The more accurate name for these bars is actually honey roasted peanut butter chocolate chocolate chocolate oat bars.
Because these oatmeal bars are stuffed with chocolate. Three kinds of chocolate, actually. And peanut butter. Oh, the honey roasted peanut butter.
They’re awesome awesome awesome bars.
My grocery store has one of those big peanut butter makers topped by a huge hopper filled with honey roasted peanuts — my favorite nut, ever (sorry, almonds, you’re crunchy and tasty and healthy and super-duper awesome, but you’re not honey roasted peanuts). Sometimes the machine works, and sometimes it doesn’t (mostly not).
I’ve been wanting to bake peanut butter chocolate oat bars for a while now, and feeling might guilty about it. Spring is here, and I should be wanting to make dainty little granola bites, or something at least within walking distance of “healthy.” But, every weekend, I wheeled my cart past the machine on the way to the bulk bins for quinoa and sunflower seeds, and dreamed about mile-high oat bars full of savory-sweet honey roasted peanut butter and lots and lots and lots of melty chocolate.
One day, I decided to let chance decide the outcome: if the machine worked, I’d make the peanut butter chocolate oat bars I had been thinking about for weeks. If not, trail mix bites it is.
The honey roasted peanut machine gods were smiling that day, and I have the oatmeal bars of my dreams. Thick and substantial with oats, with a clean balance of savory peanut butter, rich chocolate, and a touch of espresso.
The bars came out of the oven so tender and chocolate melty, I couldn’t wait to slice into it. Ooey gooey chocolate fingerprints, everywhere.
Sooooo worth it.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup honey roasted peanut butter, creamy
- 1/2 brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9"x9" baking pan with parchment paper, leaving 1 inch overhang on two opposite ends to serve as handles.
- Combine the flour, oats, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
- Cream the butter, peanut butter, and sugars with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.
- Gradually add in the dry ingredients until just incorporated. The dough will be very stiff. Use a spatula to fold in about 3/4ths of the chocolate chips (by hand).
- Dump the dough into the prepared pan and press evenly until level. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the top and gently press into the dough.
- Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Rotate the pan after 10 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and use an offset metal spatula to smear the melted chocolate chips around the top. Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Check with a toothpick: inserted in the center, it should come out slightly moist with a few crumbs. If it needs more baking, tent with foil and bake another 5 minutes. Test again with the toothpick.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Use the parchment paper handles to gently lift the entire square from the pan and place on a rack to cool completely before slicing.