Raspberry Frangipane Bars

There is a MN Food Bloggers community that I am very privileged to be a part of, this month one of the women who founded this group hosted a gathering and bar bake-off contest. I was so excited to participate but then work obligations came up and two days before I had to withdraw.

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Childhood memories; Peanut Butter Bars

I was watching Masterchef Australia, they had to make something based on a happy childhood food memory.   I started thinking about all the things food wise that brings back memories for me.  I thought about the smell of my grandma making posole, and waking up to the smell in the house of it cooking overnight slowly for sunday breakfast.  I thought of the peanut butter bars with a layer of chocolate that they served during school lunches at my elementary.    Pumpkin pie, and how my grandmother would always make one extra pie for my uncle Jaime to take home after thanksgiving.   The seafood puffs my mom would make for Christmas Eve parties.    The first time I made my mom a filet minion in a shallot and red wine sauce.

Even the not so happy memories.  Like of the smell of raspberries, from the summer I got forced into taking a job picking raspberries as my summer job.  Worse experience ever, turned me off to raspberries for a very long time, I mean until a few months ago I could not even stand the smell.  And, even to this day, I cannot stand the taste of artificial cherry anything.  I tend to avoid red candy in fear it just -might- be cherry flavored, the smell alone brings me back to memories of some god awful cherry cough syrup I was forced to gag down when I was ill.

It is all kinds of things  can spark a memory, be it a smell, or just the image of that food to bring back memories.  I am going to share the sweeter side of one of my childhood food memories.  Please, feel free to post one of yours, include or do not include the recipe or a link to.  Entirely up to you, but I would love to hear some of yours, good or bad.

I decided to make the peanut butter bars, mostly because it was the only thing I had all the ingredients on hand for.   I have made them before and I strongly suggest omitting the butter if you are not using a reduced fat peanut butter.  Otherwise it doesn’t firm up appropriately.    Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Bars

  • 1 1/2 c Reduced Fat Peanut Butter
  • 3 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 c Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 3/4 c Frosting (powdered) Sugar
  • 3/4 c Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 tbsp butter

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all ingredients, minus the chips and the extra tbsp of butter.   Mix until well combined.   The mixture should be firm and hold its shape when formed into a ball when shaped.  Taste, if desired add more peanut butter or frosting sugar.

Turn into a 8×8″ square pan, press down and into the sides.

In a small metal bowl melt the chips and one tbsp of butter over a double boiler.  You can also melt in the microwave but i feel it tends to burn and make the chocolate get white spots when cooled.  Once the chocolate is melted pour over the peanut butter mixture and spread evenly over the top.  Refrigerate until cool about 30 minutes.  Cut into 12-16 bars.  Keep refrigerated in an air tight container.   Serve with a large glass of milk, these are very rich.