Wednesday, June 12, 2013

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 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 350ยบ.  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


  1. Looks and sounds delicious again. My daughter and husband would love this recipe!

  2. Definitely trying these! We are huge PB&J eaters over here :)

  3. oooh yummy! i need to try these- sawyer and emmy love pb and honey!

  4. PB & J in healthy cookie form?! Where have these been all my life. Best thing is that I have all these ingredients already (Bonne Maman strawberry preserves is my FAVE jam)!

    Thanks for doing all the work so we can reap the recipe benefits ;)

  5. These looks so good, I'll be pinning these and trying them soon for sure!

  6. I love easy recipes like this! I just did a 4 ingredient cookie and they turned out fab! Can't wait to try these tonight! Thanks Jennifer!

  7. HA! just this past weekend I was looking for a dessert bar recipe to bring to a friends house. I ALMOST made BC's pb&j bars but just couldn't make them in good faith knowing how much butter and sugar were in the recipe. I'm totally going to make these! As Kristin said... PINNING!

    1. The BC ones are amazing...but these are much easier on the conscience :)

  8. Methinks the Barefoot Contessa eats a bit too much of her own cooking.

  9. Hi,
    Do you think I could leave out the jam and still achieve yumminess?

    1. Yes! Might want to adjust the baking time a bit, it could take slightly less time to be done.

  10. These look amazing! I'm definitely going to try them... I'm always looking for healthy desserts using natural ingredients. :-) I know my family will gobble them up... they LOVE peanut butter!


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