There are few memories of school lunch that are worth remembering, except for the beloved peanut butter bar. Did your school cafeteria make these bars? This dessert was always my favorite part of elementary school. It wasn’t until my mother in law made these bars that I realized I could relive my childhood memory all over again..anytime I want. Isn’t it fun being an adult and being able to make (and eat) dessert anytime you feel like it? This afternoon my oldest children were at school, and the baby was sleeping, so I decided to whip up a batch of these peanut butter bars. These are my husbands all-time favorite treat and I knew he would be thrilled to come home from work to a plate of these bad boys (alright, I’ll be honest, I wanted them just as badly!). They did the trick, he and the children couldn’t stop eating them (and me!). Beware, once you start eating these, especially with a glass of cold milk, it is hard to stop. Enjoy this recipe and have fun using three different types of oil from your food storage: shortening, peanut butter and butter (freezer).

As with our other tried-and-true favorites, I think we have perfected this traditional recipe! The trick to these bars is to under cook the cookie portion of the bar and then make extra-chocolaty butter frosting. The combination is fabulous–even better than a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

Peanut Butter Bars
Peanut Butter Bars
  1. 1 1/2 c. butter
  2. 1 1/2 c. peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
  3. 1 1/2 c. white sugar
  4. 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
  5. 3 eggs
  6. 3/4 t. salt
  7. 1 1/2 t. baking soda
  8. 1 1/2 t. vanilla
  9. 2 1/3 c. flour
  10. 3 c. oats (regular or quick)
Chocolate Frosting
  1. 1 stick butter
  2. 1 t. vanilla
  3. Dash of salt
  4. 1/2 c. cocoa powder
  5. 3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  6. 1/3 c. milk
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Instructions
  1. Peanut Butter Bars: Cream the shortening, peanut butter, sugars and eggs together until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until incorporated. Spread into a greased cookie sheet (jelly roll size) until even on all sides (batter will be thick, you may need to use a fork to press down). Bake at 325 for 13 minutes (bar will seem under done, but will firm up as it sits). This recipe makes a large batch, it can be halved and put in a 9x13 pan if you would prefer.
  2. Chocolate Frosting: Beat the butter, cocoa powder, and milk together until smooth and soft. Add the powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla and continue to beat until fluffy and smooth. Spread a thin layer or frosting over the cooled peanut butter bars.
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