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Peanut Butter Jelly Bars

When I was dating D, I was utterly militant about keeping him peanut free.
He had a serious allergy & went into anaphylactic shock 3 times in our first 6months together, once on our 3rd date!
Determined to put a stop to it, I refused to allow anything nut based in the house and only when he went out of town for the weekend would I slope off for my illicit affairs.
Huge, toasted bagels smeared liberally with the crunchiest, thickest peanut butter I could find. Topped with sweet raspberry jam & served with a tall, frosty pint of milk.
It was filthy, wrong, naughty & oh so incredibly satisfying.
Of course, D could never know.
I would brush my teeth furiously, even though I knew I wouldn’t see him for another night & a day, I didn’t want to leave any trace.
It was bad but I just couldn’t stop myself.
Last week D & I finally called it a day and decided to go our separate ways.
All break ups are hard, but I think we were both more than ready for this one.
So, who did I turn to with my new found freedom you ask?
Well I’m sure you can guess.
*Pause for effect*          Mr. Peanut.           *gasp!*
But peanut butter wouldn’t be enough this time, oh no. I had to think of something truly monstrously bad…
Ladies & gentlemen, I give you…
Peanut Butter Jelly Bars.
3 layers of rich, crunchy, salty, sweet, jammy goodness that you’ll never, ever forget.

I adapted the recipe from
Epicurious
.
To make yours, you’ll need:
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 pinch baking powder
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup golden sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup jam (I used raspberry, but choose your favourite)
2/3 cup coarsely chopped salted dry-roasted peanuts

Preheat your oven to 180°C / 350°F.
Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with a little vegetable oil.
Pop your baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt into a bowl and put to one side.
Now, cream together your peanut butter, sugar, and butter in large bowl until smooth. Add your egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add your flour mixture and continue to beat until fully combined.
You should be left with a slightly crumbly, pastry like dough.

Pop half of this into a bowl & place it in the freezer.
Squidge the rest of it into the bottom of your pan.

Smear a layer of jam over the top.

Leave it for about 5 mins & remove your dough from the freezer.
Crumble it over your jam layer and press down gently to level.

Sprinkle your chopped peanuts over the top.
Bake in the middle of your oven for 30 mins, until the top starts to brown.

When it’s ready, remove it from the oven & leave to cool on the side.
Don’t try and tip it out of the pan, it will not end well!
Go & distract yourself for a couple of hours.
When it’s cold, use a sharp knife to split it into manageable peanutty portions.

Serve with cold milk & whimsical straws.

Utterly filthy.
Utterly decadent.
Utterly perfect!
.

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