Peanut butter oatmeal bars are one of my favorite easy dessert bars to make. They’re soft and chewy with a peanut butter layer and loaded with chocolate chips. They’re a great dessert to make for potlucks and parties and so easy that kids can make them, too!
This oatmeal bars recipe is one to have on hand whenever you need an easy dessert.
Chocolate chips, peanut butter and oatmeal? I could end the post right here because what other info do you need? These easy oatmeal chocolate chip cookie bars have pretty much all the things I love in a dessert bar: peanut butter and chocolate baked up in a soft and chewy oatmeal cookie bar.
They’re easy to make especially if you’re baking with kids. if you’ve ever baked with kids you already know easy recipes are best, right? I’ve had to learn that lesson a few times over the years – complicated baking and kids just don’t mix! These bars are so easy the kids can make a batch by themselves while I enjoy a cup of coffee and “supervise”.
Anyway, kid-friendly baking projects aside, these oatmeal chocolate chip bars are just a great recipe to have on hand for all of those last-minute dessert emergencies. You know, for those events that seem to pop up out of nowhere that you have to make something sweet for? Yep, these bars will save you. They’ve saved me on several occasions!
These oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip bars are sweet and soft, delicious and loaded with chocolate. Like I said – pretty much all the good things in one dessert.
Easy Chewy, Soft Oatmeal Bars
We’re making a soft and chewy oatmeal base for these cookie bars which is used as the crust and the topping. Sort of like an oatmeal sandwich cookie bar. The peanut butter and chocolate chips are sandwiched in between those two soft and chewy oatmeal layers.
The crust and topping are easy to make with a few simple ingredients:
- Quick oats
- Brown sugar
- Baking soda
- Softened butter
Just combine all five ingredients together in a bowl. I like to start with a mixer to combine them, but it is helpful to switch to your hands to get it fully mixed since it’s pretty crumbly.
Press all but two cups of the mixture (save some for the topping) into a 9×13-inch baking dish lined with foil that’s coated in cooking spray.
(This is an old recipe I updated – had to leave in these photos of Jordan from when she was 6!)
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Layer
After you get the oatmeal crust into the pan, top it with the peanut butter filling and chocolate chips:
- Combine sweetened condensed milk, peanut butter, and vanilla together in a bowl. Pour the mixture over the oatmeal crust and spread it into an even layer.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the peanut butter layer.
- You can also add nuts if you want – chop them up and spread them in an even layer on the chocolate chips.
Top the peanut butter and chocolate layer with the rest of the oatmeal mixture and pop it in a 350-degree oven. Bake the bars for 25 to 30 minutes.
The bars are done baking once they are browned around the edges, but the center will not look set. This is when you want to take them out of the oven! As the bars cool, they will fully set and then you can slice and serve them.
Can you substitute regular chocolate chips for mini chips?
Yes, you can substitute mini chocolate chips if that’s what you have on hand. Also, since we’re talking about chocolate chips, you can use semi-sweet, milk chocolate or dark chocolate chips in this recipe. Use your favorite kind.
What kind of nuts can I add?
If you want to add nuts – they do add a really great texture! – you have a few options. Obviously, chopped peanuts go perfectly with the theme. If you use lightly salted ones you will also get that great salty-sweet combo that’s so irresistible in desserts. You can try using chopped walnuts or even almonds. Or go crazy and do a combination of nuts!
How do you store Peanut Butter Oatmeal bars?
Once the bars are completely cooled slice them and store them in an airtight container. They will keep well at room temperature for two or three days.
Or, you can freeze the bars for up to three months. I like to separate the slices with wax paper and store them in a freezer-safe container or bag. To thaw, just leave them out at room temperature for a few hours.
The combination of oatmeal, peanut butter, and chocolate in these bars is so hard to resist! It’s like three favorite cookies rolled into one bar, so if you can decide between oatmeal, peanut butter, or chocolate chip cookies make these bars! Just be warned – these peanut butter oatmeal bars are so easy you’ll want to make the all the time!
Other delicious bar cookie recipes:
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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars
For the crust and topping:
- 2 1/4 cups quick oats
- 1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup butter , softened
For the filling:
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 12 ounces 1 package chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts , optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13” baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray.
- Combine all crust and topping ingredients in a large bowl. Mix with a hand mixer until crumbly (you may need to use your hands to finish this step). Reserve 2 cups of the mixture and press the rest into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Mix sweetened condensed milk, peanut butter, and vanilla in a small bowl with a hand mixer. Pour and spread over crust. Top evenly with chocolate chips and nuts if using. Press remaining crust mixture evenly over the top of the chocolate chips.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until it is brown around the edges. The center will not be set. Let completely cool before cutting into bars.
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
All text and images © DOROTHY KERN for Crazy for Crust. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be accurate.
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Published on: December 22, 2019