Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars

July 21, 2013

Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars

I have been a recipe collector for as long as I can remember. From bringing home recipe cards of foreign dishes courtesy of Vacation Bible School, to buying my first cookbook, “Peanuts Cookbook” for 60 cents, through Scholastic Book Club in grade school, I have always had a fascination with recipes.


 Peanuts Cookbook-my first cookbook

While taking home economics in high school, I convinced the teacher to beg the lunch ladies to divulge a couple of recipes for my favorite lunchroom cafeteria desserts. I still have a copy (of a copy) of the recipe in mimeograph purple for my High School’s original, oh- so soft and chewy, peanut butter bars.


 Copy of the original Peanut Butter Bar mimeographed recipe

On a side note, for those of you who do not remember, or are not old enough to remember, there used to be government surplus issued peanut butter available in large (15 lb.), silver cans to public institutions. Schools made use of this free ingredient on a frequent basis, with the student bodies nationwide often finding peanut butter concoctions on the daily school lunch menu in the form of peanut butter bars and cookies. Even my Girl Scout troop took advantage of this free commodity, by supplying Ants on a Log (celery with peanut butter spread in the center/u-part of the stalk and raisins/ants placed on top in a single row) at every outing that we ever attended, or so it seemed. (I believe that the raisins were free government surplus issue, also.)


Ants on a Log

In the name of comfort food, I am sharing this recipe with you, below. Note: I usually make my bars without the frosting. That makes them low-cal, right? ;o)
Now, if back in high school, I had only asked for the recipe for the delicious Western-style Cafeteria Salad Dressing………

Thanks for reading! :o)

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( High School) Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars


Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars displayed on my stoneware/ceramic cafeteria plate.

For Bars:
2/3 cups peanut butter
1 cup softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼-1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups regular rolled oats (regular oatmeal)

For Frosting:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup softened butter
About 1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Cream together thoroughly 2/3 cup peanut butter, 1 cup butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar.
Stir, or mix in eggs and vanilla.
Sift, or mix together, and stir in flour, baking soda, and salt.
Stir in oatmeal.
Batter will be fairly thick.

Spread batter into 10.5 x 15.5 greased pan.
Bake for 25-35 minutes, until done. (The top will look dull, and
Finger- test leaves only slight imprint.)

Frost if desired with:
Combine powdered sugar, 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup butter, and a little milk at a time, until desired consistency.





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8 Responses to Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars

  1. Karen says:

    I went to Ames High and am so excited to find this recipe!!


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  4. Judy says:

    I remember these bars from Ames HIgh (’76). They were so yummy!
    Since that time I’ve gotten a very similar recipe from my Mom-in-law. The only difference is 24oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips spread over the bars when hot from the oven. wait 5 minutes and cover or swirl with the PB topping from your recipe.


  5. Janet_Q says:

    Are these the ones that were served in Ames elementary, middle and high school in the 70s and 80s? I have such fond memories of these bars!


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