So. Much. FUN!

I can’t begin to tell you how much fun these bars were to make with my 4-year-old granddaughter! A week before she was to come for a visit, I said to her, “Sweetheart, would you like to look through this magazine and pick out a recipe we can bake together when you come to visit?”

The magazine was “Brownies & Bars” from Better Homes and Gardens. I had purchased it at the checkout stand at my grocery store. It is loaded with pictures, making it so easy for a little child to find a favorite! I asked my precious one to call me with the ingredients we would need so that I would have everything on hand for baking this special treat with her. She chose Peanut Butter-Strawberry Bars. I can’t say as I blame her.

Topped with slices of fresh ruby-red strawberries, I was attracted to this picture, too! And, what a perfect recipe to make for Spring with abundant amounts of fresh strawberries available. Try this recipe with your favorite little one. It’s for a great bonding experience!!!

¾ cup butter, softened
¾ cup peanut butter (we used smooth and creamy but chunky would be a great addition. Even using a new- to-the market peanut butter that has a unique combination of flavors would be super fun!)
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup strawberry jam
4 cups small strawberries, halved or quartered

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil. Set pan aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour.

Spread dough in the prepared baking pan. Bake about 25 minutes or until top is light brown and a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Using the edges of the foil, lift uncut bars out of pan. Carefully spread with jam/ top with strawberries. Cut into bars. Serve at once or chill for up to 6 hours. Makes 24 bars.

JUST A NOTE: I loved them the best after they had been refrigerated. Ohhhh, the peanut butter bar tasted just like peanut butter fudge! The fresh strawberries made a wonderful flavor addition to the peanut butter!

Miss NiNi