PB & J Cookie Bars

June 23, 2016

For years, at camp, my friends and I would lie about random food allergies just to be given some PB & J magic for dinner every now and then. Although 19-year old me now appreciates savoury and more balanced dinners, the American and 12 year old in me will always find so much joy in the peanut butter and jelly combo. These cookie bars take that amazing combination to the next level: sweet shortbread-like crumbly vegan base, topped with creamy crunchy peanut butter, fresh strawberry jam and finally, a crumble topping. Four layers of pure magic, that are healthy enough to be eatenΒ for breakfast (or a cheeky dinner if you’re having a nostalgic childhood moment) and take less than an hour to make!
PB & J Cookie Bars
Makes 12 bars
For the base:
2 cups oats
1 cup buckwheat flour
4 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp maple syrup/honey
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Peanut butter layer:
5 tbsp peanut butter
Jam layer:
500 g strawberries (fresh or frozen)
2 tbsp maple syrup/honey
Juice and zest of 1 orange
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp water (omit if using frozen strawberries)
2 tbsp chia seeds
Crumble topping:
2 cups of oats
4 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp maple syrup/honey

Pre-heat oven to 180Λ™C.
It’s best to start by making the jam as it can cook while you prepare the other layers. Place the strawberries in a small sauce pan on medium heat, along with the water, maple syrup, orange juice and zest and vanilla extract. Once everything begins cooking and starts to smell heavenly, cover the sauce pan, reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes or so.
While this is cooking, prepare the base. In a food processor, blitz the oats and buckwheat flour for about a minute. Add in the coconut oil, maple syrup, peanut butter, vanilla extract and salt and mix until well combined. Line a baking tin, and spread the base mixture as evenly as possible and pressing firmly throughout to achieve a compact base. Once this is done, spread the 5 tbsp of peanut butter evenly on top of base. Place in fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
By this time, the jam should be cooked. At this point, remove from heat, and add in the chia seeds as these will thicken the jam. Let sit for another 10 minutes.
While you wait for the jam and base to finish setting you can make the crumble layer by simply mixing the oats with the coconut oil and maple syrup.
At this point, everything should be ready to assemble! Remove the base from the fridge, and top with as much (or little) jam as you would like (I usually use it all, but some people prefer more peanut butter and less jam). Finally, evenly add in the crumble layer.
Place in oven to cook for 30-35 minutes. Once cooked, let cool for 10-15 minutes and then enjoy!


Β©2016 Bowl of Comfort

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