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Nut butter and jam snack bar at

Back-to-School Nut Butter and Jam Snack Bars

Do you know how some recipes just stay with you?

There is a peanut butter and jam snack bar recipe I have not made in 10 years, but I think about making it often. It comes from the cookbook Baking for All Occasions by Flo Braker, a master baker and cookbook author who passed away in June.

As a tribute, the San Francisco Chronicle published a baker’s dozen of their favorite Flo Braker recipesThis one is mine. 

It is a testament to the kind of creative, thoughtful baker Flo Braker was and the role model for excellence in cookbook writing she continues to be.

And it starts with that everyday American combination of peanut butter and jam.

Nut butter and jam snack bar at

Even if you’re not a peanut butter eater, read on.

Back-to-School Bars

Peanut butter and jam is a staple of the school year. And while I’m still on vacation with my family, back-to-school thoughts are starting to creep into these August afternoons.

One of my vows is to start making homemade snack bars.

This recipe falls more into the sweet treat category {although I did reduce the sugar from the original}, but it a great place to start. It transforms PB&J into snack bars that are packable for the beach today or for the lunch box in just a few short weeks.

And you don’t even need to use peanut butter to make them!

Cashew Butter & Homemade Jam

Just in case the words peanut butter don’t draw you in {full disclosure: I don’t love it}, the good news is that you can make these snack bars with any nut butter, such as one of these 12 peanut butter alternatives.

Most recently, I made them with cashew butter.

This recipe is a versatile all-around winning snack bar to try.

Nut butter and jam snack bar at

The same goes for the jam filling. I used this homemade apricot jam. {You can readily make a small batch right now since we’re at the height of stone fruit season in many climates.} Or, use any flavor of jam or fruit preserves.

Truth is, these snack bars are so fruity and not-too-sweet, you may find it rather hard to share these with your kids.

Just grab an ice cold glass of milk. Or, top with vanilla ice cream for a full-fledged dessert treat.


and become a forager

Nut butter and jam snack bar at
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5 from 1 vote

Nut Butter & Jam Bars

Bake these unforgettable bars to pack into a lunchboxes or picnic basket for jam lovers of every age. I adapted this recipe for peanut butter and jam bars from renowned baker, Flo Braker using cashew butter and homemade apricot jam. Use this method with your favorite nut butter and jam or preserves and make them your own.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 24 bars
Author Lynne Curry


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter or cashew butter or other nut butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) cashew pieces or preferred nut
  • 1 1/4 cup jam or preserves your favorite flavor


  • To mix the dough, whisk the flour and salt together in a small bowl and set is aside. Cream the butter, nut butter and sugar on low speed in a stand mixer. Add the egg white and vanilla to blend. Gradually add the flour mixture to make a somewhat crumbly and smooth dough.
  • Remove half of the dough from the bowl and shape it into a log. Wrap it in plastic and freeze until firm, about 3 hours. Add the cashew pieces to the remaining dough and toss to combine. Pat the dough with the nuts into an ungreased 9-by-13-inch baking dish or quarter sheet pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the dough crust until is set, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for 20 minutes, then spread with the jam.
  • Remove the dough log from the freezer and lay a piece of parchment paper on the counter. Use a box grater to grate the dough into 1/2-cup mounds. Then, use a dough scraper or metal spatula to transfer them onto the jam filling. Repeat with the remaining dough, distributing the shaggy topping over the jam.
  • Bake the bars until the dough is set and golden brown, 40-45 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into squares or rectangles. Store at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.



  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! Would definitely enjoy these PBJ treats. Thanks for sharing.


    1. Thanks, Velva!

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