Pat Prager's Peanut Butter Bars Recipe (from Kitchen's of the Great Midwest)

It's no secret that I thoroughly enjoyed Kitchens of the Great Midwest (review here), and it has stuck with me for weeks.  There are so many reasons I keep thinking about this book, not the least of which are the recipes within.  Of all the magical sounding dishes, I think we all can agree (those that have read it) that Pat Prager's bars are the most approachable and universally appealing.  A recipe pulled from the cookbook of J. Ryan Stradal's (the author's) great grandmother, I just HAD to give them a go.

Just as it seems in the novel, they were really rather easy to put together.  I thought that the addition of graham cracker crumbs within the bar, rather than as a crust, was rather genius - and TASTY.  They are super rich, and I cut my servings into wee one inch squares.  Even a serving that small might make your teeth ache, but in the best, most nostalgic, 70s childhood way possible.

Mine also got a little crumbly, and I was a little worried when I poured the peanut butter mixture into the pan.
But I pressed the heck out of it before adding the melted chocolate layer.

I'm thinking I might have put a bit too much of those tasty graham crackers in the mixture.  I would also add more chocolate chips to melt on top, the next time around.  This, however, has not stopped my children from trying to eat them by the fist full!

This was a fun undertaking and now I'm sort of curious to try one of the other bar recipes from the book: Barb Ramstad's Kraft caramel bars...  For the time being, here's the blue ribbon winning recipe:

Pat Prager's Peanut Butter Bars

• 2½ cups crushed graham cracker crumbs

• 1 cup melted Grade A butter
• 1 cup peanut butter
• 2½ cups powdered sugar
• 1 cup milk chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon Grade A butter

Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, peanut butter and sugar. Pat into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Melt the chips and butter and spread them on top of the bars. Set in the refrigerator until firm. Cut into bars.


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