I think you know by now that I love peanut butter and jelly, always, in all ways.
I would have made these the second I saw them, but one thing held me back: they had “blondies” in the title. I’m not a fan of blondies, in general.
Most of them, I should say: they’re typically heavy things with an unsettling sweetness and major overtones of caramel, and I don’t mean that in a good way. Something about the name, as well: blondie inevitably calls to mind “brownie,” as if there were an actual comparison between a luscious fudge square which can’t decide if it’s dense cake or tender cookie and a cloying hunk of pasty brown sugar.
Am I being to hard on the blondie? Perhaps, but I don’t think so. They just seem like a classic case of good idea gone sideways; again, maybe that’s just me. So I wasn’t sure if I wanted to attempt these given the almost inevitable disappointment combined with the defilement of one of my favorite ever flavor pairings.
But I tried them anyway, because I just had to know.
They’re brilliant: as it turns out, adding peanut butter to a hunk of pasty brown sugar transforms it into a big, fat, soft peanut butter cookie. Add jelly to it and it’s almost perfect; sprinkle the whole thing in honey-roasted peanuts and the end result everything you dreamed about when you were 8 years old.
So come on, kids in grownup bodies: get out a pan and make these, because you know you want to. I didn’t change much; mostly there was an obvious need for more jelly on top (2 tablespoons? who are you kidding, Bon Appetit?) and more crushed peanuts, because they just make it fun. It’s the perfect time of year to squeeze these in; late January was made for breaking that ridiculous “only eating organic green vegetables in 2016” goal you made.
Adapted, just barely, from this recipe right here from Bon Appetit.
Salted Peanut Butter And Jelly Blondies
Serves | 16 to 20 |
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups dark or light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 tablespoons Four Fruits Preserves (if you’ve never experienced four fruits, it’s a classic: a gorgeous combination of cherries, strawberries, red currents and raspberries.) Bon Maman is my widely-available go-to: they have a lovely strawberry jam if you’d rather go that direction.
- 3 tablespoons chopped honey-roasted peanuts
- Flaky sea salt (optional) for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Butter bottom and sides of an 8 x 8 glass baking dish.
Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, peanut butter, unsalted butter, and vanilla extract; fold in dry ingredients using a rubber spatula, being sure to incorporate any dry patches. Pour batter into prepared pan. Dollop all over with preserves (and I mean all over; have a party with that jam!); sprinkle with chopped honey-roasted peanuts. Bake until a tester comes out clean or with a few crumbs, 45 to 50 minutes, checking in at the 40-minute mark to see how it’s going. Remove from oven, sprinkle with flaky sea salt if using, and allow to cool to room temperature, which will take an obscene amount of time but it’s totally worth the wait.