If you're guessing that this is just a kid's dessert........ guess again!!!
Last month I had the opportunity to visit my sweet sister, Annie. Earlier on the day I arrived, she'd stopped at a wonderful little bakery and purchased some treats. Almost as soon as I walked in the door, she said "you have to try a bite of this!!!" She held out a somewhat uninteresting looking little cookie bar. Before I tried it, I asked her what is was she was so excited about (sometimes she plays tricks on me!) and she replied, "a peanut butter and jelly bar".
Peanut butter and jelly is for kids! The innocent little bar now had two things going against it before I ever took the first nibble; unattractive looking and kids food! ...... but it only took a morsel to totally change my mind! WOW, it was awesome; a cookie crust, a creamy peanut butter layer topped with yummy sweet jelly, finished off with a crumbly (but quite ugly) topping. Right then and there, we decided that we would have figure out how to re-create these wonderful treats but they must look better than these did. After all, in Culinary 101, we were all taught the whole "book by it's cover" rule.....well it just doesn't apply to dessert!!! :)
Annie and I talked, laughed, cooked and nibbled our way through our short time together managing to never get to the peanut butter bars. I'm having a party this weekend and wanted to make some fun desserts so.......... I figured I'd try to give those delicious peanut butter bars a makeover. I started tinkering in the kitchen and I think I figured them out! Give them a try, you will have more than just the kids loving you!
Thanks Annie, for the inspiration and for always being an encouragement to me!
P.S. I made these in a spring form pan because I wanted to serve this as a dessert; they can also be made in a 9x13 pan and cut into bars.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Tart (or Bars)
¾ cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces cream cheese
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs
½ cup peanut butter
jam, I used my Strawberry Pineapple Freezer Jam but any jam you like will be fine
1 cup flour
⅔ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 350˚. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolk, flour and salt. Mix with a mixer until all flour is incorporated and small clumps form, scraping down sides of bowl several times while mixing. Pat into a 9x13 rectangular pan or a 9-10 inch spring form pan (no need to grease).
2. For crumb topping, mix the sugar, flour and salt. With a fork, stir in the melted butter until large crumbs form (if topping is too wet, add a tablespoon of flour till large crumbs form).
3. Place cream cheese and sugar and peanut butter in a mixing bowl; mix on medium speed for about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl occasionally Add sweetened condensed milk ; beat for another minute. Add eggs and beat 1 more minute.
4.. Pour peanut butter filling into prepared crust. Cover pan with foil and bake for 15 minutes, then remove from oven and gently dollop jam over top of cream cheese layer. Spread gently to cover surface, then sprinkle with crumb topping. Bake 25-30 minutes longer for spring form pan, 20-25 for rectangular pan, or until golden brown. Cover with foil if browning too quickly. Let cool and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours. Remove from refrigerator one hour before serving and cut into slices or squares.
Notes: if using a spring form pan, keep a piece of foil underneath it to catch any drips.
Serve small slices dolloped with a bit of whipped cream and pretend you are a kid again!!