I am going back to my Iowa roots for these peanut butter bars, which is all the way back to the town of Fort Dodge! I grew up on a farm near Fort Dodge, which is located in central Iowa. All of my family still resides in or around Fort Dodge, so I make it back often to visit. Fort Dodge is continually making improvements, and there really is something to be said about a calmer way of life. Nonetheless, my upbringing in Iowa is what made me so nice, hardworking, and determined. All good things!
Here are a few little bits about Fort Dodge that are worth knowing:
- There are many activities for outdoor enthusiasts, with Brushy Creek State Recreation Area, Dolliver Memorial State Park, and Kennedy Memorial Park all within 15 miles! My personal favorite is Brushy.
- Speaking of outdoors, there is now an elaborate trail system that runs throughout many parts of town and even goes up to Kennedy Park. I wish this had been in place during my high school and college years. On visits home, it is a great trail for running, biking, and rollerblading!
- Taco Tico. I just need to say the words and anyone from Fort Dodge and the surrounding area knows exactly what I mean. Go there ASAP. The line of cars in the street is totally worth the wait. My personal recommendation for newbies is the Tico dinner, but honestly everything there is amazing. I don’t really know how to put into words how good Tico is. I’ve eaten at many Mexican restaurants in the Chicago suburbs, and not one has topped Tico’s beans. They haven’t even come close.
- Fort Dodge is home to two school districts (Fort Dodge Community School District and and St. Edmond Catholic School). It is also home to Iowa Central Community College, which I attended my freshman year and loved. Go Tritons!
- The people there are so genuinely kind! To be honest, many of my Iowa connections are among my favorite people.
FDSH Peanut Butter Bars
I grew up a Dodger and attended Fort Dodge Senior High (FDSH). I graduated from FDSH in 2008 and was actively involved in numerous activities, including cross country, track, set building, and A Cappella choir. It’s funny looking back because I am not musical at all anymore. The running sure stuck with me though! Little did I know at that time that I would someday develop a passion for distance running and complete 6 marathons and 16 halves! My marathon PR is 3:32:36 and my half PR is 1:39:37. I have Coach Dee Brown from Iowa Central Community College to thank for believing in me and helping me discover that distance running is actually quite enjoyable. Thanks a million Coach Brown; you really are the BEST!
Here was our little FD cross country team at the Webster City meet back in fall 2006. Pictured are a few of my favorite running mates!
I certainly changed a lot during that time to eventually be able to run marathons. The picture below was from the Chicago Marathon in 2014 when I ran my insanely fast time of 3:32:36. Below I am with my supportive momma who came all the way from Iowa to cheer me on:
I'll stop with the reminiscing. It is fun though to look back at your past from time-to-time and see how it has shaped you as an adult. These bars are extra special because the recipe came from FDSH!
We all loved it when the school lunch program was selling these peanut butter bars. They are a soft and chewy peanut butter bar base covered in chocolate chips. To top them off, these bars have a generous drizzle of peanut butter icing. They are sheer perfection! I loved these bars so much that I wanted them at my graduation party and asked for the recipe one time. Thankfully, I was kindly given a scaled-down version of the recipe Since that time, I have made these bars countless times and they are always a hit!
Why these Peanut Butter Bars are Extra Special
This peanut butter bar recipe is also extra special to me because it was my first recipe posted on my former blog called Mitch8 Blog. Since that time, I have grown so much as an individual and have certainly improved my photography skills. I am still learning the tricks of the trade when it comes to blogging, but I am progressing and that is what matters. It is such a rewarding feeling to share my favorite recipes and a little bit about me! It is each and every one of you who has made my blogging journey worthwhile and enjoyable.
One thing that hasn’t changed over the years is these bars. They are still a fan-favorite just as much now as they ever were. I honestly can't even guess how many times I've made them!
Peanut Butter Bars
Peanut Butter Bar Ingredients
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup quick or old-fashioned oats
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Peanut Butter Icing Ingredients
- 2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp milk
- Approximately 1-½ cups powdered sugar
Peanut Butter Bar Instructions
- Preheat oven to 350° F and grease or line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugars and peanut butter until light and fluffy with an electric mixer for about 2-3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla.
- Combine the flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Stir into the creamed mixture, just until combined.
- Spread the dough into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top evenly with chocolate chips.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned and puffed—do not overbake!
- Cool completely on a wire rack. Drizzle the bars with peanut butter icing.
Peanut Butter Icing Instructions
- Whisk together the peanut butter and milk until completely smooth.
- Add 1-¼ cups powdered sugar and mix until the icing is smooth. If too thin, add the remaining ¼ cup of powdered sugar or add milk if too thick. The icing should be light tan in color and thick enough not to spread but thin enough to drizzle (photo below).
- Drizzle over the cooled bars and let set before cutting.
Ingredients for the bars:
Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper (or grease the pan):
Cream your butter, peanut butter, and sugars:
Add the egg and vanilla:
Add flour, oats, baking soda, and salt:
Mix it until it looks like this:
Spread evenly into the pan:
Top with chocolate chips:
The finished icing should look like this:
Let cool before drizzling the icing:
Let icing set and cut into bars:
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