These delicious and easy-to-make lunch lady peanut butter bars are a nostalgic combination of chocolate and chewy peanut butter cookies, perfect for an indulgent treat.
Prep Time30 minutesmins
Cook Time16 minutesmins
Total Time46 minutesmins
Keyword: Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars Recipe
2cupscreamy peanut butter,divided in half
1cuppacked light brown sugar
1½cupsold-fashioned rolled oats
6tablespoonsunsweetened cocoa powder
¼cupheavy whipping cream
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a jelly roll pan (12x17) and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and 1 cup of peanut butter until fluffy and well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add granulated sugar and brown sugar to the butter mixture and beat well (1 to 2 minutes).
Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and beat on medium-high for another 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl intermittently to ensure even mixing.
In a separate bowl, stir together the salt, baking soda, flour, and oats.
Add the flour mixture to the creamed ingredients and beat just until combined (do not overmix).
Use a spatula or greased hands to pat the cookie dough into the prepared sheet pan.
Bake for 16 minutes, until the center is set and the edges of the cookie are golden brown. Remove from the oven.
In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the remaining 1 cup of peanut butter for 30 seconds to 1 minute until it is mostly melted and easily spreadable. Pour the melted peanut butter over the baked cookies and spread to the edges. Allow the cookies to cool completely. Once room temperature, you can place the pan into the refrigerator to help the peanut butter set again and make it easier to frost.
To make the frosting, beat the butter with an electric mixer.
Add the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. The mixture will be very dry.
Drizzle the heavy cream into the bowl with the mixer running and beat until light and fluffy.
Spread frosting over the cooled peanut butter cookie base.
Cut into bars and serve.
Be sure you use old-fashioned rolled oats for this tasty treat. They are thicker and larger than quick oats and will produce the nice hearty chew of these bars without drying them out.
Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your bars as the suggested baking time approaches.
The peanut butter layer on top of the bars is optional but adds a delicious extra burst of peanut butter. If you want to skip microwaving the peanut butter, dollop it over the hot cookie as soon as it comes out of the oven. Leave it for several minutes to heat up from the cookie, and then spread it into a smooth layer.
We dolloped the frosting over the chilled peanut butter layer so that we could spread it without agitating the peanut butter layer too much.