When I was in grade school, there were few things that rivaled the excitement of french dip sandwich day. No, not because of the french dip sandwich, but because the sandwich came with a peanut butter bar. Even the snooty snoot girls who thought school lunch was gross would line up for a cafeteria peanut butter bar.
If you attended school in the Davis School District, you know what I’m talking about. If not, maybe you were lucky enough to have peanut butter bars also. Maybe it is something universal. Something you learn in your third year at The Lunchlady Academy. I guess I should say they once learned, past tense.
Now, it seems, the school lunch peanut butter bar is a thing of the past. Things have changed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of making school lunch healthier. However, naming your new healthy dish “whole grain fish wedge” just isn’t going to excite, well, anybody. No lie, that was the name of a food on the school lunch menu. I’m really not sure what that was supposed to be. A fish stick? A fish pie? Fish don’t have wedges, but I guess chickens don’t have nuggets, so why am I complaining.
Let’s just try to wipe our minds clean of that creatively named school lunch and return to the peanut butter bars, shall we?
I have had the unfortunate experience of buying peanut butter bars at the grocery store bakery and few times. Disappointment is not a strong enough word for what I experienced. Loathing, anger, violent ideations. I had to seek counseling. They were terrible. Blech. Those bakers didn’t go to The Lunchlady Academy, I guess.
Luckily, I got a hold of a recipe that does cafeteria peanut butter bars proud. There are a few key points in doing this right.
The first thing is that you must not overcook the base. If it is browned, then as it cools it will become crunchy. And cafeteria peanut butter bars are not crunchy. You want to set the base, and no more.
Second, and something that most store-bought peanut butter bars neglect, is the fluffed peanut butter layer beneath the chocolate icing. It is the difference between owning a Ferrari and a Yugo. Well maybe the difference between a Lincoln Towncar and a Cadillac. (There is a little familial joke in that one )
Third, when you are putting on the chocolate frosting you want to make sure you put little scoops of frosting all over the whipped peanut butter and don’t just dump all the frosting in the middle. The less distance you have to spread, the better. Otherwise, the whipped peanut butter starts to move and mix in with the chocolate frosting. It will still taste good, but won’t be as purdy.
The base layer of this recipe is fairly thin. If you like a thicker bottom layer, you can always double the cookie recipe. You will need to cook it longer, however. Just remember not to over bake!
If I could give this recipe more than 5 stars, I would.