One more semester of my graduate program... Done! This certainly calls for a celebration. So what did I do? I baked! For reasons I can't explain, when I like to relax and relieve stress, I tend to bake rather than cook. It may be perhaps because I like the scientific aspect of baking. Making sure that I've measured everything precisely, that the temperature is optimal, and that timing is precise (nobody wants burnt cookies)...all these things ironically calm my soul and comfort me. Or maybe it's because I was a baker for about a year. I don't think I've shared this with you before, but I used to bake wedding cakes and various pastries professionally. Fun memories, for sure. And no, I didn't gain a whole bunch of weight during that time. When you have to bake constantly in huge batches for 4-5 hours every morning, it makes you want to have nothing to do with sweets.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, I LOVE to bake! While I try to make them healthier, some recipes, you just gotta indulge. Like this one...
I came across this recipe from Food Network and knew instantly that this one was going to be a winner in my book. And it sure didn't disappoint. I made very slight changes to the recipe, such as adding more peanuts (can never have enough nuts in my life). Here it is...
Peanut Butter and Jelly Squares
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- 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup peanut butter chips
- 1 cup crushed roasted peanuts
- ½ cup strawberry preserves
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9 x 13 in baking pan.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt.
- In another bowl, cream sugar and butter until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and fold with spatula until uniform. Fold in the pb chips and roasted peanuts.
- Pour the batter into the baking dish and spoon on the preserves. Using a skewer or knife, make swirly patterns into the batter with the preserves. Bake until the top is shiny and a cake tester comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
- Cut into squares and serve.
Oh my word! These were out of this world!! Hope you'll try this recipe!