Wednesday, May 7, 2014

PBJ Bars

Have you ever had one of those cravings that just hits you out of the blue?  The other day I had a massive crave attack of the peanut butter jelly variety.  This is quite peculiar for me as I am not a jelly lover.  Peanut butter, yes.  Jelly?  Not so much.

But on this occasion my brain INSISTED my belly needed a sweet treat with both 
peanut butter 
I searched through quite a bit of recipes, but some of them contained one or more ingredients that I didn't have in the pantry, or made a 9x13 pan.  I wanted a small batch so there would be minimal leftovers to tempt me the remainder of the week. 

This recipe for Peanut butter jelly bars, from The Gunny Sack made only a 8x8 pan and the ingredients I didn't have, I was able to successfully change around.

The recipe calls for a whole cup of peanut butter chips.  I only had about 1/4 c of peanut butter chips on hand, so I swapped out the remainder of the chips for 1/4 c chopped roasted peanuts and 1/2 c old fashioned/rolled oats. 

I absolutely loved this substitution!

A whole cup of peanut butter chips, in my opinion, would have made the bars overly sweet.  The saltiness from the added nuts also helped to balance the sweet in the bars.  I also think the oats gave the bars a feel that was some where between granola and an oatmeal cookie.  Double win!

Even Mrblocko, who is not the biggest fan of peanut butter desserts, gave these bars the double thumbs up. 

PBJ Bars adapted from The Gunny Sack
1 white or yellow cake mix (I used yellow)
2 eggs
1/3 c veg oil
1/2 c peanut butter (I used creamy)
1/2 c strawberry jelly
1/4 c peanut butter chips
1/4 c salted, roasted peanuts, chopped
1/2 c old fashioned or rolled oats

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix cake mix, eggs, oil and peanut butter. Set aside 1/2 c of mixture. Press remaining mix into parchment lined, greased 8x8 pan. Spread jelly over crust in pan. Mix 1/2 c cookie mix with peanut butter chips, peanuts and oats until large crumbles appear. Sprinkle crumbles evenly over jelly topped crust. Bake 20-25 min until light brown on edges.

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