image via Pinterest
I have wanted a recipe for Peanut Butter Bars since I was in grade school. These were hands down one of the favorite items on our school lunch room's menu. So I'm not sure why it's taken me a few decades to actually get on this, get a recipe and try making these for the first time. But I finally did it. Another childhood dream brought to fruition! Would it surprise you to hear that I don't really like peanut butter, unless it's with jam or jelly on a sandwich or with chocolate or as a peanut butter cookie. I would never eat a spoonful of peanut butter...ick.
So I had to Pin Test this no-bake recipe on Christmas Day. Luckily we took half the pan with us to dinner with friends - and there was nothing left on the tray when we left. That's a good sign.
I made a little mistake on these. It calls for one cup peanut butter for the base mixture and then four tablespoons peanut butter to mix with the chocolate for the frosting. I was not paying attention and added the four tablespoons into the base mixture. No one could tell the difference but I noticed in the end it made the base mixture a little too soft and sticky, although they totally kept their shape and did firm up after refrigeration. I just think it would've been a little bit better without that extra four tablespoons of peanut butter. I prefer my bars a little bit drier and crunchy.
Also I used milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet chocolate chips for the top layer. I have never liked semi-sweet or dark chocolate. The milk chocolate was absolutely perfect for my tastes and was certainly chocolate-y enough. Several of the recipes use a chocolate frosting instead of melted chocolate. I am sure our grade school version was frosted. I think I lean towards the melted chocolate option instead of chocolate frosting, but either way they would be delicious.
Overall, these were quick and easy and most importantly, fantastically delicious. I think next I want to try a baked version with oatmeal, to see which I ultimately like better. I'd like to pull one good peanut butter bar recipe into my regular "quick and easy treats up my sleeve" repertoire. They are a great treat to take to a party, school or church function. If you try these, let me know how you like them...and remember that extra four tablespoons of peanut butter goes into the melted chocolate for the "frosting".