Peanut Butter Bars

Squirrel Bars

Squirrel Bars

Squirrel Bars are chewy peanut butter cookie bars with swirled chocolate chips.  When I needed to whip up something sweet for a potluck, I found this recipe in my “Just A Matter of Thyme” cookbook (Every recipe I have ever tried in this cookbook is fantastic!  It is a staple in my potluck recipe collection.)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 cup chocolate chips

Mix together the butters and sugars.  Mix in the eggs and vanilla.  Stir in the flour and baking powder.

Spread the dough in a greased 9″ x 13″ baking pan.  Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top.

Bake at 350 degrees (325 if you’re using a dark nonstick pan) for 3 minutes.  Take the pan out of the oven.  Use a knife to swirl the chocolate throughout the bars.

Return to the oven and bake another 18 – 20 minutes.

Let cool completely.  Cut into bars and store in an airtight container until potluck time!

 

Peanut Butter Bars

Peanut Butter Bars

A cross between peanut butter cake and oatmeal cookies, these Peanut Butter Bars are light, moist, and yummy!  The oats and whole wheat flour add a great texture (and a little bit of healthiness) while the peanut butter glaze adds a perfect amount of sweetness.  Thank you, Joyce, for sharing this wonderful recipe!

Bar Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups quick-cooking (not instant) rolled oats

3/4 cup peanut butter

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/3 cup milk

Icing Ingredients:

3 T. peanut butter

1 1/2 T. butter

2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 T. milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with foil.  Spray the foil with nonstick spray.  Whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, soda, and salt in a bowl.  Whisk in the oats and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the peanut butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter with an electric mixer, on medium high speed, until well blended.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla.  At low speed, add one half of the flour mixture, then one half of the milk, beating just until incorporated.  Repeat with the remaining flour mixture and milk, beating until well mixed.

Spread the batter in the pan.  Bake until golden at the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.  Transfer to a rack.

To make the icing, combine the peanut butter and butter in a medium, microwaveable bowl.  Microwave on high until the butter is melted, about 30 seconds.  Whisk until smooth.  Add the confectioner’s sugar and milk.  Whisk until smooth.

Immediately spread the icing evenly over the hot bars.  Cool completely, cut into 24 bars.