Peanut Butter and Jelly Shortbread

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are about as simple as it gets, right?  Not something someone can really mess up?  Well, I thought so too, but I have come to realize that it is trickier than you might think.  You see, I have discovered that I like my PB&J just so – the ratio of filling to bread has to be just right (definitely more filling than bread), and the proportion of jelly to peanut butter is even more crucial (always err on the side of more jelly).  I realized this one day when Ben so generously offered to make me a quick sandwich for lunch when I was rushing out the door for work.  I felt a little bit crazy later while I was eating my lunch and kept thinking he had made it all wrong – is that even possible?  As it turns out, I am not the only one that feels this way.  My coworker completely agreed and we had several good laughs about it.  Apparently there is a right and wrong way to make PB&J – at least to us!

As a joke, I brought in these cookies for her the following week.  Definitely an appropriate treat, though their awesomeness is anything but a joke.  The classic flavor combo is fantastically paired here in a cookie that is not overly sweet, and easy to eat in its cute little wedge shape.  My only change to the recipe?  To double the jelly, of course!  Just as it should be.  And a little side note – even though Andrew is not quite to the age of being able to bake with me, I think these would be a perfect treat for making with kids.  With minimal ingredients you are likely to have on hand and requiring just a few minutes to mix together and assemble, the simplicity is perfect for your little helpers.  Be sure to have a glass of milk ready!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Shortbread
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8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup sugar
Pinch of coarse salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup jam (strawberry, grape, or whatever flavor you prefer)

Lightly spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray, or grease lightly with butter.  (A 9-inch round cake pan would work too.) Beat together the butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth, 1-2 minutes.  Mix in the sugar and salt and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Blend in the vanilla.  Beat in the flour on low speed just until incorporated.  Reserve 1/3 cup of the dough, flatten into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Freeze until very firm, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, press the remaining dough into the prepared pan, leaving ½-inch border to create a lip around the edge.  Spread the jam in an even layer over the dough, reaching to the raised edges.  Refrigerate until the dough disk is firm.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Break the frozen dough disk into small crumbles and sprinkle evenly over the layer of jam.  Bake until the edges of the dough are golden brown, about 50 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before cutting.  Slice into wedges and serve.

Source: adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, originally from Bon Appetit

30 Responses

  1. This sounds like a great dessert! I love that the frozen crust is crumbled over the top of the jelly layer 🙂

  2. Mmmmmm, nuttylicious…

  3. I definitely agree on the sandwich thing, I hate for anyone else to make mine for me!! More jelly than PB is the way to go!! This shortbread looks soooo yummy, I love the crumbles on top!!

  4. I can’t wait to try this recipe. My 3 1/2 year old daughter would have a blast helping her Momma make this! Looks delicious!

  5. Looks divine. Like a cross between a giant cookie and a dessert pizza.

  6. This sounds like a fantastic dessert – can’t wait to try it! One question – in your recipe, have you already doubled the jelly? Or should we double the 2/3 cup?

    Thanks, Annie!

    • Kate,
      The recipe I post is the way I made it (using 2/3 cup). That’s my general rule – just for future reference.

  7. Hi Annie!
    This looks so yummy! I love everything that you make! You’re one of my favorites and I check you blog everyday few days! Keep up the great work!

  8. I definitely agree- there certainly is a “right” proportion to pb to jelly to bread.

    This looks like the stuff all breakfasts should be made out of 😆

  9. Oh Yeah. This looks fantastic. I’m bookmarking this. Great recipe and photo as usual!

  10. this looks yummy! I like that it is ingredients that most homes have on hand!

  11. There looks great. Never would have thought of this one!

  12. I remember these. My husband loved them, I need to be nice and make them again for him.

  13. Ooh, this sounds delicious. Although, I wouldn’t double to jelly. I’d double the peanut butter. 😉

  14. I’m the exact same way with my pb sandwiches. My husband makes them weird, bless his heart 🙂 Love this idea. I’ll have to pull this out next time I need a quick, sugar-crave-fix baking project. Thanks Annie!

  15. yum, yum and yum!

    did i say yum??

  16. Oh my, I have a boy that is a complete peanut butter and jelly nut. I will have to make this for him. Looks delicious!

  17. Hi Annie!

    This looks really good. I’ve recently discovered your blog, and been so inspired I’ve been on a baking marathon ever since. I made the cookie dough truffles at home and they were a hit! So was the chocolate chip cupcakes (minus the icing, which I still somehow can’t get right). Anyways, just wanted to say I relaly enjoy reading your blog and I’m looking forward in trying out the rest of the recipes here. 🙂

  18. These look awesome! i love anything PB&J!
    I fully agree that everyone has a right way of making them. I prefer there to be equal PB & J, but mashed together on the bread so the jelly doesn’t ooze out and land on my shirt (I’m already a slob as it is!)

  19. hi annie, looks awesome! what brand of pb do you use in baking (particularly this recipe)? thanks.

  20. What a great recipe!
    I love peanut butter, but unfortunately my son must be one of the only kids I know who doesn’t like it. Perhaps it would work with almond butter???

  21. I may just have to make this for me PB&J and shortbread-loving husband. Thanks for sharing!

  22. What a fun recipe!

  23. Made these last night. Fabulous tasting and very easy/quick recipe! I must be the only one who likes MORE PB than jelly…so I doubled the peanut butter. Consistency was not compromised at all. Used both strawberry and apricot jam. Thanks for a great idea!

  24. I made these last night!! I’ve been wanting to make them since I saw the recipe when you posted it. and we LOVED them. 🙂 we used grape jam. 🙂 it was delicious and I even snuck a small piece in with my breakfast, lol. I justified that it was PB&J. 🙂

  25. Annie,
    I found your website through Bobbi and Mike. I made this shortbread today…so easy and so DELICIOUS! I love your blog and plan on making many more recipes.

  26. This was amazing…the only thing that I would change next time around is baking it for a shorter time. I think I must have a really hot oven. I used a 10-inch removable bottom tart pan (I don’t have a spring form) so maybe the crust was a little thinner, but it seemed like the crust got a little too well done. Next time I think I just bake it about 10 mins less!

    • Jenn, I definitely think the 10-inch pan played a role there. The size difference is pretty significant, so the dough was likely a lot thinner than in a 9-inch pan. Glad you liked them anyway!

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