I concocted this recipe years ago, when my four older children were in school. I was making peanut butter cookies one day and didn’t want to take a long time to cook them, so I put the whole batch on the cookie sheet and baked them. After they cooled, I thought they’d be better with frosting, so I made up the frosting mixture and spread it over the cookie bars. After making them a few times, I decided to dress them up with some chocolate drizzle and sprinkles.
They’ve been a favorite of our family since then, and a favorite everywhere we take them. While my older children were in high school, peanut butter bars were a frequent take-to-school treat. I still get the occasional request from those school families for the recipe for our peanut butter bars. And it never fails, when I take these to a social function, I am always asked for the recipe. Melissa, this is for you. And for my son Daniel, to whom I promised the recipe two weeks ago…
Peanut Butter Bars
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, room temperature
1 c. peanut butter (any kind)
1 c. brown sugar, packed
1 c. white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease a 10″ x 15″ cookie sheet with 1″ sides.
Soften the margarine, if it is not at room temperature. [I throw the fridge hard margarine into my KitchenAid and let it beat it into creamy submission...but that won't work well with most mixers.] Cream the margarine and the peanut butter together. Beat in the two sugars till light and fluffy, then add the eggs and the vanilla. Mix well.
In a separate bowl, mix the salt, baking soda, and the flour. Add it to the first mixture, combining thoroughly.
Scrape the mixture onto the greased cookie sheet and spread the dough evenly over the pan.
Bake for 22-25 minutes. Dough will puff up during baking and then fall back as it cools. Do not over bake. The dough may look like it is not quite done, but it should not be left in the oven longer than 25 minutes.
This batch was left in the oven a minute or two too long. The top is a bit too brown. That didn’t keep the fam from cutting the edges to check for “quality control.” The cookie bars passed.
Let it cool completely and frost with the following.
1 stick (1/2 cup) margarine
1/2 c. peanut butter
8 c. powdered sugar
dash of salt
1/4 c. milk
Cream the margarine and the peanut butter. Add the other ingredients and blend well. If the frosting is too thick, add milk, a little at a time, until it’s of spreading consistency. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar, a bit at a time, until you like the feel of the frosting. Mine was a shade too thick, but I let it go. Doesn’t really affect the flavor.
Frost the cookie bars and drizzle with 6 oz. melted chocolate. Garnish with sprinkles if desired.