People often ask me where I learned to cook. I really had to think about it at first since I can’t really pinpoint an exact point in my life where I became interested in all things culinary. I didn’t take a class, or watch a show, or read a book. I just…cooked. I always have. But as I reflect on my life and my past and all of the things that have made me into the person that I am, the answer to that question is crystal clear. I learned from my Mother. She wasn’t a chef or even a super fancy cook. She just made good food. And she made it often. Growing up in our house, meal times were consistent, treats were plentiful, and the kitchen was the heart of our home. We all gathered there and we all helped out (some more willingly than others, *cough* Drew…) My Mom always took time to include the “little helpers” even if it meant a less-than-perfect finished product. That’s a lesson I remind my perfectionist-self of often. For her, cooking wasn’t a dreaded obligation, it was a cherished opportunity. And constant exposure to that just led to a natural interest for me. My Mom created a lot of memories in our kitchen and it’s something I really try to do with my own kids. You don’t have to be a top chef to teach your children how to cook or how to appreciate good food. It’s all about the time!

Okay, therapy session over. I mention all of this because this is one of my Mom’s recipes and biting into one of these blissfully sweet bars is like taking a big chomp into my childhood. I don’t know how anyone can resist this flavor combo. We made these all the time growing up for summer pot-lucks, Christmas plates for neighbors, our weekly “Family Nights” and on lazy Sunday afternoons simply for the purpose of inhaling. As I made this batch to photograph, I made a special point to let my toddler grab a stool and help out and I smiled when he bent over and stuck his tongue directly on the icing I was about to snap a picture of. So what are you waiting for? Go whip up a batch and start making some memories with your own family!

 


Are you a PB fan?? Then you better try these too!

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38comments

  1. 1
    Britanie says:

    What a sweet post! These look yummy, the kids and I will have fun making these, thanks Sara.

  2. 2
    stephchows says:

    I think my first cooking memory was standing on a kitchen chair so I could reach the counter kneading pizza dough with my dad :)

  3. 3
    Ariana says:

    Those look so delicious that I'm going to make them today! Thanks for the recipe :)

  4. 4
    The Cooking Photographer says:

    Those look great and the shots are very good! I'll go vote for you.

    Laura

  5. 5
    the ungourmet says:

    How fun and yummy are these! :0)

  6. 6
    becca says:

    When I saw the title to this post, a million images filled my mind and I almost started to cry.
    For me, I remember Christmas time and family, a healthy Mom slapping Drew's hand away from the reserved dough saying "Stop eating that or there won't be enough to cover the top!" and then me sneaking a bite while she escorted him out of the kitchen.
    I also remember the rule that we couldn't give away the pieces on the outer edge of the pan, so we always got to eat the "crust." Good memories :)

  7. 7
    Maria says:

    You can't go wrong with PB and J!

  8. 8
    Rina the Mama Bear says:

    I picked up a vintage Sunbeam Mixmaster at the thrift store today (bartered it down to $10!!!) and christened it with THIS recipe!

    They are cooling right now – I used raspberry jam (I have a massive jar I'm trying to use up-the Daring Bakers challenge this month should help with that, too!). Halved the glaze and squeezed it on with a ziploc baggie rather than spreading it – I can't WAIT to try them!!!

    Thanks for this recipe – if it's alright I'd love to show it off on my blog in the next few days, with a link right back here of course!

  9. 9
    Jennifer says:

    classic combo but loving the bar idea!! yum!

  10. 10
    Malesa says:

    That was really cute and sweet to read. How sweet! The treats look tasty to boot also.

  11. 11
    The Keith Family says:

    Yum! I love PB and J and can't wait to try this recipe. Do you think I could use crunchy PB? I love your blog and have made a bunch of the recipes. So good and so easy! Thank you.

  12. 12
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Keith Fam- yes, you could definitely use chunky PB if you're a chunky kind of gal (well ya know, in terms of Peanut Butter ;)

  13. 13
    katiebear says:

    a friend of mine just told me about your blog and i tried this recipe first… amazing!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

  14. 14
    RecipeGirl says:

    Nice, kiddie-friendly recipe!

