Saturday, September 24, 2005

The Infamous Fred Bars

My mom is a fabulous baker. In fact, I'm sure many of my high school friends liked me so well because of my mom's baking skills. We had homemade cookies at least once a week. And her pie crust . . . ahh, it is the best. Her most famous, or infamous, dish has to be the Fred Bars, named after one of her high school boyfriends who loved these things. Even though Fred is long gone, the name has stuck. We've tried to change it to Dave Bars (after my dad) and now I should call them Stu Bars, but it just doesn't fit. They will always be Fred Bars. (The 'real' name is Peanut Butter Fingers, but you should really put at the top of your recipe card:  Sheila's Mom's Fred Bars.) I am reading this recipe from a card that my mom wrote - one of the best gifts I've ever recieved. She hand wrote all our favorite recipes and gave my sister and I each a recipe card box full when we got married. I refer to them all the time. I love that she wrote them all by hand. I can see her, sitting at the round table in her kitchen, drink of water close at hand. Thank you, Mom. I love you.

And one more thing. If you like more of a cookie form, you must try the Nestle Old-fashioned Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are quite wonderful. I just made some this last week. Very tasty.

Sheila's Mom's Fred Bars

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream together:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
Add to that:
1 egg
1/3 cup peanut butter

1/2 tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Stir in:
1 cup flour
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
Spread in greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until the edges start to brown. Do not overbake! Sprinkle bars with 1 cup of chocolate chips. Return to oven (that is turned OFF) for 2-3 minutes to soften chocolate chips. In a small bowl, combine:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
2-4 Tbsp. evaporated milk (I always use regular milk and it comes out fine)
Spread softened chocolate chips over bars. Drizzle with peanut butter mixture.* Cool; cut into bars. Makes 4 dozen.

Recipe by Sheila at musings of a
*You can use a knife to make a marbled swirl pattern (my mom's style) or you can drizzle straight lines of the peanut butter sauce and then run a knife through them (up, then down, then up, etc) to make a pattern. Or, make up your own style and name them after your special someone :) If you end up under-baking them and they fall apart, serve them with ice cream. Enjoy! (Sherry, these will definately win you mommy awards on difficult days. Stock up on chocolate chips and oats and always let them lick the bowl!)


Juliabohemian said...

couldn't I just pay you to make some?

Mom said...

Thanks Sheila for the compliments on my baking. I love you and I'm glad you liked the receipes and the Fred Bars. Love, Mom

alison said...

Um Yum!

Hey on using regular milk if I only have fat free is that OK? I was taught to not go under 2% with baking but as this is a topping I am hoping it will work.

Do tell please. I am hoping to make this with the kiddies today.

Sheila said...

Alison, Yes, I think fat free is ok, you may have to adjust the amount to get a creamy, spreadable consistency. It tastes richer with the evap.milk, but it's still plenty good with nonfat :) Hope your kids like them. Mine do! We always joke that they should be considered a breakfast bar, what with all those oats and peanut butter. Didn't work, though.

Sherry C said...

As I recall, we did often eat them as breakfast bars, back in the dorms.

We at those and the Monster Cookies for breakfast, a quick lunch between classes, dinner on the run, late night snacks and any other reason we could think of. Thanks, Mom!

alison said...

HALF a pan of Fred Bars is sitting on my counter.

They were really simple to make even with three helpers.

I am so glad you stipulated 48 bars because I wouldn't have cut them so small being a bar rookie. They need to be that small to keep one from inhaling half a pan without noticing. I allowed myself two bars and was satisfied. The children were also allowed 1 or 2. Paul sucked down the rest.

I am just proud we still have half a pan.


Thank you for the recipe.