Peach Jelly-Filled Banana Bread Bars

I love a good jelly-filled danish or donut. Plump, puffy, and sporting a sweet surprise in the middle.

I’ll also never tire of banana bread. These bars are part jelly danish crossed with ultra moist banana bread.

The batter for the bars is fast and easy to make. Multiple ingredients are combined at once, in one bowl, are are whisked together. Begin by melting one stick of butter, add an egg, sugars, peach yogurt, and vanilla extract. I chose a peach theme for this recipe, both the yogurt and jelly used are peach. But if pineapple, mango, strawberry, or a mix-and-match combination of various yogurt and jelly flavors is what you have or prefer, go with that. Virtually any fruity combination will work with bananas. They’re such a great canvas.

Fold in mashed bananas, flour, baking soda, and one packet of dry instant vanilla pudding mix to the batter. Pudding mix has a high amount of cornstarch in it, and my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe calls for cornstarch. The cookies are soft, tender, and moist; and the cornstarch in the pudding mix does the same thing for these bars, rendering them fall-apart soft. Plus, the vanilla pudding adds an extra layer of vanilla flavor and I can never get enough vanilla.

Turn out the batter into a 9-by-9-inch pan, and although I haven’t tried it, I’m sure making this as a 10- or 12-cup Bundt cake would work well. Lightly smooth the surface of the batter and add about fifteen teaspoons of jelly, or about one-third of a cup. Dollop little blobs of jelly onto the surface in a random pattern, evenly dispersing the mounds, until the surface is well-covered in sweet, sticky jelly.

Marble and swirl the jelly with a table knife, going up and back, zig-zagging around. It doesn’t matter if the swirls are visually neat and pretty because as the bars bake, they turn a rich and golden amber hue, and the swirly pattern isn’t discernible. The jelly is for taste, and to lend moisture to the bars, rather than for visual effect.

Baking times will vary due to the moisture content in the bananas and in the jelly, jam, or preserves used; as well as climates, oven variances, and personal preferences. About forty minutes is the low end but I could envision up to one hour at the high end. I recommend covering the pan with foil  midway through baking if your bars seem to be browning quickly, since the sugars in the jelly are prone to caramelizing. My oven here in Aruba runs hot and has a tendency to superficially brown things before the interior cooks through, and baking in humidity compounds the issue, so I covered my pan halfway through baking. Even when they’re done, they’re gooey and dense, and a toothpick test won’t likely come out clean.

After allowing the bars to cool, I made a simple vanilla glaze with melted butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract. The bars are plenty sweet on their own and don’t need a glaze, but glaze and frosting makes my world go round, so I happily drizzled away.

The bars may be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. They have the density of a fugdy brownie, which I prefer served chilled, and I like these bars chilled, especially because it’s hot and humid here. But there’s a case to be made for serving them warm, especially in cold weather climates this time of year. Freshly baked, still warm banana bread is one of life’s great pleasures.

The banana flavor dominates, as I find bananas have a tendency to do whenever they’re present, but hints of peach jelly come through as a complementary background flavor.

Between the butter, bananas, yogurt, pudding, and jelly, these bars are dense, thick, and gooey. Nothing light, fluffy, dry, or airy about these. This is comfort-food; aromatic and rich, causing one to go back to the pan to even-out the rows with a fork at 1am, if you know what I mean.

This is melt-in-your-mouth, jelly-filled, drippy-glazed comfort at it’s finest.

Peach Jelly-Filled Banana Bread Bars with Vanilla Glaze

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: One 9-by-9 inch pan, 9 generous squares

The bars are part jelly danish crossed with ultra moist banana bread. Peach yogurt is used in the batter and the bars are fall-apart soft and moist. Peach jelly is swirled throughout before baking, boosting the peach flavor, moisture, and sweetness. These bars are dense and rich like a fudgy brownie. There's nothing airy, cakey, or light about them. They're melt-in-your-mouth, jelly-filled, drippy-glazed comfort-food at it’s finest.

Ingredients:

For the Bars

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (one stick)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 large egg

6 ounces peach, pineapple, or vanilla yogurt (one standard-sized small container, about 3/4 cup. Greek yogurt is ideal, sour cream may be substitued; don't use thin, runny, lite or 'diet' yogurt)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 to 1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (2 medium bananas)

one 3.4-ounce box instant vanilla pudding mix (not Cook ‘n Serve; banana-flavored pudding may be used to boost the banana intensity)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste

about 15 teaspoons peach jelly (about 1/3 cup, jam or preserves may be substituted; pineapple, mango, orange or similar flavors may be substituted)

For the Vanilla Glaze, optional

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup+ confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

For the Bars - Preheat oven to 350F, line a 9-by-9-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray or grease and flour the pan; set aside. In a large microwave-safe mixing bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute. To the melted butter, add the sugars, egg, yogurt, vanilla, and whisk to combine. Add the bananas and stir to incorporate.

