Everyone’s childhood favorite sandwich baked into a delicious gluten-free and vegan bar! Peanut Butter & Jelly Crumble Bars that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, as a snack, or dessert! This healthy bar recipe will have you ditching the bread!
Ah, the fresh baked smell of peanut butter and jelly 😉 What? You don’t bake your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? I think you’re about to change that! Actually, I know you’re about to change that, once you see this recipe!
There is nothing better than a PB & J sandwich for lunch. A childhood favorite and essential that grows with you just like mac and cheese! It’s still a weekly lunch staple for me. It’s not my all-time childhood favorite of 100% whole wheat bread with Jif peanut butter and Welches grape jelly. Lovingly made and packed in my lunchbox by dear old mom. I’ve had to make some modifications, but nonetheless, still my favorite lunch!
Why not make our all-time favorite sandwich a little more wholesome, trendy, and completely breakfast, lunch, snack, and dessert worthy! (That means you can have peanut butter and jelly 4 times in one day!) The secret these bars hold is that fact that there’s no bread or peanut butter. What they’re not missing is flavor (or smell!) These smell so drool-worthy while they’re baking in the oven. I almost jumped in there with them!
Many celiacs lament the fact that finding a good, quality, and tasty sandwich bread can be rather difficult and frustrating. No bread-woes here! We’re using our friendly little safe and certified gluten-free oat friends for these crumble bars! Not just rolled oats, but oat bran as well. These are super hearty and filling which is why they can make sure a great option for a satisfying breakfast.
I’m a huge fan of fruit butters, not jellies or jams. When I found some grape butter, the heavens sang! I usually make my sandwiches with apple butter, but these crumble bars needed to be authentic, so GRAPE had to be used. Eden Foods organic concord grape butter just had to be placed in my online cart and bought specifically for this recipe. It’s just concord grapes, no added sugar or unnecessary things. Eden also makes some of my go-to’s for apple and/or cherry butter.
Of course, you probably guessed it when I said there was no peanut butter in these, that instead there was peanut flour. Peanut flour will always be one of my favorite ingredients to bake and cook with. So much flavor in a healthy baking-friendly way. One thing I never want you to do with peanut flour…make it into peanut butter by adding water. If you want peanut butter, please just eat real peanut butter. Otherwise, that’s just cringe-worthy and I’m not sure we can be friend anymore (haha!)
Since I know I’ll get some questions for modifications, yes, using almond flour would be fine (yet much less taste as almond flour is very bland), and yes, you could use a different fruit butter or even jam. I’ve heard that some people think strawberry jam is the classic fruit flavor for the sandwich, but that’s just blasphemy to me! It has to be grape to be classic! I did not grow up with strawberry jam (ever); I don’t think I had it until I was older. Traditionally when the PB & J became popular (during WWII), the sandwich was made with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and 2 tablespoons of jelly on white bread. The original brands used were Skippy or Peter Pan and Smuckers for the jelly. We were a Skippy and Welches family, but then I told my mom I liked Jif better. We were always Welches grape jelly, though, they never changed!
Peanut Butter & Jelly Crumble Bars
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the grape butter. I used my hands to get a nice crumbly mixture.
- In a parchment paper lined 8x8 baking pan, press in 3 cups of the mixture.
- Now evenly spread the jar of grape butter on top of this bottom layer of the bars.
- Finally, add the rest of the crumble mixture on top, not pressed, but crumbled on top of the grape butter layer.
- Bake the bars in the oven for 25 minutes.
- Remove and let cool before cutting into 9 squares.
All your childhood lunchtime dreams come true! Peanut Butter & Jelly Crumble BARS! Here’s one question I forgot to ask. PB & J sliced diagonally or down the middle? To be honest I never really cared. Nowadays, I don’t even bother with that nonsense, but I know it can be a point of contention for us PB & J purists!
So tell me:
+ Diagonally or down the middle?
+ Crust or no crust? Don’t waste that crust! (I know that’s a bit debate too!)
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