Peanut Butter and Blueberry Shortbread Bars

Shortly before Christmas, I received a press release and care package of some Gay Lea butter to make some shortbread. Gay Lea launched a bake-off contest back in the fall to find the best shortbread cookie. Robert Maxwell of Liaison College entry was judged the most creative. He submitted a recipe for Peanut Butter and Jelly Shortbread bars. How could I resist trying these!

I meant to make them for Christmas, but I usually make my famous Rum Balls and with so much activity going on over the holiday season, didn't get a chance to make these moist and sweet bars until yesterday. The occasion was a dear friend's birthday. Shortbread is a treat anytime of year as far as I am concerned! The recipe is only moderately adapted from the original.

On the menu with Poppy Seed Cheese Biscuits and Mushroom Oven Pancake with Chive Sauce.
Peanut Butter and Blueberry Jam Shortbread Bars

For the shortbread

1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 small egg
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
2 1/4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

For the filling:

3/4 cup blueberry jam
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Line an 8-inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla and egg until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt until well combined.

Divide the dough until 2 equal portion, knead briefly and wrap in plastic wrap. Leave the dough in the fridge overnight or freeze for 1 - 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove half of the dough from the fridge or freezer. Shred the dough with a coarse grater or food processor. Pat the shredded dough down into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for about 20 minutes.

While the shortbread is baking, prepare the filling. Blend together the peanut butter, icing sugar and butter until smooth. Spread the peanut butter mixture over the shortbread base. Drop spoonfuls of jam over the peanut butter and gently spread over the peanut butter layer.

Remove the remaining dough from the freezer and shred it. Sprinkle over the jam layer and spread it out so it covers the jam. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until the top is set and golden brown. Cool and cut into bars.

Makes approximately 16 bars, depending on how large you cut them.

More shortbread recipes from Lisa's Kitchen:
Rosemary Parmesan Shortbread
Jalapeno Cheddar Shortbread

On the top of the reading stack: Complete Stories by Flannery O'Connor

Audio Accompaniment: Spirit of Eden by Talk Talk


Choclette said...

Peanut butter and jam is such a North American thing, but I'm tempted to try it just to find out if the combination is as weird as it sounds! They certainly look delicious

Mona said...

I feel like having a few of those very yummy looking bars right now!

The Food Hunter said...

WOW! they look and sound really good. I've got to try making these real soon.

Johanna GGG said...

nice to see you posting - hope you are well and had a nice festive season - these bars look delicious - am looking forward to the mushroom pancakes

Parita said...

Shortbread bars looks very festive!

Astra Libris said...

Oh my goodness, these bars look like pure heaven... Grown up PB and J indeed... and what could be better than PB &J? :-) Few things, in my opinion... :-)

Love love love Flannery O'Connor! :-)

Priya said...

Absolutely delicious shortbread bars, looks yumm!

Curry Leaf said...

PBJ is a combo I never tried with shortbread esp blueberry jam YUM .I too love shortbread. The way you have made it is interesting.Shredding the dough,I never ever thght of it.

Ricki said...

Definitely a creative combo for shortbread cookies! They look scrumptious. And I look forward to the oven pancake recipe :)

cookeaze said...

Looks very interesting. This is something I really must try.I’m looking forward to being a regular follower!

Indhu said...

these look decadent... have one question though.. how do you shred the dough? Won't it be tough? I am assuming since it is frozen, it should not be. I don't have a food processor.. hence the question :)

Lisa said...


I used a cheese grater. It takes a bit of arm muscle, but not too much :)

Jacqueline said...

These look great Lisa. Does the blueberry jam go sticky and chewy in the shortbread?

Lisa said...

Hi Jackie;

Yes, this concoction does end up rather sticky and chewy and oh so good! And this is coming from a girl who prefers savory over sweet :)

valentines day gifts said...

It's my favorite recipe and I ever make it at Halloween. Your recipe is something different than mine. I will try to make it as your way.

eatme_delicious said...

I love the sound of a peanut butter and jelly shortbread!! They look so delicious. I recently made something similar but it wasn't shortbread.