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This easy peanut butter and jelly bars recipe combines our favorite desserts. You’ll love the buttery crust and creamy peanut butter and raspberry cheesecake!
What if you can turn your favorite PB&J sandwich into a dessert? Try these easy peanut butter and jelly bars, and you’ll never look at pb and j the same way again!
Enjoy the buttery Nilla wafer crust, sweet and creamy peanut butter and jelly cheesecake, plus more pb and j in every bite. These peanut butter and jelly bars elevate our favorite nostalgic snack into an irresistible dessert.
Serve the delicious pb and j bars as snacks, desserts, or treats for a quick pick-me-up after an exhausting day!
What Are Peanut Butter And Jelly Bars?
Peanut butter and jelly bars are chewy and indulgent desserts made from the classic tandem we have loved since childhood: PB&J.
Instead of a sandwich, enjoy the comforting sweet and nutty taste of peanut butter and jam in a bar. You can make dough from butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, and salt, then add the peanut butter and jam.
But for easy peanut butter and jelly bars, why not make a crust from Nilla wafer crumbs and whip up a creamy pb and raspberry jam cheesecake?
The tangy cream cheese perfectly balances your favorite childhood snack’s sweet and nutty flavor.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
These cheesecake peanut butter and jam bars are very simple to make. You don’t need to stress about the ingredients’ measurements to perfect the dough.
Here are what you’ll be missing out on if you don’t try this recipe asap:
- Made From Nilla Wafer Crumbs: These easy peanut butter and jelly bars won’t have you meticulously measuring dry ingredients to make the dough. Instead, enjoy the amazing texture from the crust that perfectly complements the pb and j cheesecake.
- Delicious Pb and J Cheesecake: Give the lunch box treat a makeover by turning it into a rich cheesecake bar! You’re already elevating the PB&J sandwich, so you might as well create an indulgent, crowd-pleasing dessert.
- Versatile Make-Ahead Dessert: You can make these peanut butter jelly bars in advance because they store well. If you love experimenting, try unique flavor combinations to create your dream pb and j dessert with this easy recipe.
What Does Peanut Butter Jelly Bars Taste Like?
Peanut butter jelly bars taste like everybody’s childhood favorite combo: rich, nutty peanut butter and sweet jelly sandwich.
But instead of being in between slices of bread, the combo of peanut butter and jam is incorporated in the batter and baked as chewy and delectable desserts.
Each bite is a balance between salty and sweet. And if you’d try this peanut butter and jelly bar recipe, the classic combo is made even better as a creamy cheesecake with a crumbly crust!
With this version, you won’t get overwhelmed with the sweetness of jam or have the peanut butter stick to the roof of your mouth.
Are Peanut Butter And Jam Bars Healthy?
These delectable peanut butter jelly cheesecake bars are best enjoyed with a healthy, balanced diet.
Their sweet and buttery taste is a sure mood-booster after a tiring day, but too much can mean excess calories.
You can also find ingredient alternatives and tailor the PB&J bars to your diet. For example, opt for something low-calorie, dairy-free, or gluten-free.
What Are The Benefits Of PB And J Bars?
There are many peanut butter and jelly bar versions, but you’ll miss out on amazing flavors if you don’t try this easy cheesecake peanut butter and jam bar recipe.
You’ll get the classic flavors of the memorable treat, but the rich cheesecake and golden brown crust elevate them even further.
It’s an experience of mouthwatering flavors, textures, and colors using pantry staple ingredients.
And because you’re not making any flour mixture, this sweet treat is easy to make.
Ingredients For Easy Peanut Butter And Jelly Bars
- Nilla wafers – No need to mix dry and wet ingredients for the batter. These light and crispy vanilla cookies make the perfect base for the peanut butter and jam cheesecake.
- Unsalted butter – Binds the Nilla wafer crumbs and adds a rich buttery flavor to cut through the pb and j flavors.
- Cream cheese – Make the classic combo more indulgent with cream cheese. Its tangy taste also balances the sweetness of the jam.
- Granulated sugar – Use a stand mixer to achieve the perfect sugar and cream cheese consistency.
