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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Awesome Peanut Butter Bars

Happy Easter ya'll!
Yesterday I spent most of the day cooking for a family gathering - I love cooking for my family and extended family. Needless to say I was too tired to cook today and there was plenty leftover for dinner tonight, all except the dessert. I was craving something sweet and to prevent me from raiding the kids Easter baskets I decided to make Peanut Butter Bars. Last week we had PB Bars from a package (Lehi Roller Mills), they were pretty good but I only got 2 out of a 9x13 pan. So this week I pulled out a recipe that I haven't made for quite some time, like 3 or 4 years. I made these for a church activity, and my neighbor, who every time she introduced me, she tells people - "she makes Awesome Peanut Butter Bars"  They really must have made an impact. Ha ha 
So I'll share them with ya'll.

Awesome Peanut Butter Bars

3 Squares of butter @ room temperature
1 1/4 C Sugar                                  2 1/2 C Brown Sugar
1 TBS Vanilla                                     1 TSP Baking Soda
3/4 TSP Salt                                       2 C Peanut Butter
3 C Flour                                           3 C Quaker Oats
3 Eggs
1/2 Pkg Mini Reese peanut butter cups chopped.
Preheat oven to 325, Mix butter, eggs, salt, sugar, and brown sugar till a paste. Add vanilla, baking soda, peanut butter, flour, oats and 1/2 pkg peanut butter cups. Mix well. (this will look dry—it is suppose to) Spread into a 11x17 cookie sheet, smash into corners, make an even crust– cook for 20 minutes. Let crust cool completely.

Peanut Butter Bars Frosting
Version 1 
1 C Chocolate frosting (milk Chocolate (Store bought is easiest)
1 C Peanut butter
1/2 Pkg Mini Reese peanut butter cups chopped

Mix Frosting, peanut butter till smooth & spread over cooled crust sprinkle on peanut butter cups. Let set for 1 hour & enjoy!  

Version 2
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound), softened (but not melted!)
3 1/2 -4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 C peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon almond extract
4-5 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
1/2 Pkg Mini Reese peanut butter cups chopped

Cream butter for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Turn off the mixer. Sift 3 cups powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl. Turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the dry ingredients do not blow everywhere) until the sugar and cocoa are absorbed by the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional milk 1 tablespoon at a time. Sprinkle on peanut butter cups & spread over cooled crust. Let set for 1 hour & enjoy!  

Warning these are very rich and it makes a lot so have a big glass of milk nearby!!! 

Yes this can be made in a Dutch Oven, just half the recipe or split into 2-12" Dutch Ovens. 

Have fun cookin'

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