Wednesday, March 01, 2006

more good things

Lindsey reminded me of the virtues of Tang. How can you go wrong with the drink of the astronauts? For an extra special treat, try mixing your Tang with some spicy water a.k.a Poland Spring Sparkling water. Now there is a lovely beverage for you.

Now for another very good thing: Lindt Peanut Butter Truffles
These MAY be even better than Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. They are so smooth and creamy going down, it's pretty easy to eat the whole bag. They aren't as rich and sweet as Reeses so it makes it easier to pound more down. Which brings me to my next subject, the Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. I may sound crazy, but I don't like the standard sized cups. I have to have the miniature sized cups. The standard size are a bit imbalanced in their ratio of chocolate to peanut butter, therefore rendering the cup too sweet and therefore inedible after the first bite. However, one bite of the mini sized version lends just the right ratio of chocolate to peanut butter making it a much more palatable bite and allows one to comsume mass quantities of the stuff.

All of this talk of peanut butter and chocolate reminds me of an ongoing search I have had for the perfect peanut butter bar. I have been married for 10 years, so that is how long I have been searching, approximately. I happened to marry a man who attended schools where the lunch ladies actually made good, homey cooking, unlike the schools I attended where they just defrosted and heated the" schlop" up. Apparently these ladies made a peanut butter bar that made him very anxious. My husband, thinking that I am a culinary genius, thought I would be able to recreate these bars with no problem. I made my first attempt with a graham cracker crumb crust and melted chocolate over the top. I thought, "he'll be so proud of me, these must be the ones!" They weren't the ones. I attempted a few others over the years but never hit it even close. Whenever we would go to a function or a store that had peanut butter bars, we would try them, with no luck. I would try the rice crispy, chewy variety, and the, cakey variety, but could never come close to the lunch ladies. Then recently, I was telling Laura of my dilemma and she just pulled out a recipe from her aunt. I made a batch, but just knew deep down that they were not "the ones". There was nothing to them... a little flour, some oats... but lo and behold, my husband tasted them and declared that these were indeed "the ones". Could it be? all these years of searching, baking, testing, and poring over recipes to find it right beneath me?! My stars! Yes, the stars have aligned and we have found the perfect peanut butter bar. Perhaps that is the reason we have been brought to this place. Laura, you are an answer to many prayers. Thank you, thank you.

Without further ado I give you "the recipe" courtesy of Laura's aunt and a little help from the kitchen of Nestle:

2 cups flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3/4 cup butter, soft
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
2 1/3 cups oats
2 pkgs chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325. Grease 9x13 pan. Combine dry ingredients. Beat butter, sugars, peanut butter and vanilla together well. Add eggs one at a time. Beat in flour mixture including oats. Stir in 1 bag of chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 28-32 minutes. Take out of oven pour second bag of chips over top and spread evenly over bars. May stick back in off oven until chocolate is completely melted.

These are very hearty and somewhat good for you with those oats in them, but if you are looking for a sweeter, more Reeses like version try this recipe. These are my personal favorite.

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)

1 bag of Hershey's mini kisses - melted

Grease lightly 11x 7 or 9x13 pan. Mis all ingredients together except chocolate. Press into prepared pan, then spread melted chocolate over top. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, then leave at room temperature for eating.


laura said...

what a lovely list of good things. lovely beverages, my aunt's recipe, and peanut butter cups. that's all i ate for lunch in jr. high. that and a dr. pepper (not diet back then). i was a little too excited about the access to vending machines. good thing i had a fast metabolism then. wish i had it now.

and it's good to know that we can pray about recipes. there's nothing too small and insignificant to pray about.

Lindsey said...

I would like the second the praise of small Reese's PB cups over the big ones. Although I do love to lick the paper from both when the bottom sticks to it. I have also been on the search of a perfect bar. PB is a food group all it's own in my book.

Did you try Liz M.'s Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Tart? It's a Martha Stewart recipe. Very, very tasty--how can you go wrong with these ingredients:

Graham cracker crust
Sweetened Condensed milk
Smooth (not natural) PB
Cream Cheese
Melted high-quality milk chocolate

Jenni said...

I haven't tried that one, but I have a similar recipe for a p.b. pie. Maybe I will post it next time, it is from Mrs. Fields.

Lilly said...

I'm waiting for the pie recipe.....
I like peanut butter and I want my mommy to make something yummy with it.

laura said...

jenni, you blog slacker! i'm waiting for another post. i check multiple times a day. come on. i promise you won't turn into naked computer mom. i've been blogging daily for a few weeks now and never been naked while doing it!

Lisa said...


I knew just what kind of peanut butter bars Robert was talking about. We also had the most amazing ones served every Thursday (must have been Friday because it was always with fish, which I hate, so I only ever ate that yummy peanut butter bar). I have a similar recipe for them.

And I also make those peanut butter bars with the graham cracker crumbs!! They're our pretend peanut butter cups! Love them!