I absolutely could not resist this recipe. Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars. Our brand new jar of Strawberry Rhubarb Butter from Galena practically cried out to be made into something that sounded so perfect. With two and a half cups of peanut butter in the dough, these bars are just a step above spooning peanut butter from the jar directly into your mouth. The dough is amazing - it took every ounce of will power not to just immediately halt production, turn off the preheating oven, and sit on the couch with a spoon.
The next hardest part about these crazy things, is that they need to be refrigerated for TWO HOURS after baking! What is this - lessons in self control day?? I tried everything to distract myself - took the cats outside, washed the dishes, even ran to Target and filled the car with gas - and still only lasted an hour and a half. I suppose I could have cleaned the bathroom too, but I'm not superwoman! If you could have smelled my kitchen, you would understand.
The resulting squares are fantastic, though not completely without fault. Yes, they smell and look terrific, and they even have that "stick to the roof of your mouth" quality that can only be found in a great pb&j, but actually, I think they needed a little more "j" and a little less "pb." The next time I make these (oh yes, there will be a next time), I'm planning to cut back on the dough a little bit and add a touch more jam. And cook them about 5 minutes less (the recipe gave the ridiculously wide range of 45 to 60 minutes - if you make these, stick closer to 45, especially if using a dark pan).