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June 9, 2012

Peanut Butter & Jelly Shortbread Bars

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While PB&J sandwiches are great, these PB&J Shortbread Bars are even better.

Before these I'm sure we all thought, as IF a peanut butter and jelly sandwich could get any better!

But that, my friend, has changed and changed for good...

One bite of these, and you'll never go back to the stuff with bread.

Sweet and salty, chewy and satisfying, warming and comforting.
Just like the sandwich.

Healthy and naturally sweetened, rich and decadent, full of fiber and protein.
Not so much like the sandwich.

These bars have something to brag about, just check out the nutrition label below!

At only 9 ingredients (or 8 if you use all agave instead of the agave/maple combo) these simple and easy-to-make bars will please all kids and adults alike, not only from the taste but from its happy, humble ingredient list!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Shortbread Bars:  [no bake, high protein, GF, vegan]
(makes 16)

   Shortbread Base:
       192g (2 cups) Old Fashioned Rolled Oats*, blended to a coarse flour [GF if you like]
       93g (3 scoops) Vanilla Protein Powder
       1/2 tsp Salt
       96g (1/4 cup + 2 tbs) Coconut Butter**
       210g (1/2 cup + 2 tbs) Agave Nectar
       1/2 tsp Butter Extract (optional, but c'mon now...)

   Peanut Butter Fudge Filling:
       124g (4 scoops) Vanilla Protein Powder
       84g (1/4 cup) Agave Nectar
       84g (1/4 cup) Pure Maple Syrup (or more agave)
       21g (1 tbs) Molasses
       128g (1/2 cup) Natural Peanut Butter (no sugar/salt/oil added)

   Jelly Layer:
       1/2 cup 100% fruit Raspberry Spread (any other flavor will work)

       1/3-1/2 cup of Shortbread Base mixture, packed (depends on how much crumble you want)

*Measured 1.5 cups after blending
**You can make your own coconut butter at home!

1.  Line an 8" brownie pan with parchment paper both ways and set aside.
2.  For the shortbread base, stir together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  In a microwave-safe bowl, add the coconut butter and agave and microwave at 20-second intervals, stirring between each one, until smooth and runny.  Stir in butter extract and pour over dry ingredients.  Stir until combined/moistened.  Reserve 1/3-1/2 cup of this mixture by packing it into a measuring cup.  Scoop the rest into the prepared pan and flatten.  Refrigerate while you make the filling.
3.  For the peanut butter filling, add the protein powder to a medium-sized mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, stir together the agave, maple syrup, molasses and peanut butter.  Pour over the protein powder and fold with a rubber spatula.  Mixture is ready when it can form into a dough ball.  Scoop this onto the crust and flatten.
4.  Spread the jam over the PB layer.
5.  Put the reserved crust mixture in a clean bowl and crumble it with your fingers, sprinkle evenly over the jam.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours then slice and serve!

Feel free to sprinkle on some chopped peanuts as well!

I tried to keep the recipe moderate in fat and high in protein (success!) since I was making them for my dad to bring to work for his coworkers (aka, health nuts and workout maniacs).  After bringing these and these, they are always asking him to bring in my healthified desserts!

Edit:  healthified desserts with peanut butter.

Who knew a bunch of businessmen and women had such sweet teeth??


  1. These look awesome!!! I love raspberry jam too, definitely one of my favorites.. It would be a little more tart but I bet Lingonberry jam would be great on these too : )

  2. So glad to have found a fellow college student blogger/baker :D I really love how you have incorporated your major and passion for healthy food into your cooking! Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are one of my lunchtime usuals, but I certainly wouldn't mind having one of these bars for dessert heheh.

  3. Hubby would love these for sure!

  4. Yummy, one of my favorite combinations: peanut butter and jelly! : )

  5. Would honey or something else be an acceptable substitute for agave? Thanks! These look amazing.

  6. You know that agave nectar is a non natural highly refined product that has more concentrated fructose than high fructose corn syrup.

    1. I know that agave (along with many other sweeteners these days) is refined, but I found out I'm allergic to honey and couldn't use it here. You can use honey or pure maple syrup here if you'd like!

  7. These look fantastic! I cannot wait to try them.

  8. Hi! Can I substitute any more commonly available ingredient for coconut butter? I can't find it in my country. Thanks! :D

    1. You can try mixing together 1/4 cup of coconut oil with 2 tbs of full fat coconut milk, or try making your own at home if you have shredded coconut on hand:

      You can also order it online here:

  9. Hey Jessica, found your blog recently and love it! I made these bars on my blog for today and linked back to you. I made a few small changes for what I had on hand and to suit my preferences but they were SO delicious! You have some great recipes and I love how you share why your desserts are healthy and all that you are learning in school! Great job on creating such a fantastic site! :)


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