Peanut Butter & Jelly Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Peanut Butter & Jelly Swirl Cheesecake Bars
From, by Sarah Grossett

Peanut Butter & Jelly Swirl Cheesecake Bars Photo

Creamy and rich peanut butter cheesecake is swirled with strawberry jam, over a brown sugar and oat crust. Your childhood favorite sandwich combo is transformed into a decadent dessert!

There are not many things that peanut butter doesn't go with, and let's face it, even if it does clash with certain flavors, I'd probably still eat it anyway. You know I can't ever get enough of the stuff.

It marries well with so many things - marshmallow, banana, caramel, chocolate (duh). I've even combined it with coconut. I know that sounds strange and it's not a typical and expected flavor combination, but you'd be surprised how beautifully peanut butter and coconut come together.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Swirl Cheesecake Bars Picture

As basic as it may be, peanut butter and jelly might be my most favorite pair of all of those options. I say that, but tomorrow I will say that it's peanut butter with white chocolate. ;) No, seriously. Peanut butter and jelly is just a tried-and-true, pure pairing of flavors. As a kid, I only ever remember having PB&J sandwiches with grape jelly, but as I've grown up, I definitely prefer strawberry jam. I mean, grape jelly has its time and place, and I wouldn't turn it down if there is peanut butter involved, but strawberry jam is my current preference.

If you've tried these mini peanut butter Oreo cheesecakes (if you haven't, why?????), then you know how delicious peanut butter cheesecake is. Creamy, rich, and sweet peanut butter cheesecake is swirled with generous dollops of strawberry jam in these cheesecake bars, and it all sits atop a brown sugar and oatmeal crust. But do you see how thick that cheesecake layer is? Can we stop for a minute to look more closely at that peanut butter and cheesecake heaven? As delicious as the sweet and crunchy crust is, I definitely like for my cheesecake-to-crust ratio to be about 4:1. Mission accomplished.

The beauty of these Peanut Butter & Jelly Swirl Cheesecake Bars is that you can use any jam or jelly that you'd like. When I was making these, it occurred to me to mix and swirl THREE different preserves, but I didn't want to get all crazy and over-the-top on you guys, so I kept it simple. If you should be so bold and daring, might I suggest that you dollop some blackberry preserves, raspberry preserves, and strawberry jam, all at the same time?? Yeah. Do it.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Swirl Cheesecake Bars Image

These are decadent and delicious, and even though they combine simple flavors and are very easy to make, they are still quite elegant too. Grown up PB&J!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Swirl Cheesecake Bars Pic


Peanut Butter & Jelly Swirl Cheesecake Bars Recipe


For the Crust:

  • 3/4 cup butter-flavored shortening
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats

For the Cheesecake:

  • 3 8 ounce packages reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 18 ounce jar strawberry jam, or your favorite preserves


For the Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the shortening and brown sugar until creamy.
  3. Add the flour and oats, beating until well-blended.
  4. Press into the bottom of a lightly greased 9x13 baking pan.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until pale golden brown at the edges.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare cheesecake.

For the Cheesecake:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar, beating until smooth.
  2. Add the peanut butter, beating until smooth and blended.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add the vanilla.
  5. Spread the cheesecake filling evenly over the crust.
  6. Drop the jam onto the cheesecake layer by large spoonfuls.
  7. Swirl gently with a knife.
  8. Bake an additional 30-35 minutes, or until cheesecake appears set when the pan is jiggled.
  9. Remove pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into bars. EAT!!


Le Creuset Heritage 4 Quart Covered Casserole

Cuisinart Stand Mixer

KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Le Creuset Revolution Spatula

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