Ever since I saw an episode of Barefoot Contessa in which Ina Garten makes these luscious looking peanut butter and jelly bars, I've been wanting to give it a try. However, the price for jellies here in the Philippines is ludicrous! And since I didn't grow up on PB&J sandwiches, I didn't really know what jelly flavor goes well with peanut butter.
I remember asking my husband this question and he suggested grape jelly. He said it makes the best peanut butter and jelly sandwich. We were able to find Smucker's concord grape jelly but I still wasn't able to make the recipe. Then I decided to go low carb. It seemed as if all hope was lost.
Until my awesome mother-in-law sent sugar free Smucker's concord grape jelly (in addition to all sorts of low carb goodies) and I just knew I had to try to convert this recipe to low carb.
Using the cookie recipe I made a few weeks before, I managed to recreate my own low carb PB&J bars. Hubby prefers jelly to be spread on top of the cookie after baking but I find that the jelly when baked with the cookie made it chewier. So it's up to you, really, however you prefer it. I didn't make the cookie batter too sweet because I expected the jelly to make up for it. For me the sweetness was just right.
Low Carb Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
2 cups peanuts, finely ground (you can roast this beforehand but I used raw)
1/4 cup unsweetened peanut butter
3/4 cup Splenda, granulated or whatever sweetener you prefer
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar free jelly
1. Mix the first six ingredients until well blended. Grease pan with butter. I used an 8"x8" pan.
2. Pour the cookie dough into the pan and press it down until evenly distributed.
3. Stir the jelly until spreadable and no longer gelatinous. Pour on top of peanut dough and spread evenly.
4. Bake at 350 degrees until the jelly bubbles up and the sides pull away. I would suggest baking it longer than that as the sides with its crispiness were my favorites. If you prefer chewier cookies, you can take it out as soon as the sides are brown.
5. Let cool and slice into squares. I sliced this into 16 squares but you can definitely make it smaller if you want.