delicious).

Last week I saw this recipe over at Ambitious Kitchen for chocolate peanut butter blondies and was intrigued…no butter?  No flour??  They look amazing but still not exactly what I’d eat myself or give my girls for a snack with all that (scrumptious) chocolate.

So I set out to combine the two recipes and make a healthy peanut butter bar with no butter, no flour, and no refined sugar like Ambitious Kitchen’s, that also had that layer of jam I love in the Barefoot Contessa cookies.

And I’d say the experiment was a success!

Ada and Ellie gobbled them up, eying me a little suspiciously since I’d just offered them “cookies” as an afternoon snack.

Scott came home from work and ate one and said something like, “Ohmygosh.  Theseareamazing,” and then, “What??” when I told him there was no butter or flour.

They’re like little miracle cookies.  I don’t really understand how the ingredients come together to make a “cookie” – a soft, cakey one, but still, a cookie.  And you know what…I don’t care.  Some things you don’t need to question.

If you like peanut butter, you simply must try these.  They are very quick to stir together and make a great snack or dessert.  It’s still hard to eat just one…don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Healthy Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars – makes 16 squares
2 c. natural peanut butter (with salt)
2 eggs
1/2 c. honey
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. good jam or preserves (I love Bonne Maman)

Preheat oven to 350º.  Grease a 9″ square baking pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine peanut butter, eggs, honey, baking soda, and vanilla.  Beat until the batter is well combined and smooth.

Spoon about half of the mixture into the prepared pan.  To make the jam more spreadable, microwave 20-30 seconds to soften.  Use a rubber spatula to spread the jam over the peanut butter mixture.  Drop the remaining peanut butter mixture over top and spread until semi-smooth.  Don’t worry if it doesn’t cover the jam completely – you’ll just have some jammy swirls on top of the finished bars.

Bake about 30 minutes until the bars are golden.

Let cool in the pan on a wire rack then cut into squares.

Click here for a printable recipe.

Linking to City Farmhouse