There’s something about this awful cold weather that makes me want to put on a pair of sweats, crank up the tunes and bake all day long. I’ve always loved spending time in the kitchen….for me, it’s the perfect combination of stress relief, the ability to let my creative juices flow and the challenge to create something incredible. Some days, I like trying something new….new flavor combinations, new cooking techniques, etc, and other days I simply enjoy sticking to my “tried-and-true” recipes.
The recipe I’m sharing today would definitely be in the “tried-and-true” category. Mom’s been making this church cookbook find for years. I remember always being so pumped when I’d come home from school and these would be cooling on the counter. Nothing beats coming home to a warm pan of these bad bays! ….well except for pie. But Mom always made us wait for dinner to have pie. (I still think that’s just mean – a pie on the counter just taunts you to eat it and having to wait just isn’t right.) Anyway….. speaking of pie brings me to one of my most memorable times in the kitchen….
I’ve had numerous kitchen fails and a handful of what I’d call super epic kitchen fails. My favorite “super epic kitchen fail” happened several years ago, but makes me chuckle just thinking about it. Around Thanksgiving, my best friends and I would get together and go out to dinner. (I supposed these days they’d call that Friendsgiving..) One year I suggested we stay home and I’d make a home-cooked meal for everyone. Everyone quickly agreed that hanging out in sweats at home sounded better than getting dressed up and going out in the cold. So, I’ll preface by saying when we’re together, there’s a lot of talking and catching up to do. And lots and lots of laughing…..therefore my attention probably wasn’t completely as focused on my cooking/baking as it should be… Oh, and I was cooking in my friend’s kitchen and not my own.
I had the chicken in the oven, the mashed potatoes going, the green beans prepped, salads ready – I was feeling good about it. All that still needed to be put together was the apple pie. Naturally, I peeled and sliced the apples and started putting together the filling… cinnamon, sugar, flour, and a little milk. I stirred it all up and dumped it in the pie crust I had ready to go. There were a few extra slices, so I grabbed one and tossed it in my mouth.
Us girls were in the middle of the conversation, but the conversation quickly erupted in hysterical laughter as I spit the apple slice out of my mouth. Turns out the “sugar” container was actually salt. To this day, my besties joke about that salty apple pie….. and also to this day, I make certain I know what the containers are if I’m baking anywhere but my home kitchen!! 😉
But back to the “tried and true” Peanut Butter Bars (since salty apple pie is probably the least appetizing thing ever). These bars are easy, don’t have any weird ingredients, and are always a hit. In fact, I brought them to work a few weeks back and I was begged to get these up on the blog “ASAP.” Whether you make them for an after school snack or make them on a cold wintery day “just because,” you’ll be glad you did! Happy baking & stay warm…only 38 days til spring!
Peanut Butter Bars
These Peanut Butter Bars are the perfect afternoon snack or dessert - they will quickly become a family fav!
-1/2 c butter, softened
-1/2 c brown sugar
-1/2 c white sugar
-1/3 c peanut butter
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp vanilla
-1 c flour
-1 c quick cooking oats
-1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
-1/2 c powdered sugar
-1/4 c peanut butter
-2 1/2-3 tbsp milk
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Cream the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the egg, peanut butter, baking soda, salt and vanilla.
- Stir in the flour and oatmeal and press into a greased 9×13 pan.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips on top.
- Let sit for 3-5 minutes or until the chips are melted.
- Spread the melted chips across the bars; cool.
- Combine the powdered sugar, peanut butter and 1 tbsp milk. Add the remaining milk a little at a time until it’s a slightly running frosting and spread over cooled bars.