Oh. Dear. God.
In the United Kingdom, peanut butter gets a bad rap. If you’ve ever tasted British peanut butter, you’d know why. It comes in teeny tiny jars and it’s a dry, pasty smush of who knows what. So it’s no real mystery why the jars are kept small. Like anything in the kitchen, you put bad stuff in, you get bad stuff out. In London, we can only get the major brands, which are what we use by default. Oddly enough, we can also get Goober, that ungodly squirt of peanut butter and jelly in a jar. One day we told a customer about an item with peanut butter, tolerated the predictable grimace, looked over their shoulder, saw the Goober sitting on the shelf, and the light bulb went off. Besides, who doesn’t like a silly name for something so delicious?
There are plenty of fantastic peanut butters back home. Any would work for this recipe. Those with chocolate, those with spice, those with honey, etc. Natural peanut butter works, too, but drain off some oil before plopping it into the mixing bowl. Smooth? Crunchy? Strawberry? Grape? Four-berry? If you’re lucky, you’ll use jam from scratch. Totally up to you. Hell, we’ve used a jar of Goober itself and that even works.–David Muniz and David Lesniak
LC Goober Note
“Oh. Dear. God.” is right. This recipe, from David’s favorite bakery in London, essentially remakes a PB&J as peanut butter blondies with a layer of jam smack in the middle. Makes us feel like a kid again.
Goober Bars Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 1 H
- Makes 12 to 16 squares
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups (16 ounces) peanut butter
- 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups (12 ounces) jam (any flavor)
- 2/3 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped or unchopped
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or roasting pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Coat the sides of the dish with flour and tap out any excess.
- 2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- 3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, peanut butter, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, followed by the vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture just until combined. The dough will be quite stiff.
- 4. Using your fingertips, gently press about 2/3 of the dough into the dish. Schmear the jam in a thin layer over the dough, and then crumble or dollop the remaining dough on top of the jam. Sprinkle the top with the peanuts, gently pressing them into the dough so they don’t fall off later.
- 5. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the goober is golden on top. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into 3-inch squares.
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Testers ChoiceTesters Choice
Oct 01, 2013
I should be the last person on earth to make Goober Bars. Give me anything but jelly on my peanut butter sandwich (honey, pickles, jalapenos, the list goes on) and I’m a happy girl. BUT, these Goober Bars are darn good. The peanut butter part is very substantial—this is a thick bar—and just peanutty enough. I used a 16-ounce jar of creamy Skippy, which turned out to be a tad less than 2 cups. The dough held together when squeezed, so it patted nicely into the pan and crumbled on top of the jelly layer. Speaking of jelly, I used a 12-ounce jar of Concord grape jelly, which comes in at only a cup rather than 1 1/2 cups. Since that’s all I had, I went with it. The jelly layer was a bit thin but it was acceptable. I’m sure if you were using jam, marmalade, or preserves, the pieces of fruit would add bulk, getting it to 1 1/2 cups. I threw the peanuts on just half the bars and found I preferred them without. They get a little soft when the bars are covered and stored. One more thing: These bars may take an additional 5 or 10 minutes of baking. They’re pretty thick, and for the center to be set it takes a while.
Goober Bars Recipe © 2012 David Muniz and David Lesniak. All rights reserved.