Peanut Butter and Jam Nanaimo Bars

185 comments

These are the bars you make for someone you’re madly in love with.

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Or maybe just have a crush on.

These are the bars you make when you have a broken heart.

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Or better yet, to celebrate being single.

These are the bars you make when you want to say I’m sorry for being a jerk face.

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Or maybe Happy Belated Birthday.

These are the bars you make when you’re celebrating 3 years of marriage and your husband has been dropping some serious hints about those amazing Nanaimo bars you made back in 2010.

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Peanut Butter and Jam Nanaimo bars

Also known as: I Love You bars. Forgive Me bars. Bite Me bars. Anniversary Bars. Ange’s New Favourite Dessert Bars. Or the always popular, Me Time Bars. There’s always a good reason to make these scrumptious bites of peanut butter, chocolate, and jam! Be sure to keep them in the fridge as they will soften at room temperature. Use gluten-free graham crackers and they will be gluten-free to boot.

print this recipe!

Adapted from my other 3 flavours of Nanaimo bars and inspired by Guilty Kitchen.

Yield: 16 squares

Bottom Layer

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (or regular butter)
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp warm water, mixed)
  • 1 and ¼ cup peanut butter graham crackers or store bought, processed into crumb
  • 1/4 cup almonds, processed into crumb
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut

 

Middle layer

  • 1/4 cup non-dairy butter (I use Earth Balance)
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup smooth all-natural peanut butter (if firm, you may need to increase butter)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup strawberry jam

 

Top layer

  • 4 oz non-dairy dark chocolate chips (about 1/2 cup maybe?)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (or butter)
  • Shredded coconut, to garnish (optional)

 

 

1. Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper and grease with butter on all sides.

2. Bottom layer: In a small bowl mix the flax egg together (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp warm
water). Set aside. In a saucepan, whisk together the butter, sugar, and sifted cocoa powder. Heat on medium to low and stir frequently until smooth. Now add in the gelled up flax egg and stir well.
Now remove from heat and stir in the coconut, processed almonds, and graham wafer crumbs. Stir well and then mix with your hands. Press this mixture into your prepared pan, ensuring that you press it down very firmly. I used a pastry roller to smooth it out, but this is not necessary. Place in freezer to set.

3. Middle layer: In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, beat together all the middle layer ingredients except the jam until smooth. Spread middle layer over top the bottom layer with a wet spoon as evenly as possible. Now gently spread on the jam over top. Place in freezer to set.

4. Top Layer: Melt your chocolate and oil in a double boiler or in the microwave. Stir well until smooth. Remove the pan from freezer and spread the chocolate quickly over the top. Sprinkle coconut on top. Place back in the freezer for about 1 hour until set. Once set you can transfer it to the fridge to keep until ready or you can place it on the counter for about 10 minutes before cutting it into squares.

Note: Middle layer gets very soft at room temperature. Please keep in the fridge until serving.

 

Did I mention these are no bake?

As if you needed another reason to make them.

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The graham coconut base is a cross between a coconut macaroon and a graham crust, with a chewy, moist, and chocolaty flavour that is impossible to resist. The middle layer is basically a peanut butter ball in bar form topped with strawberry jam and a rich chocolate coating sprinkled with coconut.

Hot damn.

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If these bars aren’t the answer, I don’t know what the question is.

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Happy 3rd Anniversary, to my one and only chocolate monster! wlEmoticon redheart2   Peanut Butter and Jam Nanaimo Bars

For photos and a video of our wedding day, check out this post (as well as some love butter muffins!).

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Now, where can I hide these so I don’t eat them all before tonight?

Don’t say “at my house”…your sticky fingers can’t be trusted either!

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{ 185 comments… read them below or add one }

Gina @ Running to the Kitchen August 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary to you two!

Reply

Julie @ Shining From Within August 31, 2011

happy anniversary! these look sooooooo good. I love the PB&J combo, I don’t eat it far enough!

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Mary @ What's Cookin' with Mary August 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary guys ! :)

These bars look supremely outrageous Ange. ..and pretty! ;)

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat August 31, 2011

You. are. a. genius!!!! I’ve been loving the pb&j combo lately and these are beautiful Ange! I hope you and Eric have a lovely anniversary. :)

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Ari@ThE DiVa DiSh August 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary to a beautiful couple!! :)

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Jenny August 31, 2011

What a great idea for a new flavour combo for Nanaimo bars! And Mary’s right – they’re so pretty in the pictures! Although food always looks gorgeous in your photos. :) I used to love making Nanaimo bars as “thank you” gifts when I was in high school… but could never have one myself since they have coconut (allergies)! I do wonder if there’s a substitute, but then I also wonder if substituting would destroy the flavour of the classic Nanaimo bar?! Oh well. Thanks for more mouth-watering pictures!

Happy Wedding Anniversary to you and Eric! Have a great time together~

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Lindsey March 5, 2013

I always omit the coconut when making Nanaimo bars – not really a fan. Just increase the graham cracker and nuts to compensate for the lack of coconut. We also use walnuts in the crust – but most nuts will work. I can eat a whole pan of these bars – and can’t wait to make the PB&J ones. They are a Christmas tradition in my family.

