Chocolate and Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, December 9th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Like a granola bar, only better…
Blaise Doubman

I love a good granola bar! They are the perfect on the go snack and can taste pretty good for something that is supposed to be so healthy! I do have to say that some of my favorite granola bars are the ones dipped in dark chocolate, but dark chocolate is supposed to be good for us in moderation, right? I have tried several recipes for homemade granola bars and they always end up being too hard or too sticky. When developing this recipe, it started out to be something totally and underly different. It started out being a bar that contained raisins, cranberries and banana chips. It ended up being more of a dessert bar, more of a luxury than a necessity. Ha! I did leave the oatmeal but skipped out on the additional mix-ins. Instead I decided I would make a bar that was filled with something. Chocolate? No, even better, peanut butter!

The peanut butter filling in these bars really make the dessert what it is! The chocolate chips sprinkled along top really make a difference too because they add that extra punch to help you get through the thick and rich filling. I find that quick cooking oats work better than the old-fashioned variety because they soften up more and provide less chew. So, let us recap here a moment. These bars contain oatmeal, peanut butter and chocolate which are all basically health foods, right? Now, the butter and the sweetened condensed milk may be a stretch in some health-conscious circles but everything in moderation, including moderation, right? Make these on a Sunday evening and snack on them throughout the week! They are delicious!

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

These are best made ahead, wrapped and chilled in the refrigerator. Feel free to substitute the semi-sweet chocolate chips for milk, dark or white chips. Smooth peanut butter works best here over crunchy.

2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups white all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups quick cooking oats
½ cup smooth peanut butter
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine the melted butter, packed light brown sugar, pure vanilla extract, baking soda and salt until smooth and combined. Beat in the white all-purpose flour and quick cooking oats. Mixture needs to be combined thoroughly.

Reserve 1 ½ cups of the mixture and place into a separate bowl. Add semi-sweet chocolate chips to the mixture and stir until combined well.

Press in the remaining mixture into the prepared pan and smooth out evenly with clean hands. Bake in preheated oven 12 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl combine the smooth peanut butter and the sweetened condensed milk. Pour this evenly over the baked base. Do this step easy and carefully with a gentle hand.

Take the remaining mix containing the semi-sweet chocolate chips and sprinkle evenly over the top. Place back into preheated oven and bake 30 minutes more. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Wrap with aluminum foil and place into the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours.

When ready to serve remove from the refrigerator and cut into squares. Remove and serve.

Ask and Answer: I have been getting questions about where to find me on my newest social media links. I am on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat all under the username, btrailblaise Find and follow me for recipes, cookbook reviews, kitchen tips and tricks.