The Best Peanut Butter Bars
These Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars are the EXACT recipe they once served in high school! These peanut butter bars have a soft, chewy peanut butter cookie base, creamy peanut butter center and chocolate buttercream on top. Not to mention they are just as good at room temperature. These are the best peanut butter treats of all time!
We have tried a lot of peanut butter bars in our day, and these Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars are the best we’ve ever tried!
We grew up coming home on a school day to these amazing peanut butter bars waiting for us!
Our favorite treat growing up was the peanut butter bars that the lunch ladies served in our elementary school. These were the iconic public school delights that are long gone now. Forget a traditional cookie, as kids we ran towards these peanut butter lunch lady cookie bars like a hungry crowd!
We would bring an extra 50 cents to school so we could buy one of these delicious peanut butter bars whenever we could. There was no way to get these homemade cookie bars at a grocery store, but it was a good thing they had them for us at school. Sometimes I would bring an airtight container to bring them home for an after school snack.
My kids these days won’t even consider eating school lunches, while for us back in the day it was a magical thing indeed! The lunch ladies would bake up large quantities of this original recipe. And you’re in luck that we have the recipes to all of our favorite desserts!
We originally shared this recipe on our blog in 2011, and it has since grown to be the most popular dessert recipe and for good reason. Most people love walking down memory lane to relieve the taste of their favorite school snack. This dessert heaven is built with graham cracker crumbs and a chewy peanut butter oatmeal cookie base. It’s always the right decision to indulge!
These Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars are so easy to make, but be warned. Once you have one, you’ll have to have another. And another. And possibly half a pan.
No judgments here. Put on those stretch pants and treat yo’ self, girl. These bars have so much flavor you will want to eat the whole pan!
ENOUGH PEANUT BUTTER BARS TO FEED A CROWD
These peanut butter cookie bars are exactly like the famous school cafeteria bars they used to make back in the good ol’ days.
I love that these Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars can feed a crowd and I usually have all the ingredients on hand so if I ever need to make a treat at the last minute, these are my go-to recipe.
These bars are made in a half sheet pan and you can cut them into as many bars as you need.
We like a bigger bar, so we typically cut a pan of these cookie bars into 24 squares, but you could easily cut them into 48 for a smaller serving.
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Other Peanut Butter Desserts You Might Like:
- Easy No Bake Peanut Butter Bars
- No Bake Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
- Peanut Butter Snowballs
- Frosted Peanut Butter Nutella Cookies
The BEST Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars Recipe
Peanut Butter Bars
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar firmly packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2½ cups peanut butter divided
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter softened
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar together.
- Add vanilla, eggs, and 1 cup of the peanut butter; stir to combine.
- Add oats, flour, baking soda and salt and mix until well combined.
- Spray a baking sheet (half sheet jelly roll pan that is approximately 17.8 x 12.8 x 1 inch) with nonstick cooking spray and spread out dough in an even layer.
- Bake for 15 minutes and remove from oven.
- Drop remaining peanut butter (about 1 1/2 cups) by very small spoonfuls (we use a baby spoon) all over on top of warm bars. Let set for about 5-6 minutes and gently spread when peanut butter has begun to melt. It will spread easily when the peanut butter has softened on the warm bars. Don't try to spread it while still thick.
- Then let the bars cool until peanut butter has set up.
- While cooling, mix together frosting ingredients with a hand mixer until smooth and spread on top of bars.
- Cut into bars and serve.
- These bars are made in a half sheet pan and you can cut them into as many bars as you need.
- We like a bigger bar, so we typically cut a pan of these cookie bars into 24 squares, but you could easily cut them into 48 for a smaller serving.
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Baking Sheet
- Non-stick Cooking Spray
- Hand mixer
- Mixing Bowl