Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

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These peanut butter oatmeal bars are the best. Ever. I could eat the whole pan. Or half. Since I did do that, already.

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Mom’s been making them since I was little.

Straight from a Better Homes & Gardens cookbook she’s had forever. With it’s deep red cover  & worn looking pages.

My brother Fred & I would devour them. Because they’re a perfect comfort food treat.

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Full of oats. And peanut butter. And topped off with a hard layer of just enough chocolate.

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It’s easy to eat 1/2 a pan because they’re not too sweet, just sweet enough, and almost fool you into thinking they might be healthy.ish. And the flavors of peanut butter & chocolate flood your mouth as your teeth sink into the soft, chewy bars.

They’re a good choice for a sneaky breakfast treat.

This is the second time I’ve made them vegan and they’re perfect. They taste more or less exactly like the original recipe.

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

adapted from Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 ener-g egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup almond or soy milk
1 cup AP flour
1 cup oats (i use quick oats)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 13×9 inch pan.

Beat shortening & peanut butter until well-creamed. Add sugar and continue beating until light & fluffy. Add egg, milk & vanilla and beat to incorporate into fluffy peanut buttery goodness.

Add flour, oats, baking soda & salt – slowly. Beat until well-mixed & smooth.

Spread mixture evenly in your greased pan. It may be a bit thick so spread carefully.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven.

Spread chocolate chips across the surface while still hot. When the chocolate has softened/melted, after a few seconds, spread evenly.

Let cool & allow chocolate to harden before cutting into bars…

Before devouring in huge bites!

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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So I lied. I said this post wouldn’t have chocolate in it. Are you really upset about that? Didn’t think so.

Thanksgiving is over. And so is Black Friday (which I maintain is only for the insane). Which means one thing: It’s time for Christmas cookies!!!!!

I’ve been dying to find a chocolate chip cookie recipe that doesn’t use butter but still tastes as good as Tollhouse. Because everyone knows Tollhouse is the ultimate in traditional chocolate chip cookies. Your grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookie recipe? Tollhouse. Don’t let her lie. She can’t fool you. It’s right off the back of that bright yellow chocolate chip package.

Well these aren’t the Tollhouse recipe, but they are damn good. Just as good. Promise. They’re adapted from a recipe out of my mom’s old faithful Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. And they have a slight taste of peanut butter that isn’t overwhelming but adds that butteriness that really makes the chocolate pop.

I thought the cookbook was much older but there are some images of ladies that look like they’re hanging out in the 80s.

Couldn’t find a copyright year.

Moment of truth: These cookies are DELICIOUS. Definitely Christmas worthy.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book
(it’s pretty old)
Make 4 Dozen

2 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Cup + 1 Tbsp Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup Shortening
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup White Sugar
2 Eggs (regular, flax, or Ener-G)
2 Tsp Vanilla
9oz (1 1/2 Cups) Chocolate Chips

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Beat peanut butter & shortening on medium high until well-creamed and fluffy. Add sugar, beating well after each to maintain the fluffy quality. Add eggs & vanilla and beat for a couple more minutes. You’re essentially whipping the mixture – adding plenty of air.

Add sugar, baking soda, and salt. And beat on low until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. I used only 9oz and trust me, there were chocolate chips falling to the bottom of the mixing bowl & a ton in each cookie.

Using a tablespoon, scoop the dough out of the bowl placing about a dozen mounds on each baking sheet.

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes. 8 minutes for soft & chewy cookies, 12 for golden & crispy cookies.

Let them cool. Or don’t. Choice is yours. I definitely don’t recommend burning your tongue though – because then the rest of the cookies won’t taste nearly as good. But who doesn’t want to eat warm cookies right out of the oven?

Now hide them away in a cookie tin or they’ll all be gone in approximately 2, possibly 3, days.

OR

You can just dive in & stuff your face with delicious cookies. Grab a glass a milk. Or not.

Om nom nom nom nom nom nom.

My Birthday!

It’s my birthday and there’s a lot to write about! Including Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies, Pumpkin Cheesecake, and Bran Muffins. Then there’s the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Damimmo’s, The Old Stein Inn, and my mother’s Eggs Benedict. There’s also my birthday presents to talk about so I’m excited!

I’ll start with Friday night. Stephen took a bus in from State College and we picked him up in Baltimore. We headed over to the Meyerhoff to see guest conductor, 35 year old, Russian Vasily Petrenko lead the orchestra in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol, Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1, and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 3. The Rimsky-Korsakov piece was an all around favorite of the night. The conductor was very animated and fun to watch.

After the symphony my brother met us at Damimmo’s for dinner in Little Italy. Just after we were seated Brian Billick, the former coach of the Ravens, was leaving. I ordered the Lobster Tetrazinni which was amazing. Every single thing we ordered was delicious. Stephen ordered the Chilean Sea Bass which was cooked PERFECTLY. For dessert the Creme Caramel was definitely the best. They brought it out with a candle for my birthday!

Saturday morning Stephen & I went to Michael’s to pick up some poster board & tissue paper. He made me a lightbox for my birthday!!!! As well as The Amish Cooks Baking Book. Stephen is from Eastern PA, surrounded by Amish & Mennonite culture. As anyone from the area knows, the Amish make some of the best baked goods ever. Every time I visit I make a very exciting trip to a dry goods store called Echo Hill Country Store. It is, by far, my favorite store ever. It is a Mennonite owned store that repackages dry goods to sell. For a pretty tiny store, it has one of the widest varieties of dried goods at extremely affordable prices. I’m completely smitten. I can’t wait until next weekend when I get my fix at Echo Hill.

After our trip to Michael’s, and after building my new Light Box (Thank you Tater : D ) I made some cookieeees. Some Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies I’ve had my eye on for a while.

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Recipe Adapted from Smells Like Home.

COOKIES:

  • 1 Stick Salted Butter, Melted
  • 2/3 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 3/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 1/4 Cup White Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 3/4 Cup AP Flour
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Cup Oats

Melt butter and combine with peanut butter, whisking thoroughly. Add sugars and continue whisking. Add egg & vanilla. Stir with spoon to combines. Add AP flour, oats, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir until just combined.

Form dough into tablespoon sized balls using measuring spoon. Place on baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 Degrees for about 12 to 15 minutes. Keep an eye on your cookies after 10 minutes. Let cool before assembling.

FILLING:

  • 4 Tbsp Salted Butter, Room Temperature
  • 3/4 to 1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 2 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup 2% Milk, you may use more depending on how thick you like your filling.

Beat butter & peanut butter together. Add 1 cup sugar. Combine. Add milk. Add rest of sugar and beat together. Add more milk as desired.

Spread generous amount of filling on bottom side of one cookie. Sandwich together with another cookie of about the same size.

These cookies were soooo amazing. The filling is smooth and creamy and you’ll probably want more & more. EAT & BE MERRY!