Monday, May 5, 2014

PEANUT BUTTER BARS

I don't normally go into Hillcrest Thrift Shop on Mondays but they had an opening this morning. Since I wasn't busy with any other activity, I told them I would "work" the first shift.  Today was also the last time this year for my husband to go over to the Fort to the tax office.  They were having an appreciation gathering this morning.  I decided to make a Sour Cream Banana Cake last night for him to take to share.  (It was really good.  I will share it later this week.)

Anyway, I wasn't going to bake anything to take to Hillcrest this morning since the usual Tuesday group of volunteers wouldn't be there, but at the last minute I felt guilty and decided to make these peanut butter bars. From start to finish, it only took me 40 minutes to prepare them.  I have to admit part of that time was looking for a 9 x 9 - inch pan.  Everything I have is 8 x 8 - inch.  I finally found one that was 9-1/2 x 9-1/2 - inch and decided to just go with it.  

You could almost call it a one - pan prep peanut butter bars since everything is mixed up in the medium saucepan you use to melt the margarine, but I did sift the flour, baking soda, and salt and used a small bowl to contain it.

I walked into the community room carrying the pan resting on a folded towel all on a cookie sheet. Jim and Josh, managers, were in there discussing the day ahead but stopped to enjoy one (several) of the bars.  You could smell the peanut butter.  Anyway, they enjoyed them so much, I had to stop and take a bite myself.  Oh, they were so nice and warm and I loved the peanut butter taste.  (I told them I hadn't made them since 1985 so I didn't remember how they tasted.) Jim said, "Well, you did real good."  Thanks, Jim, for the complement.

At the end of my shift, I went in to get my pans and there were only a few left.  I put one in the microwave and heated it up for about 7 seconds, and enjoyed that warm, peanut butter taste again.  I will have to make them again when I go in for my usual Tuesday middle shift.  I think the volunteers will enjoy them, too.

Remember, if you want to print the recipe using the print friendly button on the bar at the bottom of this post, it will allow you to remove the images.




PEANUT BUTTER BARS

1-1/2     cups flour
1/2         teaspoon baking soda
1/2         teaspoon salt
1/2         cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1/2         cup sugar
1/2         cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2         cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
1            egg
1/4         cup milk
1/2         teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 9 - inch pan with cooking spray.

Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside.


Melt the margarine in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.


Remove from heat and add sugars and peanut butter...

beat with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined.


Blend in egg, milk, and vanilla until thick and creamy.


Stir in flour mixture ...

until thoroughly combined.


Spread into pan.


Bake for 25 minutes or until center top springs back when lightly touched with fingertip.


Cool in pan on wire rack.


Best served  when still a little warm.

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