Add the dry pudding mix and stir to incorporate (You are not making pudding; simply add the mix as a dry ingredient. The pudding mix could be replaced with 1 to 2 teaspoons cornstarch, and about 2 to 3 tablespoons flour. Like any dough or batter, there is some flexibility with how to make up for eliminating three ounces of dry mix). Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix or bars will be tougher as the gluten will over-develop. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the surface with a spatula.

Add one teaspoon of jelly at a time to the top surface of bars, creating a surface dotted with little jelly blobs, dispersed randomly over the surface. With a table knife, swirl and marble the jelly through the batter using a zig-zag pattern going up-and-back, side-to-side a few times to disperse the jelly. It doesn't matter if the swirls are pretty or neat because while baking, it all turns into a golden shade of amber and melts together and you can't see the swirls; they're for taste not visual effect.

Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, tenting or covering the pan with foil halfway through baking if you judge the bars to be browning a bit fast on top (I cover with foil halfway through because my oven browns things too fast on the surface before the interior cooks through). Bake until top is set and golden, the center is not jiggly, and edges have pulled away slightly from sides of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center will likely not come out completely clean because bars are dense and gooey, both from the bananas and jelly, which may prevent a clean toothpick test. The bars are meant to be gooey and based on moisture content in bananas, yogurt used, oven variance, and personal preference, cooking times could vary from about 40 to 60 minutes. Allow bars to cool in pan for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving. While cake cools, make the glaze.

For the Vanilla Glaze, optional - The bars don't 'need' a glaze as they're moist and sweet on their own, but I prefer it. Melt butter in a small microwave-safe bowl, about 1 minute on high power. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and whisk to combine. Add sugar as needed until desired glaze consistency is reached. Drizzle glaze over the top of bars before slicing and serving; or slice and glaze each piece individually. Unglazed bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days; or store glazed bars in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

3.1
http://www.averiecooks.com/2012/12/peach-jelly-filled-banana-bread-bars.html

 

Related Recipes:

Strawberry Jelly Rolls – A 15-minute recipe from start to finish, including baking time and the dishes. Fresh, homemade jelly rolls using a shortcut you won’t believe

Caramel Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars (GF with Vegan adaptation) – I  adore PB & J in any form, especially when it’s baked into an easy layered bar, full of texture including chunky streusel bits, creamy peanut butter, rich caramel sauce, and sweet jelly in each bite

Banana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze – This is the bread that sparked and started Banana Bread Fest. For a good old-fashioned, easy, straightforward, and guaranteed successful loaf of banana bread, this is my go-to recipe and it never lets me down

Carrot Pineapple Banana Bread with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting – There are many similarities between this banana bread and today’s recipe, both are fruity, sweet and moist. I love carrot cake and this is an amped up version, full of carrots, sweet pineapple and banana bits,complete with browned butter cream cheese frosting

Banana Bread Brownies with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting – Chocolate and bananas is a great combo, and this recipe is how fudgy brownie meets banana bread. Moist, soft, dense, very chocolaty, and more brownie-like than bread-like. It’s the final post in the Banana Bread Fest series, and recaps all the recipes

Spiced Apple Banana Bundt Cake with Vanilla Caramel Glaze – The cake is full of juicy apple chunks, creamy bananas, and it comes together in minutes with just a bowl and a whisk.The glaze is my favorite frosting or glaze recipe on my entire site and not to be missed

Peanut Butter and Jelly Blondies – These one-bowl, easy, and fast-to-make blondies are dense, full of hearty peanut butter flavor, and biting into the jelly swirls is especially satisfying

pb&jblondies-4

The winner of The Cravory Cookies Giveaway is Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel and the winner of  Holiday Chocolate Tower Giveaway is Roxana | Roxana’s Home Baking

Do you have a favorite banana-based recipe? Fan of jelly-filled goodies?

Feel free to link  your favorite recipes since my ripe bananas seem to multiply in front of my eyes, and although I freeze them in chunks for smoothie-making, I like cake and bread better than smoothies in the winter.

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64 Comments

Oh goodness Averie, you’ve hit the nail on the head with these. I completely adore banana bread – in any form. These remind me SO much of your banana bread brownies – all that gorgeous glaze on top. “These bars are part jelly danish crossed with ultra moist banana bread.” – Ok, you’ve combined TWO of my very favorite breakfast foods and PEACH jelly is, and I’m not exaggerating here, my FAVORITE jam. Give me a fat slice of rye bread, a pat of butter, and peach jelly and I’m set for life. Coffee too. The ease of this recipe, the aded cornstarch (nice!) and pudding packet – incredible, I can only imagine how very soft & moist each bite is. I adore the photos – a warm “mood” over them all. I know you’re not a fan, but we are our own biggest critiques. Trust me, the pics are good. :)

I know you love peach jam and jelly! For some reason I think I read that somewhere in one of your posts – I knew that though. Maybe from your mango granola post or peach muffins post? Feels like ages ago that I’m recalling that little factoid from. Thanks for the compliments on my pics. Boy oh boy, things were hot and oh so gooey and melty. Tastes phenomenal, just not the easiest to shoot :)

I looooove peach jelly and have been using it in all kinds of ways lately – my favorite so far has been using with for a sweet-spicy bbq chicken- but never thought about the combo with bananas! Sounds divine.

