As our families grew larger with kids getting married and having kids of their own, my brothers and I realized that our homes could no longer comfortably accommodate everyone. As we three siblings are the remaining members of our family (we’ve lost our dad, mom and one brother) we made the difficult decision to no longer get together on Christmas Day. We decided instead to spend an adults only evening experiencing some of the holiday events taking place in St. Louis. This has proven to be great fun and we’ve done such fun things as a carriage ride through the holiday lights at Winter Wonderland at Tillis Park and attending performances at the Stray Dog Theater in the Tower Grove East area of St. Louis. My one brother lives in City of St. Louis and knows great places to eat. We usually have dinner together, attend the show which is held in a refurbished Catholic Church and have dessert at the play. A couple weeks ago, I shared a recipe posted by Six Sisters Stuff of Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars and my brother responded that this recipe looked like a good dessert for our upcoming Stray Dog night, thus, the title, Stray Dog Dessert was born.
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups peanut butter (divided)
2 cups oatmeal (not quick)
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Cream first 3 ingredients together. Add the vanilla, eggs, and 1 cup peanut butter and combine. Add the remaining ingredients and mix together. Spread dough on a greased jelly roll pan (18x13x1″). Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (until golden brown). The bars will be soft when removed from the oven and while still hot drop the other 1 1/2 cups peanut butter on top the batter, wait a few minutes until the peanut butter begins to melt and then spread the peanut butter on top the batter. Let the bars cool so that the peanut butter has become solid again. Spread your favorite chocolate frosting (store-bought or homemade) on top and cut into bars.
1 stick (1/2 cup) margarine, softened
1/4 cup milk
1-2 tsp vanilla (depending on your taste)
3 Tablespoons cocoa (I have never really exactly measured)
2-3 cups of powdered sugar
Mix all ingredients with a hand mixer until smooth and spread on top of bars.
Here are some of the Christmas plays presented at Stray Dog over the last couple years: Santaland Diaries; William Gibson’s The Butterfingers Angel, Mary & Joseph, Herod the Nut and the Slaughter of 12 Hit Carols in a Pear Tree and The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical.