Today was a really warm day.  Isaac’s friend, Sean, came over after school and Isaac had mentioned that he wanted to do a lemonade stand after school that day. This meant that I had to bake.  This particular day was a very busy day and I really didn’t have that much time to create.  

I realized at 2:15 (picking the boys up at 2:45)  that I had done nothing in the baking department.  Which meant I was not organized.  I had to do something quick and when I need something quick, I pull out The Cake Doctor Cookbook.  For those of you that are not familiar with this book, it is a great resource in a pinch. It’s premise is that you take a basic boxed cake or brownie mix and “doctor it up”.  Most of the recipes are decent, however they are on the “very” sweet side.
I raced through the book and found something that would allow me to use ingredients that I had on hand.
I made the Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars.  I actually had a box of cake mix in the pantry (the recipe called for a yellow cake mix, but I had a white and no one seemed to complain) and a brand new jar of smooth peanut butter.
I put the bars in the oven prior to getting the kids at school and by the time we were home and in the house, the timer went off.  I removed them from the oven and put them on a wire rack to cool.  
While the bars cooled, I cleaned the kitchen and made the lemonade.  The kids cleaned the lemonade stand and set up shop outside.  I used to have a high-end children’s furniture company that I started in 1989. The company was called Little Folk Art.  I still dabble a little in it, but with the kids and lots of other distractions, it became difficult for me to balance everything.  
I made the lemonade stand for Eli and Isaac back in 2002.  I guess I should add Levi’s name to the sign on the front of the stand!  He already gets the shaft being the third, don’t want him to feel like he can’t profit from this little entrepreneurial endeavor.
The lemonade stand was a hit.  The kids spent some time outside and made a little bit of money to put in their piggy bank!



1 package plain yellow cake mix
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 stick of butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 12oz. package semisweet chips
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
Tbsp. butter
1 cup unsweetened grated coconut
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
2 tsp. vanilla


1. Place cake mix, peanut butter, melted butter and eggs in bowl of mixer.  Blend.  Scrape down sides of bowl and continue to mix.  Reserve 1 1/2 cups for the topping.  Transfer the remaining crust mixture to the pan.  Using your fingertips, press the crust evenly over the bottom oft he pan.  Set aside
2. For the filling, place the chocolate, condensed milk, and 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy sauce pan over low heat.  Stir until melted.  Remove the pan from the heat an add coconut, pecans and vanilla.  Pour over the crust and spread evenly.  Crumble the reserved crust over the chocolate.  Place pan in the oven
3. Bake until light brown, 20-25 minutes.  Remove and let cool on rack.
4. Cut into bars.
You can modify.  Sometimes I add almonds and cherries.  I was going to add my candied orange peels, but I didn’t think that would fly with the kids.

The Urban Baker / SusanSalzman.com

Showing 2 comments
  • annie56

    oh these brought back memories of my mother. she used to make these – and called them fudge-nut bars – and send them in care packages to me in college…i would hide them so my roomates couldnt eat them.

  • Anonymous

    Sean loved the lemonade stand and the peanut butter chocolate bars! Thanks for the delicious treats. I didn’t know they were so easy to make. 🙂 Ella (Sean’s mom)

Leave a Comment