Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars

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I don't know about you, but at my elementary school they served AMAZING desserts . . . sometimes I find myself craving the lunch ladies' chocolate cake or homemade cinnamon rolls . . . nowadays I don't think that they even serve dessert in elementary school! Poor kids don't know what they are missing . . .
Elyse gave me this recipe a couple of months ago from Mom's old recipe box and it is seriously SPOT ON to what the lunch ladies served! Trust me- you have to try these!

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups peanut butter (divided)
2 cups oatmeal (not quick)
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Cream first 3 ingredients together. Add the vanilla, eggs, and 1 cup peanut butter and combine. Add the remaining ingredients and mix together. Spread dough on a greased jelly roll pan (18x13x1"). Make at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (until golden brown). While hot spread the other 1 1/2 cups peanut butter on top. Drop all over top by little spoonfuls. It will soften (melt) and make it easier to spread. Then let cool so that the peanut butter has become solid again (I usually throw them in the fridge so they set up faster and so I can eat them sooner!). Spread your favorite chocolate frosting on top and cut into bars.

Here is my favorite frosting recipe for these bars:

1 stick (1/2 cup) margarine, softened
1/4 cup milk
1-2 tsp vanilla (depending on your taste)
3 Tablespoons cocoa (I have never really exactly measured)
2-3 cups of powdered sugar
Mix all ingredients with a hand mixer until smooth and spread on top of bars.
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  1. Rhondi says:

    Oh my, these bars look so good! I love anything with peanut butter. Camille, thanks for stopping by my blog and following. I’m so glad you found some recipes to try. I’m enjoying browsing through your blog and am a new follower. It must be amazing to be a group of 6 sisters. I have 3 daughters and they are the best of friends :) Have a great day!
    Rhondi
    http://bigmamashomekitchen.blogspot.com/

  2. Jennifer says:

    Dang…now I’m going to have to try those and apparently, I’m going to have to try the cookies and cream cheesecake bars that are looking at my right now too! =P

    I guess that means I’m a new follower. lol! (Followed you over from This Week’s Cravings.)

    My blog is http://imitationbydesign.blogspot.com if you’d like to visit.

  3. Looks like you had a good school. These days its all prepackaged fast food. Kids would love to have lunch ladies like the one you had. Thank you for participating in my linky party at Joy of Desserts.

  4. This looks good. Would come over and share some of your recipes at my link party Cast Party Wednesday tomorrow? I guess I went to the wrong school I don’t remember “good” desserts. HA!
    Thanks,
    I hope to see you there!

  5. Loy says:

    I am a newish follower. This looks like a great recipe. I am the cookie monster’s grandmother and am always looking for new cookie recipes to try. This one looks scrumptious. I am looking forward to exploring your blog further.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wow, thanks for this!I made them & everyone loved them & then I couldn’t find the recipe again but I did just now, Yeah!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Wow! These are great! Never heard of them before..my boyfriend loves anything Peanut Butter and Chocolate..so I gave it a try. The only thing i did different was to use DH canned Milk Chocolate frosting. Will be making these again and again ! thanks girls :)

  8. They are in the fridge setting up – ack – it’s so hard to wait! I can’t wait to eat them! I love that they have chocolate frosting on top and not just melted chocolate chips. I was really fighting the peanut butter trying to spread it on top – ha ha ha – I tried to plop it all on at once and it just sunk straight down and made a hole, ack! quickly scooped it back up – what a mess! it took a lot of fineness to finally get that peanut butter to spread and not smush the bars.

  9. You must have gone to a better school than I did or just had a better Lunch Lady, I don’t remember any of our desserts being so yummy, going to have to give these a try, nothing better than Peanut butter and chocolate!

  10. Diane says:

    I need clarification before I make these. There are 1&1/2 cups of Peanut Butter listed in the instructions that I don’t find in the list of ingredients. Is this an additional 1&1/2 cups of PB?

  11. Unknown says:

    I needed that clarification as well. The instruction still say to “spread
    1 1/2 cups of peanut butter on the top of bars”. ;) Growing up in small Utah community, We had super loving lunch ladies who knew and loved us,(one of which was my own Grandma) and we always had delicious school lunches, including desserts and these peanut butter bars were one of my favorite! My kids don’t get this kind of yumminess now days. SO HAPPY to have come across this recipe! Thanks for sharing!! :)

  12. Kami says:

    I have looked everywhere for this! I’m so excited! I had the recipe when I took the cooking class in high school, straight from the lunch ladies but lost it. Instead of spreading the peanut butter we just combined it with the chocolate frosting. Mmmm.. I’m going to make it this weekend!

