Unlike others, I don't have a long history with peanut butter and jelly. Growing up in a European country I wasn’t familiar with this classic combo until late in my 20s. My other half couldn’t believe his ears when I told him I’d never tried a peanut butter and jelly combo. Between us, I was terrified. What if I didn't like it? I mean, I loved my jelly on a buttery slice of toast or over cream cheese and bagel, but with peanut butter? No thank you!
How silly of me! After losing a bet I had to have my first peanut butter and jelly sandwich. At first I wasn’t sure what to think. A second bite followed, then a third, and soon another sandwich.
Since then I’ve tried different combos of peanut butter and with every bite I fell deeper in love with it.
My love for cream cheese and jelly had been growing also. Since cheesecake is my favorite dessert, it was a no-brainer that I’d whip up a pan of peanut butter and jelly cheesecake.
Now let me tell you another secret. These peanut butter and jelly bars are to die for.
This is the kind of dessert you eat without realizing half of the pan is already gone. Don't say I didn't warn you!
These peanut butter and jelly bars use Pillsbury Simply Peanut Butter refrigerated cookie dough. It's double peanut butter deliciousness!
To make these bars, start by lining a brownie pan with parchment or pan lining paper and heat the oven to 350°F. Gently press the cookie dough evenly on the bottom and the sides of the pan. Since the warmth of your fingers will soften the cookie dough, it's pretty easy to work with. Once you’ve covered the bottom and about one-inch on the sides, place the pan in the fridge until ready to use.
Meanwhile, in the mixing bowl of an electric mixer, add the cream cheese, peanut butter, heavy cream and sugar. Stir on medium speed until blended and fluffy. Use the paddle attachment if you’re using a stand mixer. Stir in the eggs, one at a time and beat until combined. With a spatula, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.
Stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the cheese filling over the chilled crust and smooth the top evenly.