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Growing up, I used to always look at my friends’ lunches with envy over their freshly baked treats. The brownies, the cookies, the homemade bars…..My own mom was never much of a cook, which meant that my own lunches were usually just a random assortment of pre-packaged convenience foods. And I swore to myself that when I had kids, their lunches would be so much better!


Get a jump start on your week by prepping on the weekend! Your family’s breakfasts, lunches, and dinners will be a breeze all week.

Well, I can’t say that my kids lunches never include prepackaged snacks–they definitely do–but I do enjoy including a sweet homemade treat whenever I can. These yummy peanut butter & jelly bars have quickly become a family favorite. They are incredibly quick and easy, take just a few easy ingredients, and my girls absolutely love them!

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Here is what you need:

1 box butter pecan flavored cake mix (can also use yellow cake)
1/2 cup softened butter 
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup peanut butter chips (about 1/2 a bag–can also use butterscotch chips)
1 cup grape jelly (or your favorite flavor)
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Step 1:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees; beat together cake mix, peanut butter, butter, and egg in mixing bowl fitted with paddle attachment on medium speed for about 30 seconds, or until well mixed.

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Step 2:  Slowly add oatmeal to bowl, scraping with spatula if necessary, until oats are blended in.

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Step 3: Add peanut butter chips to bowl and mix well.

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Step 4:  Divide mixture into thirds. Press 2/3 of oat mixture into greased 9×13″ baking dish.

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Step 5:  Spread jelly over-top of oat mixture.

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Step 6: Crumble remaining oat mixture over jelly. Bake 35 minutes, until top is golden brown. Cool completely, then cut into bars.

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Am I the only one who missed out on homemade treats as a kid? What did your school lunches include?