Do you love Ina Garten as much as I do? Seriously, I love her. I don't watch a ton of food shows on television, but when I catch hers, it makes me smile.
So when it came time to decide what to make for a particular special occasion, I turned to Ina and these bars. What was the occasion, you ask? Well... my husband, Mark, who you might remember is an amazing visual effects supervisor (for super-cool movies like this one and this one), is also an up-and-coming director. Last week he shot his first music video, for the band The Icarus Account. As a rule, I don't use the word "awesome," because I think it's woefully overused -- but these guys are awesome (seriously! Listen to them here). And so is the video! I'll link to it when it's live.
So anyway, back to the bars. I thought the guys in the band, their amazing director and the rest of the cast and crew could use a treat during their long day, so hence these bars. I wasn't at the shoot, but I'm told they disappeared pretty quick!
(I used this recipe from Ina Garten, adapted a tiny bit)
Yield: She says 24, I say at least 30, possibly 48
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 16-oz. jar peanut butter (she recommends Skippy, so that's what I used)
3 cups flour (she uses all-purpose, I used half AP and half whole-wheat pastry flour)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
16 oz. seedless raspberry jam
2/3 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil and mist with cooking spray.
2. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together butter and sugar until light, about 2 minutes. With the speed on low, mix in vanilla, eggs and peanut butter until well combined.
3. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir until just combined. Spread 2/3 of dough in baking pan, pressing evenly. Spread jam evenly over dough. Drop dollops of remaining dough over jam (don't worry if it doesn't completely cover jam). Sprinkle with peanuts.
4. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool completely in pan before removing and cutting into bars. (I covered and refrigerated it overnight before cutting.)