Swirled blondies are an amazing amalgamation of peanut butter, fresh berries, and jam. Plus a handful of peanut butter chips. Imagine if a PB&J was not just delish but also a dessert. Are you kidding? Of course, you want to make these.
Adapted from Dana Pollack | Dana’s Bakery | Page Street Publishing, 2021
I love these bars as a grab-and-go snack. And you can use any fruit for these blondies. If you’d prefer not to add fresh fruit to the bars, you can add extra peanut butter chips or just omit the fruit.–Dana Pollack
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon powdered peanut butter* (optional)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter melted
- 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
- 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
- 1/2 cup fresh strawberries hulled and sliced
- 1/3 cup store-bought or homemade strawberry jam
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Line an 8-by 8-inch (20-by 20–cm) or 9-by 9-inch (23-by 23-cm) baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Spray the foil or the paper with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the salt, baking powder, baking soda, powdered peanut butter, if using, and flour. In a separate large bowl, stir together the melted butter, chunky peanut butter, and brown sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Stir in the peanut butter chips and the strawberries. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan, spreading it evenly across the pan.
- Drop spoonfuls of strawberry jam on top of the batter. Using a knife or a toothpick, swirl the jam into the batter. If the batter is too thick to allow swirling, use a spoon to gently press the jam into the dough.
☞TESTER TIP: If your jam is a little thick, microwave it for up to 15 seconds to loosen it before dropping it onto the batter.
- Bake until the blondie is just turning golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes. (Do not overbake!) Allow the blondies to cool completely in the pan, about 1 hour. Slice into 16 squares.
- Store the blondies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. If not eating immediately, you can freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw before serving.
*What is powdered peanut butter?Aside from being the best thing to happen to smoothies since high-horsepower blenders, powdered peanut butter is just that. Roasted peanuts are pressed until most of the oil is gone and the remaining paste is dehydrated. Some brands contain a little sugar and salt but, mostly, you’re just left with protein and fiber—and about 85% less fat. Even if you’re not fat conscious, it’s an excellent way to boost peanut flavor in all kinds of baking.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
These swirled blondies are good…really, really good. Like a peanut butter cookie, a blondie, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich got together and made a delicious, delicious baby. I like the texture of a brownie but I’m not a huge chocolate fan (I know….!) so I’ve been trying my hand at baking more blondies to get that dense, chewy, toothsome bite, sans chocolate. I am a huge fan of peanut butter, and the only thing better than straight peanut butter is peanut butter and jelly so I knew this would be right up my alley.
The dense peanut butter cookie-like base with pockets of cooked strawberries and sticky jam is a phenomenal combination. This is a pretty prime summer treat, especially with a big scoop of ice cream on top. Don’t overthink it when you put it together. Yes, the batter is thick and you will be worried that the strawberries will get smooshed and you will wonder if the jam is swirled enough but press on and you’ll be rewarded.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
If a blondie and PB&J sandwich had a baby, it would be these swirled blondies. They are super peanut-buttery but balanced out super well with the chunks of fresh fruit (don’t skip on adding in the fresh fruit) and jam that create a stick to the roof of your mouth, caramelized, sticky, jammy texture that’s so addictive.
The blondies themselves are not too sweet so this would be a great mid-afternoon snack when you’re craving that sugar but are too busy to put together a quick sandwich. This is also a super fun recipe to make with kids since there is no special equipment needed and mixing is done with your hands!
While these are a great and easy snack, there are a few cautions:
1) the batter is more of a cookie dough rather than a pourable brownie-type batter that you may be expecting. This makes it a little difficult to swirl through the jam and add in the strawberries. I was able to press everything into the dough and spread the jam on top and got great results;
2) this recipe lends itself well to adaptation. I used raspberry jam and got a mixed-berry flavor throughout and used Reese’s pieces instead of peanut butter chips and liked the slight chocolate addition to the blondie. I also used a 1:1 gluten-free baking blend and you couldn’t tell the difference at all;
3) if you don’t have peanut butter powder (even though it’s a fun ingredient to add to smoothies and milkshakes), it can definitely be skipped since there is so much peanut butter flavor throughout. But don’t let these cautions fool you, these blondies will come out great no matter what you do.