Chewy Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bars with Buttery Chocolate Frosting

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“What WERE those things?” my friend Ingrid asked.  “They were aaaamzing.”

What those “things” were is my new favorite super easy “cookie”  recipe that is impossible to resist.  These chewy, peanutty bars with soft butter chocolate frosting have everything going for them:

First, you probably have the ingredients for them on hand right now.

Secondly, they have fiber and protein to help slow down the absorption of sugar, so  you and your kids or guests can enjoy an indulgent treat with less of a sugar rush.  (I confess to have eaten a couple of them with an ice cold glass of milk and happily called it breakfast.)

They only take about 5 minutes to mix, just 18 to 20 minutes to bake. Cool to the touch, frost, cut and serve a bunch.  This makes them the perfect dessert to bake for last-minute guests, to satisfy a gotta-have-it-now craving for a sweet treat, or make n’ take to a potluck or bake sale.

Making a pan of bar cookies is so much faster and easier than baking cookies… and, I’ve not yet met a cookie I like as well as these peanuty chocolate babies.  Be sure to save the link to this recipe because I think you’ll use it again and again.

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Chewy Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bars with Chocolate Frosting
(24 to 30 bars depending on what size you’d like them to be)
1/2 c. butter (or 1/4 c. coconut oil and 1/4 c. butter)
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/4 c.  sugar (I use organic)
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. flour  (or 3/4 c. flour plus 1/4 c. hemp seeds or ground flax  or wheat germ)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. rolled oats
1/2 cup lightly salted peanuts, course chopped (I actually like them in whole or halved)
Directions:
Beat butter and peanut butter for 30 seconds. Add sugar and brown sugar, beat until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir together flour (Or flour and seed mixture) baking soda and salt, add to beaten mixture and beat until blended, stir in oats and peanutss. Spread mixture into 9″x13″ pan.
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Bake in 350 degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Let it cool, then frost with the following:
Buttery Chocolate Frosting
1/4 cup softened butter
2 T. Hershey’s Cocoa
1 1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 to 4 T. milk
Cream butter with cocoa.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla and 1 T. of milk.   Mix, adding 1 T of milk at a time until the frosting is smooth and creamy and easily spreadable.  Pour over bars, spread evenly to edges.  Cut bars in squares and serve.
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Granny’s Chewy Honey Nut Sliced Cookies

(Becky, the Mama.)

My daughter Rachel and I need T-Shirts saying, “We Survived Thanksgiving Camp Week.” But for now this picture of us in our aprons from last week will have to do. (Yes, mine is on backwards. Wore it unknowingly that way ALL Thanksgiving Day.)

Together we made umpteen meals for 8 to 14 people (including vegan alternatives) over an 8 day period. We chased Baby Jackson (and I DO mean CHASE… that baby can run now!) and entertained his 5 year old cousin Georgie. (Who flew here from Seattle all by himself! )

These two cousins were perfect playmates for each other!

It was glorious chaos and though our bodies ached, the good memories will last a lifetime. 

We Laughed, We Cried, We Cooked. But alas, We Did Not Blog.

But now we’re baaaack,  and not just cooking, but writing again.

Today’s cookie recipe began with an email to request to my mom, who my kids call Granny.

My mother “Granny” and my sister with Jackson, Thanksgiving 2011

“Mother, do you have the recipe for Honey Slices that you used to make many years ago? Want to do an unusual nostalgic cookie for Christmas season and I’ve got a hankering for this blast from my past! Love, Becky”

“Dear Becky, I got it! Did you ever make these cookies or watch me do it? It’s a little complicated procedure and different from almost any cookie I’ve ever made or seen, but worth it! I did not have a detailed recipe since I got the recipe from the bakery where I worked when I was in Jr High in Sweetwater, Texas, so I hope this one makes sense!  Love, Mother”

“Wonderful!  I looked in all my classic cookbooks and online for it, and it was no where to be found. Nothing even similar to it. And I DO remember watching you make them so I think I can do it.  Do you have any more memories that go with this recipe?  Love, Becky”

Dearest Daughter, As for the honey slices, about the only story I know about them is one people might not believe. (Becky’s note: this is because my mom hasn’t eaten sugar for years and has a reputation for healthy eating!) When I worked in the bakery where they were made, I went to work on Saturday morning and literally ATE donuts, brownies, date bars and HONEY SLICES all day long. Really. All day long. I weighed 15 pounds more at age 13 than I do now! And, of course, that is probably where I began to develop a physical intolerance for sugar, and now my tummy says plainly, ‘No, thank you. Do not send any sugar down here!’”

This recipe is a rare treasure and my mother may have had the only copy left on earth!  Until now, that is.  And I’m sharing it with you. (Merry Christmas!)  

You may be able to jostle ingredients and up-size the healthy factor, but I wanted the exact same cookie I remember Mother baking when I was a kid so I didn’t mess with it. The cookies cool off to create a chewy moist middle, chocked with nuts.  In fact, if you love pecans, feel free to toss in an extra handful to this recipe. 

Another note: this recipe makes a BUNCH. (50 to 60 cookies, depending on how thin you slice them.)  But you can freeze the logs and use another time; or better yet, share a plate or two with a neighbor or friend.  (Or cut the recipe in half.) This time of year the bigger the cookie batches, the better.

Granny’s Honey Nut Sliced Cookies (“Honey Slices”)

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

Ingredients:

4 c. flour

1 t. baking soda

1 t. salt

2 c. sugar

1 c. Crisco shortening

3 eggs

1/2 c. honey

1 c. chopped pecans

1 t. vanilla

Directions:

Sift together the first 3 ingredients; set aside.

Cream together sugar, Crisco, 3 eggs and honey.

Georgie, my helper, adding honey to the batter

Gradually stir in flour mixture to form batter, then add pecans and vanilla.

The batter needs to be chilled and divided into about 6 lumps:

Then each lump formed into one long, round roll a bit over an inch in diameter. Put the rolls lengthwise onto a greased cookie sheet, leaving room for a second roll beside it and about 4 inches away from the first roll.

Ta DAH Two one inch diameter “worms” — ready for the oven

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. They should be firm but not very browned.

Continue preparing the rest of the rolls in the same manner. When the rolls are cooled, make slightly diagonal slices across the rolls about every 1 and 1/2 inch to form cookie bars.

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The Title: Granny’s Chewy Honey Nut Sliced Cookies
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This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook