Sandra Nichols | Guadalupe Valley EC
This recipe hails from Nichols’ 89-year-old Aunt Delta. “Growing up, she always had good sweets to eat at her house. I think of her when I make these,” Nichols says. Topped with chocolate and peanut butter, the bar cookies are perfect for lunchboxes, potlucks and parties.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips (dark or milk)
Peanut Butter Icing
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons milk, or more for texture
1. Dough: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-by-15-inch rimmed baking sheet (or 9-by-13-inch for thicker bars) with butter or nonstick spray.
2. Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat until combined. Add peanut butter and vanilla, and beat another minute until smooth.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, oatmeal, baking soda and salt. Using a spoon or a rubber spatula, stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Spread the batter to the edge of the prepared baking sheet, and use a wet hand to smooth evenly.
4. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out fairly clean. Scatter chocolate chips over the top, allow them to melt 5 minutes and then spread the chocolate evenly.
5. Icing: Whisk together powdered sugar, peanut butter and enough milk to make a soft icing. (It should have the consistency of honey.) Use a whisk or fork to drizzle the icing over the chocolate topping. Allow to cool completely (or refrigerate), then slice into bars.
Makes 36–60 bars, depending on baking sheet and bar size.
Old-fashioned oats or the thick-cut variety will give these bars the best texture. If you like your desserts with a salty edge, double the salt—or top the peanut butter drizzle with flaky Maldon sea salt.