Irvin Lin

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars

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It’s funny, I grew up in an Asian household and the childhood classic Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich wasn’t part of it. In fact, shockingly enough, I didn’t eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich until I was well into my 20s – on a quick overnight ski trip with friends who were all flabbergasted that I had never had one. They made it their mission that weekend to make sure I experienced this American staple and I never looked back.

Of course, I’ve always wanted to figure out a way to combine those flavor combinations into something a little bit more sophisticated, but still fun to eat. These cheesecake bars ended up being the perfect balance of whimsical fun and sophistication. I think even my Asian family would appreciate them.

The Bee’s Knees peanut butter and Gorgeous Grape Jelly infuse these honey sweetened cheesecake bars, making them a nostalgic treat with a twist. The best thing about them is that the handheld bar makes them a little more casual than a full sized slice of cheesecake, suitable for any time you want a little something sweet. If grape jelly isn’t your thing, feel free to substitute Seriously Strawberry Jam, or Rip-Roaring Raspberry Preserves instead, though you may not be able to get the same pattern as the jelly. Just follow the instructions, and instead of drizzling the jam/preserves in a zigzag pattern, just spoon dollops all over the cheesecake batter and swirl it randomly with a knife.

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Yield: 16 bars

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars Ingredients - Peanut Butter & Co. The Bee's Knees Peanut Butter and Gorgeous Grape Jelly

For the Graham cracker crust
9 ounces of graham crackers (about 11-14 crackers)
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake batter
20 ounces (2 1/2 bricks) cream cheese
3/4 cup The Bee’s Knees peanut butter
4 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup honey
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup Peanut Butter & Co. Gorgeous Grape Jelly
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Procedure

1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Lightly spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line the pan with a piece of parchment paper that hangs an inch or two over the sides. The cooking spray will anchor the parchment paper.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars - Line the pan with a piece of parchment paper

2. Place the graham crackers in a food processor and process until they are crumbs. Add the brown sugar and pulse a few more times to incorporate. Then, while the processor is turned on, drizzle the melted butter into the processor through the feed tube. Process until the crumbs start to clump.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars - Place the graham crackers in a food processor

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars - process until they are crumbs

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars - drizzle the melted butter into the processor through the feed tube

3. Pour the crumbs into the baking pan and spread and press them out with your hands until you have an even flat layer on the bottom of the pan. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes or until the crust smells fragrant. Pull the pan out of the oven, but maintain the heat on the oven. Let the crust cool on a wire rack while you make the filling.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars - Pour the crumbs into the baking pan

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars - press them out with your hands until you have an even flat layer on the bottom of the pan

4. Place cream cheese, The Bee’s Knees peanut butter and flour in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream everything together on medium speed until blended and fluffy. Add the honey and beat until incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating and pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl between additions. Add the vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars - Place cream cheese, The Bee’s Knees peanut butter and flour in the bowl of a standing mixer

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars - Cream everything together on medium speed until blended and fluffy

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars - Add the eggs, one at a time

5. Pour the batter into the cooled crust, being careful not to disturb the crust. Smooth the top of the batter out evenly. In a glass measuring cup with a spout, mix the grape jelly with the cornstarch until and the cornstarch is incorporated and the jelly is liquefied. Pour the grape jelly in a zigzag pattern on top of the cream cheese batter. Using a butter knife, draw a line back and forth over the jelly, creating a fancy pant pattern. Try not to dig the knife too deep into the cream cheese batter.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars - Pour the batter into the cooled crust

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars - mix the grape jelly with the cornstarch

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars - Pour the grape jelly in a zigzag pattern on top of the cream cheese batter

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars - Using a butter knife, draw a line back and forth over the jelly, creating a fancy pant pattern

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars - Try not to dig the knife too deep into the cream cheese batter

6. Bake the bars in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the cheesecake batter wiggles just a tiny bit in the middle of the pan. Let it cool completely in the pan to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight. To cut and serve, grab the parchment paper by its sides and lift the entire cheesecake out of the pan and move it directly to a cutting board to cut.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars - Bake the bars in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars - To cut and serve, grab the parchment paper by its sides and lift the entire cheesecake out of the pan and move it directly to a cutting board to cut

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars - To cut and serve, grab the parchment paper by its sides and lift the entire cheesecake out of the pan and move it directly to a cutting board to cut

Besides Irvin’s delicious PB&J cheesecake bars, what other treats would you come up with using the PB&J combo? Leave a comment below and on Monday, July 9, 2012 we’ll choose a random commenter to win a 16oz jar of The Bee’s Knees, the peanut butter used in this recipe! US residents only.

The random winner is Carolsue.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars, 7.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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23 Responses to Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars

  1. Teresa Wilson says:

    I make protein shakes with PB&J and also add PB&J to my oatmeal. For my husband’s next birthday I found a cake recipe that uses a peanut butter frosting and jelly for the filling between the layers.

  2. Francisco says:

    Since it’s summer, an ice cream sundae drizzled with a warm peanut butter sauce and, for the mature crowd, a fruit liquor sauce to imitate the jelly. Also, PB&J trail mix bars to power me through those long summer hikes!

  3. Erin R. says:

    Oh, my gosh, those look incredible. I’ve been wanting to try making peanut butter pancakes to spread with jam. Basic, I know, but it sounds so good.

  4. Eva says:

    definitely peanut butter ice cream with a jelly swirl

  5. Brenda D says:

    I love anything made with peanut butter

  6. megan kupres says:

    I made cupcakes that were peanut butter flavored and injected it with preserves and frosted it with matching fruit frosting for my sisters birthday.

  7. Kim C says:

    I would make peanut butter biscuits and make shortcakes using fresh berries mixed and heated with jelly and top with freshly whipped cream.

  8. Natalie J Vandenberghe says:

    I think I’d make a peanut butter oatmeal bar filled with Jelly.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  9. Kathy says:

    Those look delicious!!!

  10. Janice says:

    pb&j ice cream!!

  11. Shira Lipkin says:

    Absolutely muffins. Or waffles! Hey, I can do both.

  12. scott watts says:

    i want a jar of the bee’s knees

  13. Meagan says:

    PB & J ice cream would be divine!

  14. Carrie G. says:

    Mmmm… anything PB&J makes me drool. Yum! I most recently tried PB pancakes with a fruit reduction rather than syrup, they were divine!

  15. Emily says:

    I make a peanut butter cream cheese frosting for cupcakes that is mind-blowing, it would be great with the addition of a little honey! I’ve put it on top of chocolate stout cupcakes, but it would also be great with some jelly or berry preserves!

  16. Sarah says:

    I don’t think donuts get enough attention. How about a baked peanut butter donut with jelly icing? And sprinkles, duh.

  17. Sarah says:

    I have made malts/shakes and cupcakes. I think I would make a layered peanut butter cake with jelly frosting/filling!

  18. Crystal says:

    I love making PB&J sandwich cookies! I use peanut butter cookies and sandwich them with jam. My friends just love them!

  19. Ellyn says:

    Wow this sounds delish! I love peanut butter!

  20. Hope says:

    Yum this recipe looks so good! I think I would use PB&J to make cupcakes! You can never go wrong with cupcakes.

  21. Adrianna says:

    Frozen peanut butter pie! or some peanut butter banana bread!

  22. Carolsue says:

    This recipe looks so delicious! I’d love to win this and try to recreate your recipe myself!
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  23. Wen says:

    I make grilled PB&J for a quick snack. The sweet and creamy flavor with a crunch.

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars