Peanut Butter and Jam Bars

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Peanut Butter and Jam Shortbread Bars

Peanut Butter and (Boysenberry) Jam Bars are a delicious shortbread crumble bar with the flavors of everybody’s favorite sandwich.  

Peanut Butter and Boysenberry Jam Bars

Can I just say that the awkward ‘reconstruction’ period between Christmas and the New Year is not my favorite?  Like so many oldest daughters I have a touch of OCD, and the chaos makes me crazy.  The house is a mess, all the newly opened presents haven’t yet found their final resting places, and for the sake of my family I have to resist the pressing urge to dump the tree and all its falling needles out onto the curb.  Not to mention I’ve completely lose track of what day of the week it is.

Buttery peanut butter shortbread bars with jam baked inside

Like right now for instance, I know I should be posting a fabulous New Year’s Eve cocktail or appetizer, and here I am playing with peanut butter and jam.

Peanut Butter and Jam Shortbread Bars

But we did get some beautiful wild boysenberry jam as a gift, and in my defense, the holidays bring out the gluttony in everybody around here.  No sooner have they picked the Christmas ham clean and eaten all the candy out of their stockings than they come prowling around the kitchen for something more.  I had no choice, these bars had to be made.  The peanut buttery shortbread and a really good jam makes such a winning combination.  You can use any jam for this, but I think one on the tart side will work best.  If you have a super sweet jam you can always add a little lemon juice to give it a kick.

A stack of peanut butter and jam shortbread bars

There’s something so perfect about crumble bars, I think they’d be my desert island dessert…as long as I could also bring along lots of milk!

A stack of peanut buttery shortbread filled with jam

A stack of peanut buttery shortbread filled with jam
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3.08 from 14 votes

Peanut Butter and {boysenberry} Jam Bars

Course baking, Dessert, KIds
Yield 9


  • 1 cup 2 sticks, or 16 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup smooth peanut butter I like Jif
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 8 - 9 oz good quality jam I used wild boysenberry


  • Set the oven to 350F
  • Spray a 9x9 square baking pan with baking spray, and, if you like, line it with a piece of parchment paper with long ends so you can lift out the baked squares for easier cutting.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together, along with the peanut butter, until everything is well combined and creamy. Beat in the salt and vanilla.
  • Gradually mix in the flour until it is completely blended in and the dough is crumbly. Don't over-mix it.
  • Press about 2/3 of the dough onto the bottom of the pan, covering the entire surface, and patting it gently down so it is evenly distributed. I like to use the back of a metal measuring cup to tamp the dough down and lightly flatten it.
  • Spread the jam evenly over the surface of the dough. It's fine if the jam isn't completely covered.
  • Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the jam, using your fingertips to break up the dough into large crumbles.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes, until lightly golden.
  • Let cool slightly before cutting.

peanut butter and jam bars pin

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  • Reply
    January 2, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    I’m cleaning up my Feedly reader, and that’s when I realized I wasn’t getting your new updates. Maybe because you switched over to Word Press? Problem fixed, so I can scroll and catch up. You poor thang… remodeling has to be frustrating. When our living room/hallway carpet got torn out and replaced with hardwood, I was having a tough time dealing with all my furniture being shoved into different rooms and the garage. I can understand, even if under a smaller scale. I’m not the biggest fan of PBJ, except on whole wheat. However, my boys love it…and maybe I’d change my own mind. Can’t wait to see the finished product of your home. Happy New Year, Susan!

  • Reply
    January 2, 2015 at 4:52 am

    put me in the group of schlubs who’ve never tasted boysenberry. it’s true. regardless, these look so crumbly and yummy!

    • Reply
      January 2, 2015 at 7:04 am

      I’ve never tasted the actual berry, just the jam…something for the 2015 bucket list!

  • Reply
    January 1, 2015 at 7:13 am

    My boys would love these, Sue. What a good idea for using unusual homemade jellies. It seems like I buy them everytime I go to a new farmer’s market and then I forget to use them. There’s some prickly pear jam in my fridge right now!

    • Reply
      January 1, 2015 at 7:57 am

      I think it’s the farmer’s market that got me re-interested in jams and jellies, they sell some incredible flavors… your prickly pear would make a great filling for these! Hope 2015 is a great one for you Elizabeth!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    December 31, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    I love jam bars and these are just perfect with those nice layers. Happy New Year, Sue!

    • Reply
      January 1, 2015 at 7:58 am

      Here’s to a fabulous year for both our blogs, Laura 🙂

  • Reply
    Bob Fish
    December 31, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    5 stars
    Made your Turkish Coffee Shortbread Cookies. Oh yes! Wanted an “adult cookie” for tonight (New Years Eve). Last week, baked off a recipe for testing – as written. Amazing! Recently discovered cardamom – so I made a second batch without the chocolate dip to let the cardamom shine. I also substituted Splenda for cane sugar. Texture was off – no crunch – just a mouthful of sand, very good sand, but still sand. Made batch three this morning, cane sugar/no chocolate. Perfect!!! Tonight’s dessert coffee, vanilla, and chocolate ice creams with your cookies……Happy New Year!

    • Reply
      December 31, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      So glad to hear that, I will try the cookies without the chocolate, too, I love cardamom so much. Interesting about the Splenda, but I’m not surprised 😉 Happy New Year and thanks for reading Bob!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Wow! I adore any kind of crumble bar! Good thing I have this weekend off, I will definitely be making them. Thanks for helping to make 2014 so much fun.

    Happy New Year!

    • Reply
      December 31, 2014 at 11:01 am

      Thanks for hanging with me this year, Purple Queen!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s+Recipes
    December 31, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Who could ever resist crumble bars!!?? They look superb, Sue.
    Happy New Year!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    December 31, 2014 at 7:24 am

    I’m a huge fan of crumble bars, too. These look gorgeous and I have just the jam for them 🙂 Happy New Year!

    • Reply
      December 31, 2014 at 8:15 am

      Happy New Year Jennifer! I was just over at your blog ogling your ‘bests of 2014’, I can’t even imagine how you can top that next year, but I look forward to your trying!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2014 at 6:42 am

    Beautiful bars!

    Have a wonderful New Year, looking forward to the goodies you will be sharing in 2015!

    *by the way, I am not getting notifications of a new post from you, do you know if there is a problem?

    • Reply
      December 31, 2014 at 7:25 am

      I did take a few days off so maybe you are just noticing that, Sally. Otherwise if you don’t mind taking the trouble you might unsubscribe and try again. I also just switched to a new company who handles my email, so that could be it, too. I’ll check the list and make sure you are on it!
      Happy New Year to you, too!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    December 31, 2014 at 6:23 am

    Lovely! Peanut butter bars with jam – we need these right now! Still trying to come off the sugar high of the holidays but feel we need just one thing more – haha! Happy New Year Sue! Hope you have a fantastic 2015!

    • Reply
      December 31, 2014 at 7:39 am

      Thanks Tricia — I know what you mean about the sugar, but I need to ease myself off slowly…;)
      Happy New Year to you, too, I know 2015 is going to be great, I can feel it in my bones <3

  • Reply
    December 31, 2014 at 5:56 am

    These look great!
    I just said to Jacques early early this morning..It’s Saturday today right?
    I have a bit of what you have..Our bedroom got groomed to an inch of it’s life.. sheets ..duvet..mattress..spic and span everywhere:) The tree we wait for Epiphany..
    Concentrate on the lights at night and the tree stil up ddoesn’t seem so bad:)

    • Reply
      December 31, 2014 at 7:41 am

      You sound like a soul sister, Monique! Happy New Year!