There are a million different recipes out there for “Lunch Lady” Peanut Butter Bars. Well, these are the Peanut Butter Bars MY lunch lady made me from the time I was in third grade all the way up to my senior year of high school. Not only were these my absolute FAVORITE treat the school cooks made, but they were always served with my most loved main dish the school made as well-meatballs on steamed rice, dinner roll, and green beans!
As if I wasn’t satisfied enough after the meal itself, I got to top it all off with these bars! Another thing about my school cooks- they were so generous. If they knew they were serving you your favorite meal, by-golly, they made sure to serve you up a good pile of it! Once you reached high school age, any dessert leftovers were free game after everybody had made it through the lunch line. My meatballs on rice was always accompanied by at least two, sometimes three or more, of these Peanut Butter Bars. I often went up for seconds or thirds! What a gluttonous teenager I was. Even now, it is hard for me to contain and ration myself if a pan of these babies are near.
Another great thing about these bars is they are no-bake. We are coming up on summer where the days are too hot to want to turn on the oven. A lot of Peanut Butter Bars are of the baked variety. Until I was about eleven or twelve, I didn’t even know that there was such a thing as a baked Peanut Butter Bar. It was a bitter disappointment to me the first time I thought I was getting a Peanut Butter Bar just like the ones at my school, to see the hot pan being pulled out of the oven!
I have totally warmed up to baked Peanut Butter Bars, but when I think of a traditional Peanut Butter Bar, these are still the exact ones that I think of, crave, desire, and need-or whatever you wanna call it. Need probably fits the description best.
The peanut butter filling in these bars- oh how I love it! My school topped these off with a homemade chocolate frosting, but I will use melted chocolate for the topping as well.
I promise these will make your school year. They sure always made mine.
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- 2 cups peanut butter
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 cups Rice Krispie's Cereal
- 1/2 cup butter, soft
- 1/2 cup butter, soft
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup milk, for consistency
- Mix peanut butter and butter until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time until fully incorporated. Combine well. Fold in Rice Krispie's. Press into a greased 9x13 pan.
- Beat butter and cocoa powder until smooth. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well in between each addition. Add milk and beat until smooth and creamy, you may use more or less than the listed 1/4 cup. I like to beat my frosting at least 2-3 minutes after every ingredient is added, until it is very smooth, creamy, and slightly whipped. Spread over top of peanut butter layer.
- You probably won't need all of the frosting. Generally I like desserts pretty heavily frosted, but it really doesn't take much to make these great! Refrigerate any unused frosting. It's always good to have a little extra frosting on hand 🙂
- *I prefer the chocolate frosting, but you can also melt 2 cups of chocolate chips with a little shortening and use that as the topping instead of the chocolate buttercream. They taste great either way!