I bet you’ll love these chocolate peanut butter bars because they are extremely easy to make, kid-friendly and have that magic combination that is peanut butter and chocolate.
The idea of a no-bake snack that combines so many delicious ingredients caught my eye immediately. I’m pretty much old school when it comes to baking, in that I take the time to make perfect dough from scratch, pastries or my own bread. I rarely use the microwave and still melt chocolate over water. As I say, old school.
But, being things hectic as they are nowadays, I love to find #onebowl recipes that make life easier and baking so much fun. There is something about dumping all ingredients in a bowl and not using the oven, right? It’s still baking and I still love it!
When the weather gets hot turning on the oven can be a deal breaker. Or when you have a bunch of hungry people claiming a snack. A no-bake treat as good as this one will make you, and everyone else, happy.
At those times, in come these chocolate peanut butter oat bars.
They do solve a problem on many fronts: very easy to put together, a real crowd pleaser, keep well in the fridge and are a great addition to a picnic basket or as a television snack.
What type of peanut butter is better?
You can use any type, but there are some considerations to take into account.
Though I’m a big fan of natural products, the regular commercial peanut butter, such as Jiffy, works better.
If you use the natural type you might need to add some extra oats since it can sometimes be more liquid. Or you can use less amount of it, peanut butter that is.
Either way, it will be delicious.
The idea is to make the bars firm enough to cut easily and not make a mess while eating them.
I also use dulce de leche instead of peanut butter, but then, I live in Argentina where it is available everywhere. And I’m a huge fan, a fact very well documented in the recipe index of this blog.
If you live in the US you can easily buy it online.
Another ingredient in this recipe is ground cookies.
They add a lot of crunchiness and a particular flavor since any type of plain cookie can be used. I do love chocolate ones – who doesn’t – but they are great with vanilla or coconut cookies too. Or go wild and use gingersnaps or whatever suits your imagination.
What type of oats is best for baking?
There are 3 types of oats widely available: instant, traditional and steel cut.
I find traditional to be the best all-around type for baking almost anything, from cookies to these peanut butter oat bars – or their baked counterparts, the chocolate walnut oat bars – to dinner rolls.
Steel cut oats are coarser and take longer to bake. I love it for the best granola ever, because it has more bite.
Instant oats have less consistency and are more powdery. I like them for instant breakfast bowls or crumbles.
Easy to make, no oven required. You can substitute the peanut butter for another similar spread, such as dulce de leche or almond butter.
They are perfect to make with kids.
- 3/4 cup 70g traditional oats
- Large pinch of salt
- 1 cup ground plain chocolate cookies
- 2/3 cup 80g confectioners sugar
- 5.5 oz semi-sweet chocolate (chopped, divided)
- 3/4 cup 220g regular peanut butter
- 6 tablespoons 85g unsalted butter, divided
- 3 tablespoons cream
- Sprinkles for decoration
- Have ready a buttered or sprayed 8-inch square pan lined with parchment paper.
- Heat peanut butter and butter until you can mix them together.
- Add oats, salt, cookies, sugar and HALF the chopped chocolate.
- Mix well with spatula or wooden spoon until no dry parts remain. It might take a few minutes.
- The dough will be shiny and dark.
- Put it in the prepared pan covering it as even and as smooth as possible.
- You might aid yourself with the back of a spoon that is lightly dipped in water.
- Refrigerate for several hours until it solidifies. You can speed this process by putting it in the freezer, but make sure it doesn’t freeze completely.
- When you’re ready to cut it, take the whole bar from the pan, and heat the cream with the chocolate until melted and smoothe.
- Pour it over the bars. You can spread it with a spatula, or use a piping bag or fork to make a pattern.
- Sprinkle some confetti over it if desired.
- Category: Snack
- Cuisine: American
Adapted from Martha Stewart