Wish Upon A Dish: Healthy Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

April 7, 2011

Healthy Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

I have had a sweet tooth lately and that isn't good for a diabetic or a person who wants to loose weight. We have both in this house.

While I work at my desk I keep the TV on for background noise. This house can be too quiet at times, especially with all the windows shut tight (I can not wait to open a window). The Barefoot Contessa was on and it was an older one that I hadn't seen in a while. I like Ina and I have made my share of her recipes over the years. One I made, oh, probably 6-7 years ago was her PB&J cookie bars. Easy recipe and it turned out well, like many of hers do.

Two reasons why I wanted to make these:
1. Peanuts and peanut butter are excellent for Diabetics
2. The Nudge LOVES peanut butter sandwiches as a dessert.

I used Coconut Palm sugar (a low Glycemic Index sweetener), Smart Balance Omega-3 Olive Oil spread, reduced fat creamy Jif, sugar-free Blackberry Jam and whole wheat pastry flour.

I only made half the recipe, a full 9x13 pan would have been too much.
The Nudge will like that I used sugar-free jam because he isn't a jelly/jam person or someone who likes over-the-top sweet stuff.

This was a toaster oven sized aluminum pan, which is actually called a fudge pan and is 9x6x1. When you only have to cook for 2, these are a wonderful size. I wish I could buy a stoneware baking dish that size. Maybe I should try to find one that size.....

Even with the whole wheat pastry flour the topping crumbled well. Let's see how they bake up an taste.

It is baking in the oven and the house smells like a ball park with the roasted peanuts.

I listed the ingredients for both ways, Diabetic/Healthy friendly and regular.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
makes 24 bars
* 16oz Omega-3 with Extra Virgin Olive Oil Light Buttery Spread or unsalted butter
* 12oz In the Raw Zero Calorie Sweetener or 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature or 1/2 cup Egg Beaters
* 2 cups Reduced Fat Creamy Jif Peanut Butter
* 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour or AP flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 18 ounces sugar free jam or 1 1/2 cups regular jam

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch cake pan. Line it with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix until all ingredients are combined.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix just until combined.

Spread 2/3 of the dough into the prepared cake pan and spread over the bottom with a knife or offset spatula. Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam. Don't worry if all the jam isn't covered; it will spread in the oven. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and cut into squares.

Since I had made these before, it was interesting to taste the difference from these remix ones to the original ones.
Even though these are good, the shortbread is not quite as chewy as the original ones were and the sweetness level is down considerably. Perfect for a morning coffee companion and the peanut butter will get me through the day. Making these as a dessert, I would make them sweeter. Next time I will try the Stevia in the Raw, which tends to be sweeter.

Do not let the D+ grade scare you. It is there because of the Vanilla Extract (contains alcohol, duh).

I will be making these again. and maybe I will make it gluten free (I just purchased chestnut flour and am dying to use it).

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