And, oh my goodness, those brownies. They look TO. DIE. FOR.

Can I just say that I am in love with your last post. I kid you not, cinnamon, bread, yeast, espresso, chocolate – they are all things I did individual posts on (many times, some of them) in just the past few months. Seriously we ARE on the same wavelength, hugely!

Omg. The possibilities are endless in this yummy bar! I’m thinking cherry jam with cherry yogurt b/c I sooo miss eating the bing cherries! Strawberries also sounds very yummy too! I was way to curious today so I looked at your post before my email came!

I love how you roll with these baking fusion-like dishes. Baking fusion is now a thing and you are the pioneeress of it! Seriously, it just makes SENSE: banana bread is DELISH and jelly-filled donuts are the BOMB, why not combine them, right? Right. 100% right. I LOVE this!!

Well there’s only so many ways one can make banana bread and blog about it. If it was just us, I’d probably make…another loaf of plain banana bread. But that gets…boring. So…blogging forces me to step up my game and think creatively. And let’s face it, jelly goes with everything :)

Another great spin on banana bread! Any of the jelly/jam suggestions sound good…and I bet these hit the spot in Aruba. I loved the butterscotch-caramel bars! Browned butter and dark brown sugar definitely make a good pairing in the base. I usually only have light brown sugar, but I like the dark and might see what else it tastes good in. Hope you are enjoying your time on the island!

They totally hit the spot and so glad you loved the butterscotch-caramel bars! I think dark brown sugar is a great touch for winter/fall heartier flavors and baking. Like any sort of molasses or ginger anything, from breads to cakes, it’s a nice touch!

Oh Man!!! Just when I thought I had finished all of my Holiday baking. Now I will definitely have to add these to the cookie collection. Thanks for sharing Averie.

Whoa, talk about a moist bar! These look insanely delicious. I feel like they’d definitely be one of those things where I’d cut myself a square, then cut myself another sliver, and another, etc. I’ve never have peach jelly… I should probably change this?!

I never tire of trying different brands and flavors of jam. It is always great to bake with jam. It is also interesting to try recipes hot, room temperature, and cold. Different flavors and textures are accentuated at different temperatures. I’ve never tried a bar like this chilled but I’ll have to give it a go.

It’s amazing that certain things I want screaming hot or freezing cold, i.e. coffee. And with brownies and really dense desserts, I like chilled. With cookies, I want warm. With carrot cake, I want it chilled. With a yellow cake I want room temp. It’s all so variable :) But it’s also 90F and humid here so chilled things sound better!

This looks incredible! My husbands favorite jam, ever, is peach jelly! He will eat the whole jar on toasted english muffins, bread, banana bread, ANY bread so I bet he would LOVE these bars! Plus, the frosted tops? Even though it is just drizzled, it is the perfect amount. Delicious looking, Averie! :-)

Those butterscotch bars you made last night, too??! Good grief. Seriously, waiting for the bar cookbook. It would sell so fast. How many moms want to make bars for dessert because they are easy, family friendly and great for parties at school and potluck sharing. I’m telling ya…I will buy it! ;-)

Trust me, I’ve thought about the bar book :) Maybe one day!

Those browned butter bars are one of my better creations lately. I just loved them!

And if your hubs loves peach jelly, these are right up his alley! I almost just dumped/flooded the whole surface with glaze, but for pics, I wanted a little surface area to show through!

Oh yes, I am a big fan of jelly-filled goodies, not too much banana though. I love all kinds of jellies, especially spicy (I have to “blame” you for that :) . I made a few days ago spicy muffins and had it with a good spoonful of spicy strawberry-pepper jelly. Was soooo good!
I am trying to decide what to make for Christmas party we are invited to: need something quick and not expensive. Would you advise something?

spicy strawberry-pepper jelly = start selling it; I’ll start buying it!

quick and not expensive – sweet or savory? Nobake or baked? None of my recipes ever has more than about $3 to $5 worth of ingredients, many times much less. More info and I can narrow it down for you…

These bars sound delightful! (Sometimes banana bread needs to be jazzed up a bit.) :D My oven runs hot too! It will be glad to hear that it has something in common with an oven in Aruba!

And it’s not even like a smooth hot. It’s a ferocious hot, a hot that just sort of chars the top, leaving the center gooey and then with the humidity, it’s like trying to make bread on a humid day…just not easy. And I’d say, well, wait for a less humid day, or turn the oven down, but that doesn’t seem to work. There are worse problems in life :)