THE BEST PEANUT BUTTER LUNCH LADY COOKIE BARS
These have become an absolute staple in my house! Also, it is my total standard recipe for ‘gotta-bring-something-sweet’ to ‘fill-in-the-blank’. SO easy, SO fast and terrific for satisfying those cravings. I chill the peanut butter base for 15 or 20 minutes before topping with the chocolate so the warm chocolate doesn’t melt into the peanut butter too much, making spots of too thick chocolate and leaving other areas spread too thin!
Cookies baked up in a sheet pan are a magical thing – the recipe is simple to make and it feeds a crowd without the hassle of portioning out individual spoonfuls of dough. Our childhood lunch lady knew all the tricks for feeding a hungry crowd, so we’ve taken some inspiration from her with our Peanut Butter Lunch Lady Cookie Bars. (Though our food hopefully tastes a little better than standard lunch room fare!)
These were great! I was a little worried because I used natural peanut butter and the bottom layer was really runny when I put it in the pan. I am glad I kept them refrigerated because they do soften quickly at room temperature but all in all, they turned out great. Everyone who tried them loved them and my friend wanted the recipe. I had hoped to find a review saying they work even with natural peanut butter but couldn’t find one, so now you know! I’m sure they are firmer with regular peanut butter but I’ll save myself the hydrogenated oil! UPDATE: This has become a staple in our house as well as many of our friends. I still prefer natural peanut butter, and I’ve found Skippy Natural works the best, but you can do with other kinds like Laura Scudders, etc. Just keep them in the fridge!
If the usual go-to for dessert in your home is to pick up something from the grocery store, we suggest that you try some homemade cookie bars. Of course, store bought treats take some of the pressure off of entertaining, but when you see how easy this is, you may never turn back. While we usually turn to something chocolate, we love a good sheet pan cookie whatever the flavor. We’re rarely one to turn down something sweet! We went with peanut butter for our most recent cookie bars and it was the right decision. Absolutely delicious!
We topped these cookie bars with a peanut butter frosting, which is sweet but the perfect pairing. You just can’t have too much peanut butter. A great alternative if you like a little more contrast would be a chocolate frosting – but we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Peanut butter desserts are quite delicious – of course we love the sweetness, but the hint of saltiness really adds something special. Salty and sweet really are a match made in dessert heaven and our peanut butter cookie bars bring the best of both worlds together into one sheet pan.
SO GOOD!!!! If you are a peanut butter/chocolate fanatic like me, then you will love this. I followed other reviewers suggestions to make the recipe easier by melting the peanut butter with butter, then mixing with graham crackers and powdered sugar. Also, chill the peanut butter base for 15 minutes before topping with chocolate mixture.
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 ½ cup peanut butter, divided
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup milk + 2 tablespoons, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a large cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.
Mix together dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Whisk together ½ cup milk, vanilla extract, eggs. Set aside.
In a saucepan, melt 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter and 1 cup peanut butter, bring to a boil. Remove from heat and slowly add flour mixture, followed by milk and egg mixture. Mix until well combined.
Pour batter onto cookie sheet, spreading batter evenly to edges. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting …