Friday, March 14, 2014

Peanut Butter & Chocolate!

Last night we had our older son over for dinner, and while planning the menu I remembered these delicious squares that I made for the kids many years ago. I rummaged through my boxes and file folders of recipes until I finally found the recipe. These were quite tasty with our after-dinner coffee.


CRUNCHY PEANUT BUTTER SQUARES

Cookies:

1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Glaze:

3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Drizzle:

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9x13” baking dish.

Cream butter, peanut butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; blend into creamed mixture. Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes. Remove pan to wire rack and cool slightly. For glaze, blend sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Spread over warm cookies. Cool. Melt chocolate chips and butter in microwave; drizzle over glaze. Cool completely, then cut into squares.

This recipe was in our local newspaper at least 25 years ago. (You'll notice I didn't get all fancy with the drizzle - just let it fall where it wanted to fall!)
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Monday is St. Patrick's Day - do you know its history? St. Patrick was born in Roman Britain, but was kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a 16-year-old slave. He escaped later, but returned and was credited with spreading Christianity throughout Ireland. He is believed to have died on March 17, 461.

St. Patrick's Day became a Roman Catholic feast day in either the 9th or 10th century, always celebrated on March 17. During the feast the restrictions of Lent were relaxed for one day only.

The first St. Patrick's Day parade was, however, held in New York City in 1762.

Corned Beef & Cabbage are not traditional Irish foods, but were invented here in the United States. The Irish immigrants wanted their traditional foods - mainly pork and potatoes - but they were both prohibitively expensive. So they settled for beef, which was plentiful and an American staple. Cabbage was less expensive than potatoes. The immigrants learned to make corned beef from Jewish immigrants, then combined it with cabbage for a tasty meal.

Did you know that the word "corn" in corned beef is actually an Old English word for a grain that still contains its seed? Those whole grains were used in the processing of the corned beef.

Whether Irish or American, that combination of flavorful beef and cabbage is delicious.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
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Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!

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