N.C. State Fair recipe: PB&J Pretzel Bars

by | Oct 14, 2016

ncsf16_logo_cmykThe N.C. State Fair started Thursday, Oct. 13, and the N.C. Peanut Growers Association hosted the first specialty cooking competition of the Fair.

PB&J Pretzel Bars took first place in the recipe contest at the N.C. State Fair Thursday. Gail Fuller of Raleigh earned $200 for the winning recipe.

Each recipe had to put a creative spin on the childhood staples of peanut butter and jelly, using at least a half-cup of peanut butter. Recipes were judged on taste, creativity and ease of preparation.

For more recipes and information on N.C. State Fair cooking competitions check out the competitions website. The N.C. State Fair runs Oct. 13-23.

The winning recipe follows:

PB&J Pretzel Bars

 For the crust:

  • 2 cups pretzels, crushed into small bits
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

For the peanut butter layer:

  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the jelly layer:

  • 1 – 12-ounce jar seedless raspberry jam (or your favorite jam or jelly)

For crumble topping:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pretzels, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons peanuts, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed

Use fresh peanuts to garnish.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix together crushed pretzels, graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar. Press into the bottom of prepared pan.  Bake 8-10 min.  Remove from oven and allow crust to cool.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, beat together butter and peanut butter. Add in confectioner’s sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy and smooth. Spread over pretzel base and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar and pretzels. Cut butter into mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Once peanut butter is chilled, spread jam over top and sprinkle crumble on top.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crumble turns golden brown. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.  Place in refrigerator for 1 hour. Cut into bars, garnish with fresh peanuts and enjoy. Makes 16 servings.