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Gypsy August 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary and these look AMAZING!!!

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Ashley August 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary to you two!
My boyfriend and I have been together for seven years– and they say the seventh year is hard, so maybe I should make these bars! :) I have one question: if you don’t happen to have flax, is there a substitution for the flax egg?

They look amazing!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 31, 2011

a chia egg? 1/4 cup mashed banana? not really sure..anything that is binding might help!

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Ashley August 31, 2011

Oh banana is a good idea! If I try it, I will let you know!

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Natalie M. August 31, 2011

Congratulations on yours and Eric’s 3rd year anniversary! :D I wish you two the best in life, that your hearts may always keep the same flame as they do now, and that Eric continues to enjoy your delicious baked goods (though do we really need to doubt that?) ;)
Have a wonderful day!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 31, 2011

Thank you Natalie!

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The healthy hipster August 31, 2011

Congrats!! These look way too cute and you can always win me over with anything nostalgic and Canadian. Nanaimo <3

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Alayna @ Thyme Bombe August 31, 2011

Happy anniversary! Those nanaimo bars sound fantastic.

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Carly August 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary :) Those look DELICIOUS!!!

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes August 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary!! I loved looking at all the wedding pics, you both looked great! I also loved looking at these bomb pictures and recipe, YUM! the pb&j combo is definetly one of my faves :)

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Kim August 31, 2011

god these look amazing! ive always been afraid of making nanaimo bars, but i think i can handle this :) happy anniversary!

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Georgina August 31, 2011

Congratulations! What a beautiful way to celebrate your anniversary! Bookmarking this one! :)

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lindsay August 31, 2011

no bake, really? these will be going in my “all to myself” bars

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Cat @Breakfast to Bed August 31, 2011

I LOVE nanaimo bars! This is a unique recipe!!! I am sure your hubs was allllll over them!

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape August 31, 2011

That last picture literally made me aaww out loud. You two are beautiful!! And these bars aren’t half bad, either!!

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Karen Cohen August 31, 2011

Ohh happy anniversary!! What a perfect day!! It’s my husband and I’s 1 month anniversary today!!! Wow- did I just say husband! I think I am going to go home and make these for him!!!

Thanks :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 31, 2011

Congrats newlyweds :)

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Ali August 31, 2011

Happy anniversary!!! You two are so cute! Best wishes for 3×10 more :)

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Kate August 31, 2011

happy anniversary those bars look incredible!

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Julie (A Case of the Runs) August 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary! Makes me look forward to getting married someday!

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Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles August 31, 2011

Oh wow. What a gorgeous wedding photo!! These look like the bars I make for myself just because they’re no bake and delicious. Happy anniversary!

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Bridget B August 31, 2011

These look heavenly! I love peanut butter and jelly; add in the chocolate and I think this may be the trifecta of desserts. Can’t wait to try them soon!

Happy anniversary–many blessings to you both!!

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Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes August 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary! Marriage is definitely something worth celebrating! :)
Hope you have many more happy years together!

And oh my goodness, those bars look divine! You’ve inspired me to make them, my hubby would love them! Thanks!

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katie@ KatieDid August 31, 2011

Have a happy anniversary! No doubt you will with these delicious looking bars by your side.

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Anneh August 31, 2011

Hey, Aug 31st is my anniversary too (four years)! Hope you have a lovely day, and thanks for the awesome recipe!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 31, 2011

Cool, happy anniversary!!

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Noelle August 31, 2011

Hot DAMN is right!! I cannot wait to make these. Great job!!! :D

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kayleigh August 31, 2011

happy anniversary! these look so delicious, but i have a quick question. could i possibly use peanuts instead of the almonds? i am allergic to tree nuts but these bars look too good to pass up!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 31, 2011

I can’t see why not! I would use roasted peanuts as they have a great flavour.

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kayleigh August 31, 2011

alright thank you!!

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Julie August 31, 2011

oh….my…….gawd.
I want to make these…RIGHT NOW…but I’m at work :( :(

Happy anniversary!

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Holly @ The Runny Egg August 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary Angela and Eric!

These bars look seriously amazing.

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Jen @ keepitsimplefoods.com August 31, 2011

OMG these look amazing!

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char @ char on a mission August 31, 2011

Happy anniversary!! What a perfect anniversary treat. And since mine is a few months after yours (October), I have plenty of time to double up on this recipe along with the other brilliant ones you’ll create in that time :)

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Leah (The Kind Weight Watcher) August 31, 2011

WOW, these look amazing!!! I want one right this second.

Thanks for sharing!

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jackie hatch! August 31, 2011

happy anniversary :)

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Carolyn August 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary! =D

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Caroline @ chocolate & carrots August 31, 2011

Yeah, I definitely could not be trusted with these babies. :-) They look fabulous! And a great big Happy Anniversary to you! :-)

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Donna @ Life of a Happy Blonde August 31, 2011

Happy anniversary Angela, i’m on a total jam kick so this recipe looks perfect!!

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Amy @ The Whole Sweet Scoop August 31, 2011

Aw, happy anniversary! Those look ridiculous! Maybe I’ll make these to celeberate our 2 month anniversary in a few weeks :)

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Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove August 31, 2011

These look lovely!

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