This weekend our church had a potluck picnic to kick off the start of Vacation Bible School. I had told Blockette we would make rainbow jello. I got the idea from here. Of course the photo on the Do Better website looks better than mine by leaps and bounds. She probably didn't cut the jello up like a drunken mummy either. I was ready to blame it on Blockette if anyone asked.
Wonky slices aside, this turned out really cool. I love it when something winds up looking like it took some skill to produce when that is secretly not the case. Blockette loved how as the different layers were added, the jello changed from blue to green to black, and then when you cut into it...magically, the rainbow appeared.
I felt guilty just bringing jello to the potluck, so at the last minute I decided to make some peanut butter bars. Oh my goodness. They looked so horrible I nearly cried. (OK, so I did. I hate being a weepy girl!)
If that doesn't scream "HOT MESS" I don't know what does. I got the recipe from Katie Blair Designs. Go to that link. Does that look anything like what I posted? These were one disaster after another.
First, they would not set up. I had to cook them for 25 min before they looked done. At 12 minutes, the suggested baking time, they were still gooey and raw looking. Maybe this was because I used a glass pan? Or maybe the type of pb I used? Maybe that was how they were supposed to be. I just didn't think the bars would hold together in that doughy state once they were cut.
Anyhow, after 25 min in the oven they had poofed up and the edges began to brown. So I took them out of the oven and put the chocolate chips on so they could melt...just like the recipe says. The weight of the chocolate chips caused the middle to sink.
Then the chocolate would not harden. It was a cool day so I don't see why this was a problem. It should have set up after 2 hours. So I put the peanut butter glaze on while the chocolate was still gooey. Remember that the middle sank when I put the chocolate chips on? That indentation created a nice little swimming pool for the peanut butter glaze to settle in.
I was starting to run out of time so I popped the whole thing into the fridge. After about an hour the chocolate had set but the glaze was still tacky. Tacky was better than liquid goo though.
Mrblocko tried to reassure me that things wouldn't look so bad if we cut and plated the bars. I was sceptical though. Remember how I said I put the bars in the fridge to get the chocolate to set? Yeah, that made the chocolate hard as a rock. I had to have Mrblocko cut them with our biggest sharpest knife. The chocolate topping cracked completely away from the base on a few of the edge pieces. The swimming pool pieces held together much better.
Mrblocko and I tested the broken ones. I was so sure that with all the problems and ugliness they would be chucked right into the rubbage bin. OH HO! They were good! Really good. I plated them up and hoped for the best. Mrblocko was right, they didn't look quite as disgusting as they did in the pan.
In the end it didn't matter how they looked. There was a whole table full of desserts and these bars were one of the first things to go. Mrblocko said he overheard a few people complaining they were gone. He walked over to them and said, "My wife made those, weren't they delicious?" Wasn't that sweet? I think I'll keep him.
Peanut Butter Fingers from Katie Blair Designs
3/4 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
2/3 c. peanut butter
3/4 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. oatmeal
1 1/2 c. chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix butter, sugar, brown sugar, egg, peanut butter, soda, salt, vanilla, flour and oatmeal in mixing bowl. Spread in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of hot crust. Wait 10 minutes and spread the melted chocolate evenly over the top. Let cool; then drizzle or spread with topping.
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. peanut butter
2-4 T. milk
Blend these together and spread over bars. Cool and cut into squares.