This is a recipe that combines a bit of everything we love: they are extremely easy to make, very kid-friendly, have oats for a touch of healthiness and the magic combination that is peanut butter and chocolate. A great snack!
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, things being hectic as they are nowadays, I love to find one-bowl recipes that make life easier and baking so much fun. There is something about dumping all ingredients into 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.
During those times is when these chocolate peanut butter oat bars come into play.
Type of peanut butter
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.
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.
This adds a layer of soft, deep chocolate flavor and I think it's essential for the overall flavor. Of course you can omit it, but it complements the oat bars really well.
What type of chocolate can you use? I love semi-sweet, but milk chocolate is an option if you like sweeter than average snacks. Or a mix of both. Your choice.
Type of oats
There are 2 types of oats widely available: instant and traditional.
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.
Instant oats have less consistency and are more powdery. I like them for instant breakfast bowls or crumbles.
Dulce de leche instead of peanut butter can be used.
The bars will be sweeter and the flavor different. If you never tried chocolate and dulce de leche together you're in for a real treat!
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You'll love these No-bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars! They're extremely easy to make, kid-friendly and have that magic combination that is peanut butter and chocolate.
- ¾ cup (70g) traditional oats
- Large pinch of salt
- 1 cup ground plain chocolate cookies
- ⅔ cup (80g) confectioners sugar
- 5.5 oz semi-sweet chocolate (chopped, divided)
- ¾ cup (220g) regular peanut butter
- 6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, divided
- 3 tablespoons cream (heavy or double)
- Sprinkles for decoration, optional
- 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. I use the microwave.
- Add oats, salt, cookies, sugar and HALF the chopped chocolate to the peanut butter mixture.
- 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 and the oats absorb liquid and become chewier.
- When you’re ready to cut the bars take the whole thing from the pan and transfer to a board.
- In a bowl heat the cream with the chocolate until melted and smooth. I do it in the microwave in 10-second spurts, whisking well each time and making sure I don't scorch the chocolate.
- 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.
- Keep leftovers refrigerated, well wrapped.
- Substitution: you can replace the peanut butter for same amount of dulce de leche or almond butter.
- Ganache: use milk chocolate if you like a sweeter bar or a mix of milk and semisweet.
- Freezing: you can freeze it for a few weeks, well wrapped.
Keywords: no-bake oat bars, chocolate oat bars
Adapted from Martha Stewart