I’m taking you back to your childhood with these perfectly sweet, salty and moist Peanut Butter and Jelly Squares!
I’m taking it back old school today.
So, if you’re not new around here, then you know that I like me some peanut butter. And this all actually began when I was a little girl. Don’t tell my mom, but I used to sneak finger fulls of peanut butter straight from the jar. Oops. And I was lucky enough to grow up with a mother who made my school lunches everyday. And you bet that PB&J was a regular menu item! I used to look forward to lunch everyday, seriously, just for my PB&J. God… I haven’t changed a bit.
This recipe came to fruition on a recent Saturday night. I decided to stay in because I had worked about 10-12 hours that day (#bloglife), so I was too pooped to do anything but vegetate on the couch. Somehow, some way, however, an urge to bake came over me.
This is usually how the best recipes happen for me:
I had zero plan. I had been craving the combination of peanut butter and jelly, however. I didn’t want to make cookies, I wanted something different, but still cookie-esque. So… squares. This is the most anti-climactic story ever, but basically I threw stuff into a bowl, baked it, and it came out so good that I had to share it with you guys! And I swear it’s always the recipes that I make on my own, without an intention of sharing on this here blog, that come out the best.
And as a food blogger, cooking has become something different. Of course I still enjoy it and it serves as an escape and stress-reliever for me, but almost everything I make now is for TBB. So when it comes time to cook something just for the heck of it, my energy for it is low. It’s almost like when I used to work at the gym in college. I was there so often, that I had to find somewhere else to exercise (aka, run outside). So, I love when I make something just for me, just for the heck of it, and it comes out share-worthy. Not because I planned it out, but because it just happened.
[Tweet “Gluten-Free Peanut Butter and Jelly Squares”]
But this is different, and I can feel it. Usually, if I cross work territory with pleasure territory, I become sick of that thing, whatever it is. It’s weird. It’s like as soon as you are required to do something, you don’t want to do it anymore. Christian played football in college for five years. And as soon as he was finished, and I wanted to exercise with him, he never wanted to work out. He’d been required to do work outs for so long, that he just had no desire to even exercise anymore.
He’s over it now, but at the time the two had been blurred together for so long that he developed a negative connotation to it.
When I was younger, I was basically required to go to church with my family every weekend. Of course, I was a child. My parents were raising me. But now, as an adult, it is my option. I choose to go, or not to go. And I find that I enjoy it much more when it’s my decision. Funny how life works!
[Tweet “These Gluten-Free PB&J Squares are taking me back to my childhood!”]
- 1 cup oat flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
- 2 tbsp strawberry jelly
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 and grease an 8×8 baking dish.
- Add the flour, baking soda, salt and sugar to a large bowl. Mix well.
- Add in the oil, egg and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
- Add the peanut butter and jelly. Fold together and stir to combine well.
- Batter will be thick – add it to the baking dish. Use your hands or a spatula to spread it across the dish evenly.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
Join the conversation:
Have you ever experienced the work-pleasure blurred lines?
What is something you reserve to be strictly pleasurable in your life? (i.e. making sure to never work in a certain industry like fitness because you enjoy exercise as “me” time)