  13. IAMANNIE says:

    I made these today and they are so so so yummy! However, they are not the same bars from my cafeteria growing up! Dang! This is NOT a complaint though! This recipe makes a million bars and is awesome so I’ll definitely be bringing these to potlucks! A new keeper recipe!

    Nixandnoli.blogspot.com

  14. Barb says:

    Really great recipe thanks. My 2nd batch of these I added 1 tbsp instead of tsp of vanilla extract by mistake to my frosting but hey they tasted even better than the first batch. So now I’m going to keep doing that it bumps them up a whole lot try it & see.

  15. mommymayi says:

    turned out great all except the final 1/2 C. of peanut butter trying to spread that on while it was still hot was a challenge. It was dragging the peanut butter crust right along with it. EEK! Nothing a little bit of your famous choc. icing can’t cover up. :) Thank you for this post. Definitely a keeper.

  16. Riverspitter says:

    Double Yum! Love Peanut butter!
    I’ve been looking for a Lunch Lady bread spread for years. It had honey, peanut butter and (I think) raisins. It must have been mixed in a blender, cause it was smooth. OMGosh, I used to trade with my hot lunch friends for stuff out of my lunch sack for that all the time!!

  17. Shannon Fox says:

    These were absolutely delicious! I find that if you take the 1/2 C of peanut butter that goes on the top and whip it with a mixer until lighter in color and creamy, it has a great texture and spreads very nicely. Thanks for the recipe!

  18. au naturel says:

    Made these yesterday. They were great. To me the icing was a bit too sweet. I thought perhaps melting chocolate over the top instead of icing like I do for my Tandy Takes would be better. Just my opinion.

  19. missybug says:

    OMG they are coming out of the oven right now….your right…i think i will refrigerate them so i can eat sooner…YUMMMY!!

    thanks for sharing

  20. siri says:

    just made these.. delicious. i do think 15 minutes in the oven is slightly too long. would rather have the bars be slightly gooey. next time i’ll probably do 13. excellent recipe.. thank you!

  21. Sara Wise says:

    WE LOVE these here at our house! I’ve added coconut and white chocolate chips and chocolate chips and they are to die for! Thanks for sharing!

  22. Donna says:

    Wowzers….THANK YOU for finding the recipe I have been craving and searching for (over 25 years!!)…Talk about a “blast from the past”!…Now I will be able to make these for my future grandchildren!!! The texture looks spot-on to what I remember…although our High School Lunch Ladies did not add the chocolate frosting component…leaving them “naked”…which, personally, I do not mind at all as I think it really highlights the moist, chewy peanut-buttery-ness of the bar…alhough I imagine with the frosting they are out of this world. I always “justify” not adding frosting as a lame , yet somehow “valid” excuse to partake in an “extra” bar to nosh on! :)

    • Peggy says:

      I have been searching for the “lunchroom” peanut butter cookies or bars but I also do not remember there being an icing on them. Just have to try both ways now! Thanks for the recipe!

  23. V. Bell says:

    These exact same bars are in Gold Medal Flour’s 2001 Let’s Bake number 30. Even the same frosting recipe. The only difference is Six Sisters used 1/4 c butter instead of 1/4 c peanut butter in the frosting, otherwise the entire recipe is identical.

  24. Laurie says:

    I have made these twice and they are so easy to make and delicious. I don’t know why there is only an average 2 star rating. I used my own chocolate buttercream icing, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. Love them!

  25. Susan L. @ Full Happy Muffin and Mama says:

    I made these for the treat for the week and for the snack for date night. I used quick oats (because they were what I had and others had said they worked). I did figure out one thing to do for next time: melt the peanut butter in the microwave ahead of time and pour it over the baked bars rather than dollops to spread. Plus, once I had gotten the dollops melted and spread it was the same effect. These are just as I remember them being, and my mom, a retired teacher, loved them too, and has asked for the recipe. I blogged about the treat at http://fullhappybabyandmommy.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/date-night-log-another-movie-night-and-a-movie-treat/ . Thanks for a great recipe (several in fact have been bookmarked to try later). I am also going to be making the Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken on my meal plan for this week.

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