If I told you how many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I’ve eaten in the last two weeks, you might just stop reading this blog. You’d probably shake your head and judge me more than just a little. I went through loaves of bread. Loaves, people.
This recipe is definitely pregnancy-craving inspired. It combines the best parts of two things I love. You get warm, hearty oatmeal mixed with the flavors of crunchy peanut butter and sweet blackberry preserves. Maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon add their two cents to the mix as well.
PB&J Oatmeal Bars
-2 and 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-1 cup crunchy peanut butter
-1/4 cup berry preserves (plus more for dollops later)
-2 cups milk
-1/4 cup maple syrup
-2 teaspoons vanilla
-2 tablespoons butter
1. Mix oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and brown sugar in a bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, melt butter, peanut butter, and jelly and stir until combined. Add maple syrup and vanilla to the mixture and stir.
3. In a small bowl, whisk egg and milk together. Pour and stir this into the peanut butter mixture.
4. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir until combined.
5. Pour into an 8×8 non-stick pan. (Note: There is a lot of liquid at this point, so don’t let that throw you.)
6. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes. (I had to put mine back in after 35 minutes because the bottom was still a little too mushy.) **After baking 25 minutes, add 9 little dollops of jam/preserves to the pan. If you do this too soon, the jam will sink to the bottom. Return to the oven and continue baking.
7. Allow to cool several minutes before cutting into 9 squares.
My first two bars were enjoyed with the obvious beverage choice, a tall glass of milk. The third following bars were paired with my new favorite hot beverage. I’ve recently been hooked on Bigelow’s Constant Comment tea. I’ve always wanted to be a tea drinker. In theory, it sounds great. Less caffeine than coffee, different leaves and blends to try, antioxidants and all that. Plus it’s so British.
Every time I’ve tried to “get into tea” I end up disappointed. I’ll buy several types of tea (maybe even a new tea pot), add some honey, and try to convince myself that I’m enjoying it. But when I’m finally being honest, I admit it just tastes bitter. I stare at the mostly full cup wishing it was coffee instead. This changed recently when I gave tea one more shot with “Constant Comment”. It has flavors of oranges and spices and actually tastes good. I can’t make it too strong, or the bitter taste shows up. I steep it for a couple minutes and add a generous spoonful of honey.