BUTTER AND JELLY BARS
(from Martha Stewart.com)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
1 1/2 cups strawberry jam, or other flavor
2/3 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped (Optional)
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a 9 x 13 inch banking dish and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter parchment and dust with flour. Tap out excess and set aside.
Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
Place butter and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat to combine.
Add peanut butter and beat until combined, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.
Reduce mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients, one cup at a time. Beat to combine.
Pat two-thirds of mixture evenly into prepared dish. Using spatula, spread jam on top of peanut butter mixture. Top with remaining third of peanut-butter mixture. (Optional) Sprinkle with peanuts.
Bake until golden, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to wire rack.
Run a paring knife around edges of pan. Cool to room temperature.
Again, run a paring knife around edges of pan, and chill until firm, about 1 hour.
Use a sharp knife to cut into 1 1/2 x 2 inch pieces.
Note: For perfectly cut bars, first, remove from pan by running a paring knife around edges of pan, and inverting onto cooling rack. Invert again onto a cutting board. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator until firm, about 1 hour. Use a sharp knife to cut into 1 1/2 x 2 inch pieces.
YIELD: 30 bars