|I CUT THESE PICTURED COOKIES INTO 2 X 3 INCH SIZE AND FOUND THEM TO BE VERY RICH, MAKING THIS SIZE TOO LARGE FOR A COOKIE SIZE... SO WE CUT THESE ALL IN HALF FOR EATING. A 2 X 1 1/2 INCH SIZE IS JUST RIGHT|
|I USED A LARGER STONEWARE BAKING PAN...MORE LIKE COOKIE SHEET SIZE--THESE COOKIES ARE RICH SO I WANTED TO MAKE THEM THINNER...I'LL GET ABOUT 40 BARS FROM 1 BATCH|
I have one son who was a picky eater as a child. All my other kids loved everything, but this particular son politely asked what was being served and then proceeded to make his own meal...peanut butter and jelly sandwiches...every day. I think they kept him alive. Even though his tastes have matured and he is now a healthy eater of a variety of foods, this recipe reminded me of him and it was fun to think about him as I baked these bars. ( I miss him and his wife as they are away at school.)
|HAND HELD APPLE PIES|
These bar cookies had lots of parts. Prepare the baking pan, mix the crust, refrigerate, roll the crust, par-bake with weights, let cool, make the filling, make the crumb topping, can't remember, did we chill again, bake...cool, slice, taste...
|MAKING APPLE PIES ALONG WITH THE BAR COOKIES ADDED VERY LITTLE EXTRA CLEANUP|
I decided not to make a big mess by rolling out the crust between layers of parchment paper, HA! I thought foods don't stick to parchment paper. What a mess! The dough rolled out beautifully in the paper, but when I went to peel off the paper, the dough totally stuck to both sides and took effort to get it cleaned off. So, back to my countertop method of rolling out with flour and without paper. That actually worked great...should have done it in the first place. But now I had made a mess and I was dreaming about pie while scooping out peanut butter. Why not, I already had the rolling out mess and could use the same dirty dishes. In honor of my "Baked" baking, I decided to use their crust recipe, which we have used previously. (These all butter crusts don't hold their shape as well as those with at least a quarter shortening, but they taste sooooo much better...just love all that butter! And I also love NOT eating shortening.)
I went to the patio fridge where I keep extra fruits and veges, and just about blew up. The same peculiar fridge problem happens to me a couple of times a year. Someone decided to adjust the fridge temperature...make it a little colder...and I found a fridge full of frozen produce. Actually no one did it...must be those leprechauns. There is also extra milk, butter, bacon, etc...that are not bothered by a little ice, but my pie apples were hard as rocks. (Actually they peeled easily and made perfect pies.) I knew that when they thawed they would be mush and would rot and be unusable...so my pie turned to pies, four,...had to use all those apples. And then I made lots of hand pies just with some of my filling (4 pies was enough) and used all my dough scraps for these small crusts. Anyway, those wanting to come for Sunday dinner will be required to eat their fair share of pie as well as peanut butter and jelly bars.
|PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY BARS JUST OUT OF THE OVEN (NOTE: I USED HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY JAM)|
And in the "Baked" tradition, I used half brown sugar in my pie filling. The pies are delicious, but the best ones are the smaller, rustic hand pies. Their egg washed, sugar sprinkled crusts are crispy, top and bottom, and with a little filling oozing out and caramelizing on their edges, well, they are extra good. Anyway, just thought I'd let you all know that our crust recipe works well for mini, uncontained pies. I'm thinking about making berry pie-pops tomorrow...I also found raspberries and blueberries out in that fridge. They too need to be used.
|LARGE BAR COOKIES--SEE ALL THE LAYERS?|
The Peanut Butter and Jelly bars came together well, even though the process was drawn out with so many steps and dirty dishes...except for my crumb topping which was not as crumby as I'd hoped. With all the fat in the pound of butter used through this recipe plus the other pound of butter, well, almost, in the peanut butter, my crumb topping kinda melted into all that fat during baking.
My son would like these cookies. I will make them again when he visits home...but I plan to reduce some of the filling fat so that those oils will not be absorbed by the topping and make it less crumby.
I'm interested to see what you all think about these. And, I'm very happy I did not miss this experience!