- Eggs – Room temperature eggs are easier to incorporate into the PB&J cheesecake.
- Vanilla extract – A must-have ingredient for highlighting the flavors of the dessert bars.
- Marshmallow fluff – Helps achieve the fluffy and tasty texture of the cheesecake.
- Peanut butter – This simple recipe can use any classic peanut butter you love.
- Raspberry jam – Any fruit jam will taste good for these peanut butter and jelly bars, but raspberry is a sure crowd-pleaser with nut butters.
Tools Needed To Prepare Peanut Butter And Jelly Bars
- Food processor for crushing the Nilla wafers
- Baking pan for baking the peanut butter and jam bars
- Parchment paper for lining the baking pan
- Spatula for spreading the mixture evenly on the pan
- Stand mixer for mixing the cheesecake
- Piping bag for drizzling the peanut butter
- Knife for slicing the pb and j bars
- Plastic wrap for wrapping the peanut butter jelly bars before chilling in the fridge to set
Ingredient Additions & Substitutions For Peanut Butter Jelly Bars
Can you use other cookies or crackers if Nilla wafers are unavailable? Because of their subtle sweetness and crispiness, Graham crackers would be fantastic for these cheesecake peanut butter and jelly bars.
You can use any flavor of jelly for these easy peanut butter and jelly bars. Besides raspberry, grape jam is another sure hit because it contrasts deliciously with the toasty peanut butter.
Want more crunch to these rich peanut butter jelly bars? You can sprinkle some crushed pecans over the batter and be reminded of your favorite crunchy peanut butter and jelly sandwich growing up.
How to Make Easy Peanut Butter And Jelly Bars
- 2 cups Nilla wafers
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup marshmallow fluff
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup raspberry jam
Tools you need:
STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F and crush the Nilla wafers with a food processor.
STEP 2: Mix the melted butter and Nilla wafer crumbs and pour them into a lined baking dish.
STEP 3: Spread and press the wafer crumb crust evenly on the bottom of the pan and bake for 8 minutes.
STEP 4: Allow the crust to cool but leave the oven at 350°F.
STEP 5: For the cheesecake filling, beat cream cheese and sugar with a stand mixer until creamy.
STEP 6: Add the eggs and vanilla extract and combine thoroughly.
STEP 7: Stir in the marshmallow fluff and mix, then add ¼ cup of peanut butter.
STEP 8: Continue mixing until everything is incorporated and you do not see streaks.
STEP 9: Pour the filling over the wafer crumb crust and spread evenly.
STEP 10: Microwave ¼ cup of raspberry jam for 30 seconds and spoon it over the pb cheesecake. Swirl the jam into the cheesecake with a toothpick.
STEP 11: Bake the peanut butter and jelly cheesecake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 200°F. Bake for another 30 minutes.
STEP 12: Turn off the oven but let the pb and j bar sit inside for 10 minutes before cooling completely outside.
STEP 13: Once the peanut butter and jelly bar is at room temperature, microwave the remaining raspberry jam for 30 seconds and pour it over the dessert. Spread the jam evenly.
STEP 14: Microwave the remaining peanut butter for 30 seconds and drizzle it over the peanut butter and jelly bar with a piping bag.
STEP 15: Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours before cutting the peanut butter and jelly bars. Serve and enjoy this wonderful recipe!
What To Serve With PB And J Bars
Because these peanut butter and jam bars are rich and sweet, you can serve them with something light and refreshing. For example, pair each yummy treat with fresh apple slices for a juicy contrast.
If you serve these delicious treats as desserts, they will go well with savory dishes like tomato soup or bacon slices.
Another option is to have the rich peanut butter and raspberry cheesecake bar cleanse the palate after a heavy and spicy meal.
Try these hot and delicious meals at home as your main course:
Tips About Making Peanut Butter And Jam Bars
These easy peanut butter and jelly bars are easier to make than other recipes with strictly measured ingredients for the dough.
But to get the best structure and taste, consider these tips:
- Check and follow the recommended baking and cooling time in the recipe. Otherwise, your peanut butter and jelly bars can crack.
