So anyway, as I wrote Sunday, Chinese cuisine isn’t as big on sweets and desserts as American and European cuisines are, but as I wrote yesterday, peanuts and peanut butter have been integrated into the cuisine, and are elements of American food you can easily find in Taiwan. Which is why one of the main things my first companion liked to make was this very easy bar cookie recipe called Peanut Butter Fingers. I must have been introduced to this recipe my first week in Taiwan.... and I must have made it dozen of times in the 70 or so weeks I was there. It’s not just that missionaries like it: most Chinese people who ate them thought they were pretty decent too.
A week or so ago, I was invited to a pot luck picnic, and I signed up to bring a dessert. I was going to make these no-bake cookies because they’re SO EASY, but then I remembered that one of my good friends pukes violently if he consumes tree nuts, and I find something distressing about serving food to people that makes them vomit. I thought about making these chocolate chocolate chip cookies, because they’re SO YUMMY, but they take a lot of time, and I didn’t have it.
And then I noticed this recipe for Peanut Butter Fingers, which I hadn’t made in ages. Luckily I had a jar of peanut butter--it’s not necessarily something I keep on hand--and it was that tenth time when peanut butter just sounded good to me, so I made them. And given that the pan was almost empty by the end of the picnic, I think they were a success.
So here, finally, is the recipe for Peanut Butter Fingers.
2/3 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 heaping tablespoons of high-quality peanut butter (in other words, just plain old ground up peanuts)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
2 cups oats
Spread evenly into lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Cook at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, depending on how done you like your cookies. (I like them kind of on the mushy side, but that makes the next step a bit tricky.) Remove them from the oven, then take
two more heaping teaspoons peanut butter
and drop evenly over the top of the cookies. Depending on whether you prefer milk or dark chocolate, get
either 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips OR 1 regular size plain chocolate bar, chopped or broken (something like a Hershey bar is what I used to use)
and distribute evenly over the cooked batter. Wait five minutes until chocolate is melted and the peanut butter is soft, then get a knife and GENTLY spread the stuff around until it’s marbly and pretty and covers the entire top of the cookies.
They’re especially good while they’re still warm.