Q.: I have a co-worker who graduated from Sandusky High School and he keeps talking about their Blue Streak Bars. I’ve searched and searched but haven’t been able to find a recipe.
He says the Blue Streak Bars were awesome and I swear he drools a little whenever he talks about them. I’d love to surprise him with some to see if he says “Yep, that’s it!” when he tastes them. Could you help find the recipe?
— Angela Hensel,
A.: The Sandusky High School cafeteria must have been home to some of the best cooks in the nation. This is the second time I have gotten a request for one of the school’s recipes.
Luckily, the staff keeps thorough records. Faye Gast, cafeteria manager for Sandusky High School, had the recipe at her fingertips.
Blue Streak Bars, named after the school’s sports teams, are similar to a variety of no-bake peanut butter bars that were popular in school cafeterias in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. They were called Hollywood Squares in some schools. They are similar to the mixture used to make buckeye confections, so popular in Ohio, but recipes varied a bit from school to school. Some had the chocolate on top, but the Sandusky recipe calls for mixing it in with the peanut butter.
A 1965 graduate of Sandusky High School, Gast said she remembers eating the bars when she was in school. “They sure were good,” she said. Gast, who has been on staff for 30 years, made her fair share of the bars in the past, but the staff no longer makes them.
The bars were a way to use government commodities — peanut butter, peanuts and canned chocolate. The chocolate used in the bars is no longer available. Even if it was, it would be too expensive for the schools to buy and the decadent bars would be just too unhealthful for today’s menus, Gast said.
Finding a substitute for the canned chocolate may be tricky. The product was essentially a chocolate fudge. Sue Whitaker, food service director for Huron City Schools and a member of the Ohio Commodity Advisory Board, said hot fudge ice cream topping — thick from the jar — would probably be the best substitute.
The next hurdle was breaking the recipe down into a reasonable amount. The original recipe made about 22 pounds of batter, enough to fill three full sheet pans for about 300 bars.
This recipe will make a 9-by-13-inch pan, enough for about 15 to 24 bars, depending on how large you cut them.
BLUE STREAK BARS
1½ cups peanut butter
½ cup plus 1 tbsp. thick hot fudge topping
1½ cups finely chopped peanuts
1 lb. plus 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
½ cup cold water
2½ tbsp. butter, melted
Place peanut butter in a mixing bowl and beat well until fluffy. Add fudge, peanuts, sugar, water and melted butter and continue mixing until well combined.
Spread into a 9-by-13-inch pan and chill well for at least one hour.
Cut into squares and serve.
Makes 15 to 24 bars.
— Adapted from Sandusky High School cafeteria records
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