Recipe: Peanut Butter and Jam Cookie Bars

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All of the childhood memories I have associated with starting school came back to me when I pulled these peanut butter and jam cookie bars out of the oven. It's childhood wrapped up in one cookie that both kids and adults will love. They've got an irresistible, brown sugar, and peanut buttery crust that gives way to a gooey, sweet raspberry jam filling, all topped with a crunchy peanut-oatmeal streusel. These bars are pure magic.

Peanut Butter and Jam Cookie Bars

One bite and you'll already be going back for another. And then another. (And maybe even another.)

Peanut Butter and Jam Cookie Bars Recipe

original recipe by Lindsey Johnson

Peanut Butter and Jam Cookie Bars in pan


For cookie crust:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 10-12 oz. your favorite jam or jelly, whisked until smooth

For crumb topping:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/2 cup butter, cold, cut into tablespoons


For cookie crust:
Cream butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar and beat until well-combined. Add the egg and beat for another minute or two, until light, fluffy, and very creamy. Add the vanilla and mix again. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Add the flour to the creamed mixture in two additions. Add the rolled oats and mix until crumbly.

Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a buttered, 9x13" glass baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and spread jam over the crust, being careful not to press at all into the crust. (It will still be gooey.) Prepare the crumb topping.

For the crumb topping:
Mix the flour, brown sugar, oats, and salt together. Add the cold butter and use your fingers or a pastry cutter to mix it until crumbly. Add the peanuts and gently mix to combine. Sprinkle over the jam. Bake for an additional 25-30 minutes, or until the bottom is nicely browned, the top is lightly golden, and the jam filing is bubbling all over.

Let cool completely before cutting into bars. Makes about 2 dozen bars.

How do you update the classic Peanut Butter and Jam sandwich?

Lindsey Johnson writes the food blog, Cafe Johnsonia.  She also writes the Secrets to Living Well column for Design Mom, and shares weekly recipes on Petit Elefant and Make and Takes.  She and her husband live in Utah with their three kids.

Twitter: @cafe_johnsonia (

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Lindsey Johnson

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