- Taking the time to microwave the peanut butter and jam for a few seconds makes them easier to spread evenly.
- You can use any fruit jam for these peanut butter jelly bars if you don’t have raspberry jelly.
How To Store Peanut Butter And Jelly Bars
One of the best things about these PB&J bars is you can make them ahead of time or store leftovers. Here are the guidelines:
Fridge: After cooling, store the peanut butter and jelly bars inside an airtight container in the fridge. Consume within five days for the best taste and texture.
Freezer: These cheesecake peanut butter and jam bars can be frozen the same way you store other cheesecake bars in the freezer.
After cooling, freeze them until firm. Then, wrap the frozen cheesecake bars in foil and store them in a sealed freezer container for three months.
Do Peanut Butter And Jelly Bars Need To Be Refrigerated?
Good things come to those who wait, and these easy peanut and jelly bars are no different. After cooling the bars, refrigerate them for at least three hours to set, and you’ll be rewarded with the most decadent pb and j cheesecake dessert.
How Long Does Pb & J Last Unrefrigerated?
You can leave untouched pb and j unrefrigerated for 24 hours, but be aware of the temperature danger zone. Bacteria can multiply at warm temperatures, so it’s better to refrigerate food items for health and safety.
Is Eating Peanut Butter And Jelly Healthy?
The nostalgic peanut butter and jelly combo is a source of protein, fat, and fiber. But for the best nutritional value, consider using natural peanut butter and jelly with fewer sugars.
FAQ About Peanut Butter And Jelly Bars
Can you freeze peanut butter jelly bars?
Yes, you can store these peanut butter jelly bars in the freezer for three months.
What are peanut butter and jelly mixed together called?
Peanut butter and jelly mixed together is also called PB&J. Smucker’s has the Goober brand, which is a peanut butter and jelly spread.
Can I make PB&J the night before?
Yes, you can make pb and j the night before, but pb and j sandwiches can get soggy when sitting too long. You can avoid this by toasting the bread or storing the sandwich in a covered container in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and crush the Nilla wafers with a food processor.
- Mix the melted butter and Nilla wafer crumbs, then pour into a lined baking pan.
- Spread and press the wafer crumb crust evenly on the bottom of the pan and bake for 8 minutes.
- Allow the crust to cool but leave the oven at 350°F.
- For the cheesecake filling, beat cream cheese and sugar with a stand mixer until creamy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract and combine thoroughly.
- Stir in the marshmallow fluff and mix, then add ¼ cup of peanut butter.
- Continue mixing until everything is incorporated and you do not see streaks.
- Pour the filling over the wafer crumb crust and spread evenly.
- Microwave ¼ cup of raspberry jam for 30 seconds and spoon it over the pb cheesecake. Swirl the jam into the cheesecake with a toothpick.
- Bake the peanut butter and jelly cheesecake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 200°F. Bake for another 30 minutes.
- Turn off the oven but let the pb and j bar sit inside for 10 minutes before cooling completely outside.
- Once the peanut butter and jelly bar is at room temperature, microwave the remaining raspberry jam for 30 seconds and pour it over the dessert. Spread the jam evenly.
- Microwave the remaining peanut butter for 30 seconds and drizzle it over the peanut butter and jelly bar with a piping bag.
- Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours before cutting the peanut butter and jelly bars. Serve and enjoy!
- Follow the recommended time for baking and cooling to avoid cracks on these easy peanut butter and jelly bars.
- Microwaving the raspberry jam and peanut butter makes it easier to spread them.
- You can use any fruit jam you like for this recipe.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 115Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 46mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g
* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for the most accurate results.
Enjoy the nostalgic taste of pb and j in the form of these peanut butter and jelly bars.
This easy dessert bar recipe elevates them further as cheesecake bars with a delicious, buttery crust made from Nilla wafers!
And compared to other peanut butter and jam bars, you don’t need to measure the ingredients meticulously with this version.
If you liked these easy peanut butter and jelly bars, you’d surely love these decadent desserts: