Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars and a note about frostings

10 Aug

lunch lady peanut butter bars close up

I was trying to come up with a non chocolatey recipe for a gathering with a few of my friends, one of which can’t eat chocolate. I was leaning towards peanut butter since my husband isn’t such a fan (whaaat?!) and stumbled across these. I couldn’t resist! They do make way more than I anticipated, so for a 9×13 you’d definitely want to cut this in half. However, it will feed a crowd very well at its current size! Oh, and I won my husband over to the peanut butter train with these.

Notes: This originally had a chocolate frosting, but I swapped it out for a brown sugar buttercream frosting, which worked fantastically well.
About Frostings:
For frosting recipes, especially American (butter and powdered sugar) recipes, they usually say to add milk and powdered sugar until desired consistency is achieved. If you haven’t made a frosting, you might wonder what that is. It’s all up to the person, but ideally you want a frosting that won’t be so thin that it runs off the end of everything, leaving very little frosting on top. You also don’t want frosting so thick you can’t spread it without scraping off the top of whatever you are spreading it on, which does give you a fair bit of leeway to make something a texture you like. If you are piping frosting on cupcakes, you need to be more exact because it needs to hold its shape once piped onto the frosting. A good test for me is when I’m mixing is to turn the mixer off and see if after 30 seconds, the lines or peaks that were made by the mixer are still there.
If your frosting is too thick, add a little milk or heavy cream. If it’s too thin, add powdered sugar. It often takes much more powdered sugar to thicken up a frosting that it does milk to thin it out, so start with a max of a tablespoon of milk at a time, but closer to 1/4 c powdered sugar.

Adapted from: Six Sisters

Makes: 1 jelly roll sheet (such as 18x13x1), 48 total bars

1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups peanut butter (divided- 1 c and 1 1/2 c)
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
1/2 c brown sugar (light or dark)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c milk (or heavy cream)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a jelly roll pan with cooking spray.
2) Cream the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar together. Add the vanilla, eggs, and 1 c peanut butter and mix.
3) Add the remaining dry ingredients (not the rest of the peanut butter) and mix until combined.
4) Spread batter into the sprayed pan. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown and the middle looks set.
5) As soon as you remove the bars, drop the remaining 1 1/2 cups of peanut butter on the bars by the spoonful. Let it sit 1-2 minutes and then spread the melted peanut butter over the top. Let them cool completely before frosting.

lunch lady peanut butter bar corner tray

6) Make your desired frosting and coat the bars once cool. For my brown sugar frosting, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Add the vanilla and then the milk (or cream) until you reach your desired texture. Spread on the bar and cut into squares.

lunch lady peanut butter bar tray


One Response to “Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars and a note about frostings”


  1. Chocolate covered Peanut Butter Bars | Knead time - May 5, 2014

    […] because sometimes cafeteria food is… not the best. However, I had previously made these lunch lady peanut butter bars (another peanut buttery treat!), so I was willing to give them a try. Plus, it’s chocolate […]

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