These peanut butter bars came from Beth’s sister-in-law, Margaret Ann Akins. She says her daughter Amanda requests them for her birthday instead of cake. Mama and Beth spent a weekend testing all kinds of brownies and bars, and they sent some to school with Beth’s children on Monday morning. When my mom drove the carpool that afternoon, she overheard my nine-year-old nephew, Bret, and his friends in the backseat discussing the cookbook. Bret spoke up and said to her, “Grammy, we have another two thumbs up for the Peanut Butter Bars!” If a nine-year-old says they’re good, what more do you need to know? They’re perfect for a picnic or a day at the lake.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 × 13 × 2-inch baking dish.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugars, and ½ cup peanut butter. Add the egg and vanilla. Sift the flour with the baking soda and the salt. Mix the oatmeal into the flour and stir the flour into the creamed mixture. Spread the batter in the baking pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the batter and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned around the edges.
Mix the confectioners’ sugar, remaining 4 tablespoons peanut butter, and milk. Blend until smooth, then spread over the warm Peanut Butter Bars.