Buttery Shortbread bars with creamy peanut butter frangipane and sweet, juicy grapes! A surprisingly easy and unique treat that’s gluten free optional and great for kids!
For the Crust:
- 1 cup all purpose flour or a cup-to-cup gluten free blend *(see note)
- 1/4 cupgranulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoonkosher salt
- 1/2 cup(1stick) butter, cut into pieces, plus more for buttering the pan
For the Filling:
- 3/4 cup natural peanut butter (no sugar or oils added), well stirred
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour or a cup-to-cup gluten free blend
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 35 seedless red or concord grapes, halved
- 3 tablespoons roasted salted peanut, coarsely chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8″ pan with parchment paper.
- To make the crust, add the flour, sugar and salt to the bowl of a food processor and pulse once to combine. Add the butter, then process until the mixture comes together and forms large clumps, about 30 seconds to one minute. Distribute the dough around the pan and press it evenly around the base and up the sides. Use the bottom of a glass to help even it out if needed.
- Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before filling.
- To make the filling, don’t bother cleaning out the food processor and add the peanut butter, sugar, flour, salt, butter, eggs and vanilla, then blend until smooth.
- Pour the filling into the cooled crust (it’s okay if it’s still a little warm, just not blazing hot) and spread it out into an even layer. Arrange the grape halves cut-side-down on top of the filling. You can create a pretty pattern if you like, just be sure to get them in an even layer. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts, if desired.
- Bake for approximately 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the filling comes out clean. Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting and serving. I prefer them chilled (they’re easier to cut that way too).
*Results will vary with different gluten free flour blends. I use the Cup4Cup brand of gluten free flour with excellent results. (This is an affiliate link which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase, which I am very grateful for).
Keywords: frangipane, bars, cookies, baked, shortbread, peanut butter, dessert, grapes, fruit, kids