Friday, May 2, 2008

More Great Grandma Stuff

A little over a year ago my Grandma Wilson passed away. I've been thinking a lot about her and the meaningful influence she was on my life. There are many memories that I treasure: staying overnight at her house, shopping, riding the bus (she didn't drive so it was always a fun novelty for me to ride the bus around Salt Lake City), ZCMI, BYU sports, and so much more.

But visiting grandma usually involved some sort of food. She was always wanting to cook for us. And she was an amazing cook. She even typed (yes--typed--with this antique thing they call a typewriter) many of her favorite recipes and put them in a binder and gave them to me when I got married. So, for today, I thought I would dedicate this blog to Grandma Wilson and her Peanut Butter Fingers. I know many of you have this recipe or versions of it, but it is my most requested recipe by far and I owe it all to Grandma.

Peanut Butter Fingers

1/2 cup butter (softened)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
1 cup quick oats

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

topping: 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and 3-4 Tbsp. evaporated milk. Mix together until there are no lumps.

Cream together butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Add peanut butter, egg, and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Mix in baking soda, salt, and flour. Stir in oats. Spread in a 9 x 13" greased pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (DO NOT OVERBAKE! This is the kiss of death for Peanut Butter Fingers resulting in what could be described as Peanut Butter flavored Concrete Fingers. Watch them closely and remove from oven when the edges are golden brown.) Remove from oven and immediately top with chocolate chips. Wait five minutes. Spread now melted chocolate over the surface of the crust. Spread topping over the chocolate. Cool for as long as you can stand it. Cut these babies into FINGERS. Not bars. Not squares. FINGERS. Enjoy! Note: Keep a glass of milk close by. Also, if you think you'll have one now and maybe another one later on, think again. You'll go back later and they will all be gone. Trust me.


Haven taking a big bite.

Bentley and Haven stuffing their faces with a big 'ole glass of milk standing by.

I think Ryder is Peanut Butter Finger drunk, by the looks of it.

To me Tanner's face is saying, "May I please have a Peanut Butter Finger?"

This was on one of my visits to Grandma's house. Yes. I am cheesing it up in front of The Big Flood of '83, which I'm sure, for many, was no laughing matter. And yes, that is a pink satin jacket I'm sporting. And to further excite your envy, there was a glittery roller skate on the back.

Grandma was also famous for her photos on the couch with the lovely Breakers at Twilight by Robert Wood in the background. I can't tell you how many photos for which that painting provides the background. How about a sampling?

Matt, Natalie, me, Dad, Erik, and Ryan

Steph, me, Christian, and Wendy when we stayed the night at Grandma's house before attending General Conference the next morning.

Ryan, me, Natalie, Eric, and Erik.

Ryan, Sage, Eric, Maren, Natalie, Savannah, and me.

Eric, Savannah, me, and Sage.

Sage, Maren, Savannah, and Natalie. (Nice overalls, girls. I don't think that was planned.)

Grandma was probably not the best photographer, but we were not always the easiest subjects. But you know what is really difficult? Getting a picture of grandma. I found some not-so-great ones and several like this:

That is Grandma! Next to a screaming Savannah, a perplexed-looking Maren and holding a fairly agreeable Sage.

We miss you grandma!


Natalie said...

What a great post! Gotta love Grandma Wilson. I miss her. We made some good memories when we went to visit. I always go back to the time we went and she served that jello salad that contained lettuce, carrots, cucumbers and pineapple topped with a dollop of miracle whip. I can see you stuffing bites into Sage's (whoe was like 1 at the time) mouth when grandma had her back turned. I seriously had no idea that peanut butter finger recipe was from her.
Those have to be the tasiest things around. No matter how many times I make them they never taste like yours. You are the peanut butter finger pro.
Thanks for posting those pictures. They are fun to look at and bring back a lot of memories. Your shiny hot pink jacket rocks, by the way.

Aivaz Family said...

Everything about that post was awesome. Your jacket, Nats overalls, the peanut butter fingers, and your cute grandma.

Linda said...

Nice post Jenn! She was a great cook! I want one of those peanut butter fingers right now! That was mean to put a picture of them! There are a lot of versions of this recipe but I agree with you, her recipe is the best I've ever had. Made a lot of those in my day!!! She was a wonderful lady and grandmother!

Linda said...

You did look so cute in that jacket! You loved it!!! Those were the days!

Love you

Jenn E said...

Okay, Natalie. If you are going to describe Grandma's "Garden Salad" you have to do it correctly. There were no carrots, and you left out the onions. It was GREEN jello and the lettuce was not in the salad--the jello part was served on a bed of lettuce. And it was not Miracle Whip but a dollop of Mayonnaise. And Sage was at least two years old and she liked it.

But thank you for appreciating my peanut butter fingers. You're a sweetheart. I'm sorry I didn't hand that jacket down to you. Forgive me?

Jana said...

What a touching post! You inspire me to contemplate more and more! Thank you! I loved it all.

I'm gonna try the PB fingers! and I too remember the flood of '83. My Dad still has shirts from the sandbagging crew he was on, and our back yard sandbox was the recipient of many of the left over sand bags when the flood was over. Ahhhh... the memories!

Hacking it up said...

I totally remember that trip! Your Grandma was so sweet! I'll bet you miss her lots!!

Love all the photos in front of the picture....

Hacking it up said...

OH yeah!---and I still have that recipe for the peanut butter bars from when you gave it to me!...we used to make those all of the time!...They're the BEST!

Anonymous said...


I remember that jacket and smiled at a lot of the pictures-can't wait to try the peanut butter fingers........Grandma's are the best!!

~Jenn in IDaho

Becky said...

Loved the pictures in front of "the picture".

Jaime Stephens said...

That post was great, I am glad to finally have a peanut butter bar recipe those things are so good! Those pictures are awesome! The overalls are great haha

Bridget said...

Absolutely love your writing style, Jennifer. You crack me up. Example:(DO NOT OVERBAKE! This is the kiss of death for Peanut Butter Fingers resulting in what could be described as Peanut Butter flavored Concrete Fingers. Hilarious!

I am excited to try them out.

Also, love the walk down memory lane. We must be about the same age because I totally remember that flood in 83 and the kind of jacket you are wearing! I was born in 1967. How about you?

Bridget said...

Wait, looked at your picture again and you look in junior high in 83. I was in high school at the time. Hmmm.

Jenn E said...

Bridget - I was born in 71. So yes, I was in Jr. High. That jacket was a classic. I believe I saved my own money to buy it at Grand Central. And then I was torn between the hot pink or the turquoise blue. Those were the days.