No Bake Cafeteria Peanut Butter Bars
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My mother takes three of my nephews to school each morning and some interesting tales have risen up over the past few years from those fifteen minute car rides with three young boys. It’s amazing how much can occur in such a short span and how easy it is to see into a kid’s world based on what they talk about at the start of their day.
Recently, Mama read an ad in their local paper that the school needed crossing guards at certain spots near the campus and help kids cross the street. She mentioned in offhand conversation to my nephew Austin (10 years) that if she didn’t keep her youngest granddaughter during the day she’d take that job just to help out. Austin looked at her and remarked “Grandmama, you just like to help people, don’t you?”. Mama thought about it a minute and said “Well Austin, thats just what you’re supposed to do. Whenever you get a chance you are supposed to always help out other people, especially in your town, and there is always something you can do to help.”
Mama is right about helping people, but I think she also understands how good it makes us feel when we step up and help out. Just think about it. The last time you opened a door for someone, didn’t you perk up just a little bit yourself? Each time we reach out and help someone else, even in a small way, it boosts our heart just a little bit higher in our chest and makes our next smile come a little easier.
So many folks are trying to change the world in broad strokes these days and that is certainly commendable. But I think most significant change takes place on a smaller scale, and it can begin in your hometown – by helping a kid cross the street, opening the door for someone, or just looking around and offering a smile to someone who needs it. As the wisdom of our elders teaches us, “That’s just what you’re supposed to do.”
And now on to our recipe. Aren’t you lucky my soapbox was short today? You know how longwinded I can get!
These peanut butter bars are an old school cafeteria recipe from back in the days when the lunch ladies would come in at the break of dawn and set to making the day’s meals from scratch. They were our mothers away from home, always there to make sure we got enough to eat and offer a kind smile and hug whenever we needed it – and boy was their food ever good!
Peanut butter treats were usually in abundance since peanut butter was a government commodity, provided in large quantities to lunchrooms. This is a great recipe that requires no baking and ends up tasting like what a Reese’s cup aspires to be – all it needs is a sweet lady in a hair net to hum softly to it as she pats it into the pan.
This post is dedicated to all past and present lunchroom ladies. We sure do love you!
You’ll need: Creamy Peanut butter, confectioner’s sugar, brown sugar, butter (or margarine), and semi sweet chocolate chips.
You don’t have to have a whole tub of peanut butter like I have pictured here so don’t worry about that. My family just happens to think peanut butter is the best thing since…well peanut butter, so I tend to buy it in large quantities. This jar is like the “Bubba” of peanut butter.
Okay, I did this the easy way.
Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
Microwave until the butter and peanut butter are both melted, this will take about a minute or so.
Check it after 45 seconds and make sure though because microwaves vary so greatly.
This is our melted “stuff”. Now take a spoon and give it a really good stir.
At first it will seem like a big old mess, but after several stirs it will all come together and leave the sides of the bowl.
Don’t you just love getting to see what these things are supposed to look like? I think the photos work so well for everyone, whether you are a new cook or a seasoned pro, because by the time you are done reading the post you’ve already mentally made the dish, so getting in the kitchen and making it in real life seems much less daunting.
Now transfer your peanut butter mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 pan and pat it out into the pan with your hands.
Until it looks like this.
Time to crank up that microwave again! Pour the entire package of chocolate chips into a bowl and microwave them at 30 second intervals, stirring in between each, until completely melted.
Pour the melted chocolate chips over your peanut butter mixture and spread it all around until the top is evenly covered.
Now the hard part: waiting for this to harden.
You can do this at room temperature or you can do like me and place it in the fridge for about half an hour or so.
Cut into bars and serve.
Leftovers can be stored in your cookie jar on the counter or in the refrigerator, whatever cranks your tractor .
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