Delicious Peanut Butter Bars

photo 5 (1)The college I went to had these absolutely delicious peanut butter bars. Every single time they were offered as a dessert, I HAD to get one…or two (…or three). Not sure if it was the peanut butter bottom or the chocolate top but I was hooked. After I graduated college, I was devastated that I had to leave these delicious bars behind.

That is, until a few days ago when I decided to see if I could find the recipe online. Low and behold these bars are not as elusive as I thought they’d be – it was the first recipe after googling “peanut butter bars.” They looked easy enough, so I decided to make them as my first non-box-mix attempt.

The first problem I ran into was when I was purchasing my ingredients. I had no idea what confectioners’ sugar was or how it was different from normal sugar. Luckily I quickly learned from a roommate that confectioners’ sugar is another name for powdered sugar. Why not just say powdered sugar in the recipe? Life would be so much easier if ingredients only had one name.

photo 1 (2)photo 2 (3)The second problem concerned the graham crackers. The recipe calls for graham cracker crumbs, so on my first attempt I tried to break up the graham crackers using a spatula (see picture on the left). But then I quickly realized that breaking graham crackers up with a spatula is super messy. More crumbs ended up on the floor than in my little pile of cracker crumbs. It’s also very time consuming.

Then I had the brilliant idea of putting the graham crackers in the bag they came in and breaking them up with my hands (see picture on the right). Not only was this way not messy but it was faster than using the spatula. See, this is what they should tell you in recipes – kind of like the Half-Blood Prince notes (but seriously, how did Harry not know that was Snape’s handwriting?)

photo 4 (1)You may be thinking to yourself, there’s no way you could have a problem with the rest of the recipe. That is where you would be wrong my friend. This recipe calls for melting the chocolate in the microwave or in a metal bowl over simmering water. Didn’t have a microwave, since a former roommate took hers when she moved out, and didn’t own a metal bowl. So I did what any normal person would do – I just heated the chocolate on low heat and hoped it would turn out correctly. Which it did!

After placing these bars in the fridge for the allotted time, I tried one. I must say they passed the taste test. They tasted exactly like the ones at my college. I would recommend keeping them in the fridge if you aren’t serving them right away, since they taste better when cold. Room temperature makes them softer and melty.

If you’re looking for a simple delicious recipe, look no further. Peanut butter bars are the way to go.

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Lacking the Cooking Gene

I finally learned how to cook pasta for the first time last week.

….I’m 23 years old.

It wasn’t for a lack of trying on my parents and friends part. I’ve been taught how to make pasta more times than I care to count. I just couldn’t grasp how long the water should boil and when I should put the pasta in. This basically translates into everything that requires a recipe for me.

I’m a pretty smart person but cooking just seems to elude me. I’ve accidentally put a tablespoon of salt in chex mix instead of a teaspoon. I’ve put hot peppers instead of red peppers in a recipe. And of course, I’ve burned a lot of pizza and cookies throughout my life. I can barely make a sandwich without some mishap happening.

And recipes can be so confusing. What’s dicing? How am I supposed to mince something? What are florets? These are the things they should really be teaching in college!

But as someone who is on their own for the first time, without a roommate who will cook her pasta (thanks Rachael!), I figured it was finally time I expanded my horizons.

It’s time to learn how to cook something other than microwavable meals.

Join me on my journey as I learn the insiders guide to cooking terminology and how to make something other than sandwiches and pasta.