Glazed Peanut Butter Bars

Claire's Peanut Buttery Squares post squared I met Clari during my freshman year in college, a most impressionable time of life. She was the mother of my roommate and lived in the same town as the school we attended, making her house a handy place to do laundry and pick up snacks at the same time. After eating her legendary Glazed Peanut Butter Bars, I asked Clari for the recipe to add to my collection seeing as I was a Home Economics major and already knew I loved cooking and baking. She gave it to me, along with three other recipes. They weren't scribbled on note cards or a patch of paper but were typewritten perfectly instead--and this was before everybody owned a computer. Her penchant for neatness and organization was also displayed in her house, making it seem peaceful and inviting.  She dressed impeccably and seemed to maintain her ideal weight effortlessly (although I suspect it wasn't as easy as she made it look). June Cleaver had nothing on this woman. I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. If only it was as simple as making these cookies. They have a lighter texture than brownies and aren't as rich as the blondies I posted about yesterday.  Depending on your choice of peanut butter, they can be crunchy or smooth. Thankfully, they aren't the least bit gooey making them perfect for a fancy holiday cookie tray or a simple lunch box treat. They are my FAVORITE peanut butter cookie! The glaze may look like a lot of trouble but don't leave it off.  It's what makes these bars special and the random pattern requires no artistic talent. Drizzling chocolate over the top adds a Reese's touch.

Claire's Peanut Buttery Squares

Glazed Peanut Buttery Bars mistake

Can you guess what was responsible for the little holes?

P.S. I figured out it's IMPORTANT to get the tiny lumps out of brown sugar before you add it to this recipe.  Because I thought I didn't have time for such foolishness, a few sub-centimeter, hard nuggets of  brown sugar melted in the finished product leaving a moth-eaten appearance.  Don't worry--no bars were wasted as the taste was not affected in any way.
Glazed Peanut Butter Bars
 
Author:
Recipe type: Cookies
 
A peanut butter bar cookie with a vanilla and chocolate glaze-fancy enough for a holiday platter but easy enough for a lunchbox treat.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup peanut butter, crunchy or smooth
  • ⅔ cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar (push through a sieve to remove any lumps)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 squares semi-sweet chocolate OR ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces + 1 teaspoon shortening, melted
Instructions
  1. First: Combine peanut butter and butter in a large bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add brown sugar and continue to beat for 1-2 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time then add vanilla.
  2. Second: Stir in flour and salt just until well blended; spread batter in greased or foil lined 13x9 inch baking pan.
  3. Third: Bake in 350-degree oven for 35 minutes, or until center springs back when lightly touched with fingertip. Allow to cool slightly.
  4. Fourth: Combine powdered sugar with water in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Drizzle from a spoon over still-warm cookies in pan; Swirl with a spoon to make random pattern.
  5. Fifth: Melt chocolate in a small zippered, plastic bag for one minute in microwave. Knead with fingers to make sure it is melted. Return to microwave for a few additional seconds if necessary. Chips may take a little longer. Snip a small tip from one corner and drizzle over the white glaze in a random black and white pattern. When cool, use a sharp knife to cut into 36 rectangles. (I like them best cold out of the fridge.)

 

If you like to make bars, you might also enjoy these…

Emergency Microwave Chocolate Brownies

Easy Toffee Bars

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Jeannette December 16, 2010 at 11:16 am

these look SO great!! bookmarking them now!!

mike November 10, 2010 at 1:18 am

Those darn nuggets of sugar…. I’m sure they were still good – they look fantastic! I love how the drizzle design makes them look so festive.

Michelle November 5, 2010 at 1:02 pm

These look wonderful!

Paula November 4, 2010 at 9:53 am

Such a pretty bar! My mother-in-law used to type all her recipes on little cards with an old manual typewriter!

steph (whisk/spoon) November 4, 2010 at 9:36 am

whoa–those look super good. even better than the TWD ones.

the urban baker November 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm

wow…those look spectacular! i will make you something fabulous if you make me these!! even trade!

Betty @ scrambled hen fruit November 3, 2010 at 9:53 pm

These look fabulous and are going on my list of holiday goodies for sure. Thanks! I’ve found that I have to sift all of my brown sugar these days, even if it’s freshly opened. Either brown sugar is lumpier now, or I’m just noticing it more!

Paula November 3, 2010 at 10:09 pm

I thought it was just me because the brown sugar I wrote about came out of a freshly opened bag.

naomi November 3, 2010 at 11:37 am

OMG! I am making these for my husband and little guy they love PB! These look and sound fantastic!

Der November 3, 2010 at 11:25 am

YUMMMMMY!
This recipe goes at the top of my to-make list, especially with finger foods needed for Christmas parties that are just around the corner. I usually prefer milk chocolate in my cookies…. What do you think? Maybe I will drizzle half the cookies in semi-sweet and half in milk chocolate.

Paula November 3, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Der, milk chocolate would be GREAT!

Kayte November 3, 2010 at 9:28 am

So pretty…I love things with a drizzle on them…it always just looks extra special with a drizzle!

nickki November 3, 2010 at 8:52 am

Now that looks so good! I am going to have to try this recipe very soon!

TheKitchenWitch November 3, 2010 at 7:36 am

Laughing at “moth-eaten.” I use that phrase, too! Beautiful photo at the top, Paula! Woo-hoo!

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