A base layer of soft peanut butter oat cookie is stacked with peanut butter cheesecake, homemade strawberry jam, and a peanut butter oat crumble topping to make these easy PB&J Bars. It’s a fun twist on a childhood classic!
WHAT YOU NEED fresh strawberries granulated sugar all purpose flour old fashioned rolled oats salt unsalted butter light brown sugar creamy no stir peanut butter vanilla extract eggs full fat cream cheese
1. Combine the jelly ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. 2. Bring down to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes. It’s ready when the mixture turns a deep red and most of the pink foam has disappeared. It should also thicken and coat the back of your spoon. Pour into a glass measuring cup to make sure you have 1 cup. If it’s still way over, continue to cook until it’s reduced down.
3. Combine the 1 1/4 cups of flour, 3/4 cup of oats, and salt in a bowl and set aside. 4. Cream together the butter, 1/3 cup of brown sugar, and peanut butter until smooth. Mix in the vanilla and egg and then the dry ingredients. 5. Press 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of a prepped pan using your fingers. Bake for 8 minutes then allow it to cool.
6. With the remaining dough mix in the additional 1 tbsp of flour, 3 tbsp of oats, and 2 tbsp of brown sugar to form the crumble. 7. Cream together the cream cheese, peanut butter, and sugar. Once smooth, mix in the egg and vanilla. 8. Spread the cheesecake batter in an even layer on top of the cooled peanut butter base layer.
9. Gently spoon about 3/4 cup of the jam in an even layer on top of the cheesecake and carefully spread it even, not to disrupt the cheesecake layer. 10. Take the crumble out of the fridge and rub small pieces between your fingers to crumble it over the jam layer. Use it all up to completely cover the jam.
11. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tips of the crumble begin to turn golden brown. Allow the bars to cool at room temp for 20 minutes, then transfer to the fridge for at least 2 hours to set. 12. Run a knife along the sides that touch the pan and lift the bars out using the parchment paper. Slice into bars and dig in!