PB&J Crumble Bars: A Classic Reinvented!

Ask me five years ago and peanut butter and jelly (I call this jam, but for now let's just go with PB&J) sounded to me like the oddest combination ever. Yes, lots of my friends carried PB&Js to school or raved about the classic childhood sandwich, but I just couldn't get myself to fathom the concept.

Then, one day, I took a leap of faith. Crunchy peanut butter layered with raspberry jam and sandwiched between two slices of whole grain bread. It. Was. Bliss. Things haven't changed since then. I love any good PB&J (this means good peanut butter, delicious jam, and good bread), but my favorite would have to be crunchy peanut butter and raspberry jam. Sure, creamy peanut butter and blueberry, strawberry, grape etc. jams work, but crunchy and raspberry comes out on top.

Ok, I sidetracked a bit, and now it's time to get back to these bars. They're exactly like your favorite lunchbox sandwich, but revamped. It'd be safe to call these breakfast, a snack or even a healthy(ish) dessert!

They have a wonderful crumbly peanut butter oat base, topped with a thin layer of blueberry jam and some fresh blueberries (this combo gets all gooey and delicious when it's baked!) and topped with a sprinkling of more of that peanut butter crumble. You may be wondering why I went with blueberry and not raspberry given my flavor preference, and it's because the texture and way blueberries react to being baked work much better than raspberries. And although I hate to cheat on my beloved raspberry jam and peanut butter combo, this is just as delicious! You could, however, easily switch it up with any other fruit flavors ranging from strawberry, to raspberry, to grape to apricot. Keep in mind that I can't vouch for how well the fresh fruits of those varieties will work given the different moisture contents. 

For the base and crumble top:
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1/3 cup unrefined sugar
4 tbsp coconut oil
1/3 cup peanut butter, melted

For the filling:
1/3 cup fruit spread
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
2 tbsp peanut butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 170 C. Line a square baking pan with baking paper and set aside.

Combine oats, flour, sugar, oil and peanut butter for the base/crumble in a bowl until large chunks form. Press 2/3 of the crumble mixture into the pan and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Set the other 1/3 aside for the topping. 

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Mix together the fruit spread and fresh blueberries. 

Once the 10 minutes is up, pull the base out of the oven. Spread the blueberry filling over the base evenly. Drizzle/swirl the peanut butter over the blueberry filling. Crumble remaining oat mixture over the PB&J filling, pressing down lightly.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top. The inside filling will be oozing and bubbling! Cool completely before cutting into squares. I stored these in the fridge due to the moist filling, but if you think the environment is cool and dry enough, there's no need to refrigerate! As a matter of taste, I preferred them chilled and my parents liked them slightly warmed up, so it's really up to you. 

Cut into small squares if you want these to last long, but big ones if you really want to enjoy them! Perfect with a glass of cold milk.


1 comment:

  1. I am in love with PB&J everything, this id definitely on my "need to make list." Yum!