Saturday, November 22, 2014

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

So... This afternoon I was looking for a dessert to make. I'm tired of the same old cookies and brownies I've been making. I knew I wanted to make something with peanut butter. We have this amazing honey roasted chunky peanut butter my mother found at a commissary sale. Makes great peanut butter toast, by the way. I also knew I wanted to make something with oats. As a breastfeeding mom, I try to incorporate oats into as many things as I can. Oats are great for lactation.

I follow a baking blog, www.sallysbakingaddiction,com. She has some AMAZING recipes, several of which are family favorites. I highly recommend this blog to anyone who loves to bake. Anyway, I decided to search her blog for inspiration, and I found it in her Healthy Peanut Butter Chunk Oatmeal Bars. Here's the link to Sally's recipe:
Of course, I had to play with the recipe just a little. After the baked, and cooled, enough to handle, I cut and tried one. I took one bite, and was completely in love! I gave a bite to my husband, and he loved them too.

Here's what I did:
First, I didn't have any brown sugar. What? That's right, not a grain of brown sugar in the house. So, I improvised and made my own. I took half a cup of white sugar and added about a tablespoon of dark molasses to the sugar. I mixed this until well incorporated.
Then I added a cup of Honey Roasted Peanut Butter. You read correctly. Honey Roasted Peanut Butter. Absolutely delicious! I creamed the peanut butter and sugar together until smooth. Then I added the vanilla and milk. I used whole milk because that's what I had in the fridge.
Then I mixed in the flour, oats, baking soda and salt. I did decrease the flour to half a cup and increased the oats to 1 1/2 cups. I also added a little more baking soda. Probably about 1/4 teaspoon more.
After I mixed all that until incorporated, I added in my chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. I'm not a fan of raisins, but I LOVE peanut butter. My husband and I are complete peanut butter freaks. Always have it in the house.
They did turn out a bit softer than I had anticipated, but that's ok. The texture is somewhere between a chewy granola bar and a chewy peanut butter cookie. Absolutely in love with these bars.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

1/2 cup brown sugar (I used 1/2 cup white sugar with a tablespoon of dark molasses. Great substitution)
1 cup Honey Roasted Peanut Butter (I used chunky)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour (I used regular AP flour because that's what I had)
1 1/2 cups oats
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk (I used whole milk)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8X8 inch baking pan, or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar and peanut butter until incorporated.
3. Add vanilla extract and milk.
4. Mix in flour, oats, baking soda and salt until incorporated.
5. Fold in chocolate chips and peanut butter chips.
6. Pour dough into baking pan and mush (technical term) until evenly distributed in pan.
7. Bake at 350 degrees fro 15-20 minutes.
8. Remove from oven and set pan on wire rack to cool completely. Cut into squares and enjoy!

These cookie bars are wonderfully delicious. I love them so much, I am going to make them to take to Thanksgiving!