A nostalgic school cafeteria dessert! These lunch lady peanut butter bars are an easy, rich, and delicious dessert that's perfect for sharing with a friend or three.
Were you lucky enough to have these treats served in your school cafeteria? If so, now you can make them in your own kitchen! These lunch lady peanut butter bars start with a layer of chewy peanut butter oatmeal cookies. Next, a thin layer of warmed peanut butter is spread on top. Finally, the bars get coated in creamy chocolate frosting. Need I say more?
Oh, and if these weren't a staple in your school lunchrooms (they weren't in mine!) then you're in for a real treat. Give 'em a try!
What Kind Of Peanut Butter Is Best?
Desserts featuring peanut butter as a main ingredient are rich, to say the least. One way to control just how rich a peanut butter treat is is to ensure that it does not get too sickly sweet. My favorite way to do this is to only use natural peanut butter with no added sugar. Doing that, you'll be adding lots of great roasted peanut flavor to the dessert without adding a ton of unnecessary sweetness. For best results, use no-stir varieties of natural peanut butter or at least make sure that you give it a good thorough stirring so that it's not too runny.
Can I Use Instant or Quick Cook Oats?
This recipe calls for old fashioned oats because they hold their texture well throughout the cooking process. If you only have instant or quick-cook oats on hand, however, you can use them as well. The instant cook oats will get softer in the cookie bar layer, but you'll still have a comparable flavor.
What Kind Of Pan Do I Need?
This recipe is sized for a quarter-sheet pan, or a 9x13 baking dish. You can also double the recipe for use in a half-sheet pan (18x13 inches). Doubling the recipe is a great choice when making these bars for a potluck or other large gathering.
This is a great quarter-sheet pan for bars like these
If you double the recipe, use half-sheet pan like this!
How Many Bars Does This Recipe Make?
Following the recipe as written, you can get 18-24 lunch lady peanut butter bars depending on how big you cut them. I think these bars are rather rich, so I find that a smaller square is just the right serving.
Can You Make These In Advance and Freeze Them?
Yes, you can. The key to freezing frosted baked goods is to make sure that no air gets to them while they are kept frozen. Because the chocolate frosting used on these bars will stay a little soft at room temperature, I recommend flash freezing to help keep the frosting from getting smushed in the freezer.
How To Freeze:
- With the bars still in the pan, cut into bars of desired size, but leave them in the pan.
- Place the entire pan into the freezer for one hour to set the frosting.
- Individually wrap the bars in plastic wrap and then place inside of freezer-safe gallon bags.
- Freeze for up to 6 months. To thaw, allow bars to come to room temperature on the counter.
I hope you all enjoy these tasty bars - leave me a comment if you have any questions or if you want to share your experience!Print
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