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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thursday Recipe - Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

When I was back in grade school, back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth if you ask my kids, the lunch ladies used to bake cookies from scratch. They also made soups and stews and all sorts of good things that don't happen anymore. We had a short little Dutch lady as the lunch lady for a while who made the most delicious split pea soup. But that's beside the point.

These peanut butter bars are the same ones the lunch ladies used to serve. Moist and delicious and slathered with chocolate frosting, these are fast and easy. They don't last long at my house.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

1/2 c. shortening (you can substitute 1/4 c. butter for half of it, but if you just use butter, the cookies don't stay nice and soft)
1/2 c. peanut butter, crunchy or smooth, your choice
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1 egg
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. flour, white or wheat
1 c. oatmeal

Cream shortening, peanut butter, and sugars until nice and fluffy. Add vanilla, egg, baking soda, and salt. Beat a couple more minutes until very smooth and fluffy. Stir in flour and oatmeal. Spread in a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes, until set and barely brown. Let cool.

Spread with chocolate frosting. Let it sit for a while to set up. Slice and serve. Pizza cutters are great for slicing these.

If you double the batch, spread it out on a large baking sheet. They'll be thinner so bake them the shorter time.

Chocolate Frosting (or use this recipe)

1/2 c. butter, softened (not melted if you can avoid it)
1/4 c. baking cocoa
1 t. vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar
2-4 T milk

Cream butter, cocoa, and vanilla. Add powdered sugar. Drizzle in milk while beating. Add just enough milk to make it spreading consistency. Beat for another 2-4 minutes until very light and fluffy.