Chewy Granola Bars


Many moons ago, my friend, Tiffany, gave me this recipe.  I went through a season of making them a couple of times a month…and then we greatly reduced our grocery budget.  (Sigh.)  Fortunately, there is now a bulk foods store nearby that sells most of these ingredients well below grocery store prices.  Yay for us!

These bars will not taste at all like the chewy granola bars that you can buy.  They are heartier and less artificial in taste and texture.  A pan of these can last our hungry family for several days–unlike a pan of brownies.  The ingredients are super flexible and easily altered to accommodate preferences and pantry supplies.  For instance, the ones I’m making this morning have almonds and flax seeds instead of sunflower seeds and wheat germ.  As long as you get a reasonably-right combination of wet and dry ingredients, your chance of success is fairly solid.

1/3 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. peanut butter
3/4 c. honey
2 T. hot water
2 t. vanilla
2 1/2 c. rolled oats
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. wheat germ
1/2 c. sunflower seeds
1 T. sesame seeds
1 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. shredded coconut

Mix thoroughly and press into buttered 9×13″ baking dish.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until top is golden brown.  Cool 10 minutes before cutting into bars.  Allow to cool completely before storing.

Tightly wrapped, these store very well for a week.  Or, feel free to tuck them into the freezer for anther day.



Peanut Butter Apple Dip

This is so good and so easy.  It’s perfect for apple slices, banana chunks, pretzel twists, celery sticks or just a plain old spoon.

1 c. peanut butter
1 bar cream cheese
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. or so of milk

Blend well and enjoy.

Peanut Butter Texas Sheet Cake

I found this recipe a few years ago in a copy of Gooseberry Patch’s “Church Suppers”.  My husband and kiddos love peanut butter, so I thought I’d give it a try.  It was a pretty big hit with my immediate family, but it was a tremendous hit to my then-five-year-old nephew, Cambell.  Cam has talked about “peanut butter scream cake” ever since.

My second daughter recently turned thirteen, and I thought I’d make this cake for her birthday celebration.  When Cambell arrived, I took him to the refrigerator to show that I had made not one, but TWO peanut butter sheet cakes.  His wide open brown eyes and ear-to-ear smile were pretty rewarding.  I know for a fact that Cambell willingly enjoyed more than one serving in honor of his cousin’s birthday.

Lots of other guests enjoyed the cake, too, comparing its taste to peanut butter fudge.  There is nothing remotely wholesome about it, but it’s awfully tasty.

2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 t. baking soda
1 c. butter
1 c. water
1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. buttermilk (Remember:  If you don’t have buttermilk on-hand, you can pour half a cup of regular milk, then add a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar.)

Sift together flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda in large bowl; set aside.

Combine butter, water, and peanut butter in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil.  Add to flour mixture and mix well; set aside.

Combine eggs, vanilla and buttermilk; add to peanut butter mixture.  Spread into a greased jellyroll pan.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until it springs back when gently touched in center.

MY NOTE:  This cake has fooled me by appearing to be done when it isn’t.  I’d do the toothpick test in the center to be sure.  Spread peanut butter icing over warm cake.

Peanut Butter Icing

1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
1/3 c. plus 1 T. milk
3 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine butter, peanut butter and milk in saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil.

Remove from heat; stir in powdered sugar and vanilla to a spreading consistency.

Pour over warm cake and spread until even.

Hannah’s Peanut Butter Fingers

My daughter, Rachel, got this recipe from her friend, Hannah.  It’s always an encouragement to me to see young people puttering around and trying new things in the kitchen.  It will make so many things so much easier for them in the future!

These little treats are awfully yummy as well as easy to make.  Rachel thought you all might want to give them a try.

½ cup butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 c. peanut butter
½ t. baking powder
¼ t. salt
½ t. vanilla
1 c. flour
1 c. quick oats

Cream together butter and sugar.

Then add egg, peanut butter, baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Beat well.

Then add flour and oats.

Spread in greased 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle immediately with 1 cup chocolate chips.


½ c. sugar
1/4 c. peanut butter
2-4 T. milk

Drizzle on top.