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Chocolate Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars

Chocolate lunch lady peanut butter bars are just as you remember from your childhood! NO bake dessert bars your kids can help you make.

Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars

If you are here you had a very similar childhood as myself, at school anyway. Lunch lady peanut butter bars were served all across the country and kept the cafeteria afloat for sure. With two layers, no baking required, and cut into squares get ready to reminisce with these. (affiliate links present)

Lunch Ladies Peanut Butter Bars

I have no idea what they called these back in the day behind the scenes. We called them chocolate peanut butter bars as kids and always had a few quarters in our bag to grab one. There was only one tray full so if you weren’t in line quick you missed out. That was always a bad day.

They usually had some sort of standby when these were gone like some chocolate shortbread bars or peanut butter oatmeal bars but they weren’t quite the same. I had no clue what was in them in elementary school nor did I care but as an adult it was time to get to creating one of our own.

Lunch Ladies Peanut Butter Bars

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

I mean not just anything would do, it had to taste exactly like the one in that California lunch room. In High School home ec we were taught this, made one day and didn’t last in between periods. They were gobbled up quick quick quick. Now that I cook for a living it was time to dig out what I made that day and write it down.

  • Large bowl
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Butter unsalted, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2.5 c powdered sugar or confectioners sugar as some might call it
  • Chocolate chips, milk or dark is your choice
  • A bit of coconut oil to melt chocolate chips in microwave
  • Just a sprinkle of sea salt is optional for the top but a nice touch

You’re going to want to have a glass or non stick 9×9 pan for these. Lining it with parchment paper works even better. That way you can lift it right out once hardened and slice smoothly into equal size squares. I do the same thing when making dark chocolate fudge.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Old School Cafeteria Peanut Butter Squares

You could make these no bake peanut butter bars without chocolate but why????? I mean really people, those weren’t what was served back in the day but whatever. You do you friends, it is still a great base but won’t stick together that well. It doesn’t harden without the top.

You can make these dairy free if you wanted. A need for us as my husband is lactose intollerent and I have had to alter things to work for him. You typically can’t tell the difference. The only thing you need to do is use vegan plant butter and there is dairy free chocolate chips too.

If you wanted to make these into individual portions from the get go you could. I did this when making our no bake peppermint fudge this way. Using a muffin pan and silicone baking cups you can make into small circles so no slicing is even required.

Old School Cafeteria Peanut Butter Squares

Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars No Bake

Put a piece of parchment paper inside your freezer safe 9×9 square baking dish, hanging over the sides by about 2 inches.

  • In a large mixing bowl, blend together the 1.5 cups peanut butter, soft room temperature butter, and vanilla with a whisk attachment until smoothed.
  • Beat in the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. The mixture should resemble a thick dough.
  • Turn the mixer off and transfer the peanut butter mixture to your prepared baking dish. Use a piece of wax or parchment on your hand to gently press the mixture into the bottom of the baking dish in an even layer.
  • Microwave the chips in a microwave bowl with coconut oil 20 seconds at a time, stirring between intervals, until melted and smooth.
    • Pour the melted chocolate into the baking dish over the peanut butter layer and smooth it out with a spatula or spoon.
  • Sprinkle the top with a bit of flaky sea salt, then cover and put dish into the fridge (or freezer) to chill until set.

When chewy peanut butter bars have cooled completely and firmed, lift out by grabbing sides of parchment. Lay flat on counter and use sharp knife to cut into 24 equal pieces. Leftovers should be kept in the fridge covered or wrapped in plastic wrap.

Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars No Bake

The Famous School Cafeteria Peanut Butter Bars Recipe

That is right, NO preheating oven or baking of any kind required here. Just a mixer and fridge, best ever when it is already hot outside and you don’t want to bake your peanut butter cookie bars. A great one to make with your kiddos during the holidays for sure since they can basically do it all.

My teens will make these when I have a craving for something sweet, but don’t have the patience for a full on 1/2 sheet pan chocolate cake.

no bake peanut butter chocolate bars

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Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars

Chocolate lunch lady peanut butter bars are just as you remember from your childhood! NO bake dessert bars your kids can help you make.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword bars, chocolate, no bake, peanut butter, squares
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 260kcal
Author The Typical Mom

Equipment

  • 1 8×8 pan or 9×9

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Prepare a 9×9 square baking dish or line it with parchment paper hanging over the sides by about 2 inches so it doesn't stick. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the peanut butter, soft room temp. butter, and vanilla extract with a whisk attachment until smooth.
  • Beat in the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. The mixture should resemble a thick dough.
  • Turn the mixer off and transfer the peanut butter mixture to your prepared baking dish. Use a piece of wax or parchment on your hand to gently press the mixture into the bottom of the baking dish in an even layer.
  • Microwave the dark chocolate chips in a microwave bowl with coconut oil 20 seconds at a time, stirring between intervals, until melted and smooth. Pour the melted chocolate into the baking dish over the peanut butter layer and smooth it out with a spatula or spoon.
  • Sprinkle the top with a bit of flaky sea salt, then cover and put dish into the fridge to chill until set.
  • When firmed and set lift out by grabbing sides of parchment. Lay flat on counter and use sharp knife to cut into 24 equal pieces.

Video

Nutrition Facts
Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars
Amount Per Serving (1 oz)
Calories 260 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Trans Fat 0.2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 12mg4%
Sodium 110mg5%
Potassium 93mg3%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 23g26%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 151IU3%
Vitamin C 0.1mg0%
Calcium 27mg3%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating




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