  15. 15
    Hannah says:

    This sounds like something my kids would LOVE!! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Can't wait to try it out!

  16. 16
    Shannon says:

    I will have to try this. Looks yummy and I LOVE PB! I haven't been able to access your blog the last few days from my favs because you were under the daily bite. So I had to google best bites and add you to my favs again. I hope others aren't having problems. Love your blog. You do a great job. and your pictures… Please… They are out of this world! I so need to take you up on your offer.

  17. 17
    Darci says:

    These look tasty for me and the kids. Voting – done! I love the food/cooking memories you shared about your childhood. I have a long way to go, but I hope to provide that for my kids too.

  18. 18
    Lori says:

    I learned from my mom too. You know, I'm not a fan of PB&J as a sandwich at all, but turn it into dessert and it sounds wonderful. :)

  19. 19
    Ingrid says:

    Both my mom and grandma cooked from their senses and preferred to do it alone especially my grandma. As i got older I could help with peeling potatoes or making a salad but that was about it.

    Your bars are going on my must try list.

    Btw, I made the snickerdoodle ice cream and blogged about it! Thanks for sharing.
    ~ingrid

  20. 20
    The Wifey says:

    So I know my mom won't ever comment on here but she made these for my family (and hubby) while I have been out of town and they all loved them and said they were DELISH.

    My husband seriously went out of his way to tell me about them. LOL, that's rare for him about treats.

  21. 21
    Kevin says:

    What a nice way to enjoy the pb&j combo!

  22. 22
    Liesl says:

    I think I seriously am addicted to Peanut Butter…I have tried something similar to this before and it was delious! I will have to try out your recipe with my homemade Strawberry Jam!

  23. 23
    x0xnotoriousx0x says:

    I'm going to be adventurous and try these with apple jam. :)

    I don't know why, but it's my absolute favorite!

  24. 24
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    I LOVE apples and peanut butter, so I bet they'd be great with apple jam! Let us know!

  25. 25
    Roadtripper8 says:

    Made these for Valentine's Day and they are divine!

  26. 26
    sassyrmg says:

    Ahhhhhh, PB&J. They look wonderful and I can't wait to make these bars. Of course, we already go through peanut butter and jelly at a rate that is frightening!

  27. 27
    Lydia says:

    Hi, this may seem very obvious to everyone but may I be sure about the ingredient…when it states "1T or 1t" or anything, does it mean "one teaspoon", thanks. I just tried your pizza dough and sauce and I have to proudly say that its THE BEST pizza I have made and my family love it, THANK YOU!

  28. 28
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Lydia,

    a capitol "T" always signifies tablepoon and a lowercase "t" is always teaspoon :)

  29. 29
    Coach Mama says:

    Hello,

    I'm new to your site, and PB&J Bars was the first recipe I tried. I took them to a party last night, and they were a huge success!

    Thank you for the recipe! I'll be sure to try some more. :)

  30. 30
    Eileen says:

    Oh, my — I'm totally making these as soon as I step away from the laptop! (I'll be using gluten-free flour, but I bet they'll be delicious!)

  31. 31
    Jenn says:

    So…. am trying to find some yummy dessert recipes that I can make and safely package for our camping trip in a week….. do these need to be kept refrigerated or will they do okay sitting in a camper?

    Thanks!

  32. 32
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Jenn, they'll be just fine sitting in a camper. Have fun!

  33. 33
    Esha says:

    Sara, do you think these would work with Grape Jelly?

  34. 34
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Esha, Yes, absolutely!

  35. 35
    Rebecca says:

    I just made these with my girls (5 & 3 1/2) and they are so delicious! Both girls were "ooh"-ing and "mmm"-ing and saying things like "Mom, these are SOOO good!" :) Thanks for the great recipe!

  36. 36
    Stacey says:

    What is the best way to store the bars? Thanks for the great recipe!

  37. 37
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Stacey, just pop them in an airtight container, either at room temp or in the fridge is fine.

  38. 38
    Kate says:

    These are my absolute FAVORITE bars EVER!! They never stick around more than an afternoon because if the kids don’t eat them all, I do.

    Curious, am I allowed to “Pin” this??

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