Creamy, dreamy, peanut-y, chocolate-y nomness. That’s the words that come to mind when I think of these No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Bars.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a SERIOUS peanut butter kick lately. And these bars, they are exactly the kind of treat that I cannot be trusted anywhere near when that happens!
Good thing I’d made them with the very specific intent of bringing them to the tattoo parlor when I went in for the third session of my Cinderella sleeve project. Whenever I go in for long sessions like that, I like to bring little picker-uppers with me, little feel-good treats, you know, just to help my body forgive and forget about all that pain I’m putting it through.
And well, the artists at the parlor, they’ve sort of gotten used to my bringing them treats, too. I wouldn’t even dream of walking in empty handed anymore… I’ve a reputation to preserve, you know!
So anyway, these bars, they’re just perfect for that purpose. First, they’re absolutely crazy delicious. I mean, seriously! People will go totally ga-ga for them, I swear. They’re suuuuper creamy and crunchy all at once, and they totally explode with intense peanut butter and chocolate flavor! If you’re a lover of that peanut butter chocolate combo, then you’ll probably want to wed one of these bars… or the whole batch!
The best thing about them, though, is that they are extremely quick and totally fuss-free to make. All you need are a few bowls, and a suitable baking dish. You don’t even need to use the oven, or the stove-top for that matter.
In fact, the hardest part about making these bars is waiting for them to set…
THAT, just seems to take forever!
Can you get a sense of how creamy these are? And how delicious?
Just admit it, you’re dying to sink your teeth into one right now, aren’t you?
Well, if you get started right away, this could very well happen in just a little bit over 4 hours. I know, that’s a long time to wait, but I’m sure you can do it…
Step-by-step instructions with pictures immediately follow recipe
- 1-1/2 cups (360g | 12.7oz) butter
- 1 cup packed (200g | 7.1oz) light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (120g | 4.2oz) creamy peanut butter
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract (store-bought or homemade)
- 4-1/2 cups (425g | 15.1oz) rolled oats
- 1/2 cup (75g | 2.6oz) finely roasted peanuts
- 1/2 tsp salt (I use Himalayan salt)
- 2-1/2 cups (375g | 13.2oz) finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate
- 2 cups (480g | 16.9oz) creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup (75g | 2.6oz) finely chopped roasted peanuts
- Grease and line a 9" x 13" baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a bit of an overhang on both long sides for easy removal of the finished bars; set aside.
- Make the top and bottom layers: In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, creamy peanut butter and vanilla extract. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, mix until well combined and return to the microwave for 2 more minutes, or until the sugar is completely melted.
- Add the rolled oats, chopped peanuts and salt, mix well and return to the microwave. Cook on high for 4 minutes; the mixture should boil when you take it out. Alternatively, you could cook that mixture from start to finish on the stovetop, in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Pour half of the hot oat mixture in the prepared pan, spread evenly and press down firmly with a rubber spatula. Set aside.
- Make the peanut butter filling: In a clean bowl, combine the chopped chocolate and peanut butter. Melt in the microwave for 1 minute, stir well for at least 30 seconds, then return to the microwave for another 30 seconds and stir well for 30 more seconds. If there are still lumps remaining after that, return the the microwave for 30 more seconds and repeat as many times as necessary for the mixture to be completely smooth and silky.
- Reserve about 1/4 cup of that chocolate mixture and stir the chopped peanuts into the rest of it. Pour over the reserved crust, spread it evenly all the way to the edge and then top with the remaining oat mixture, dropping it delicately by the spoonful.
- Drizzle with the reserved chocolate mixture and send to the refrigerator until completely set, at least 4 hours.
- Cut into bars and serve.
- Keep in a cool dry place, in an airtight container, for up to a week. The finished bars can also be frozen for up to several months. Simply thaw and serve, they'll be as good as new!
STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS & PICTURES
Then, in a large bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, creamy peanut butter and vanilla extract; microwave on high for 3 minutes.
Mix until well combined and return the mixture to the microwave for 2 more minutes, to finish melting the sugar.
Throw in the rolled oats, chopped peanuts and salt. Mix well and return to the microwave. Cook on high for 4 minutes —the mixture should be boiling when you take it out of the microwave
Alternatively, if you preferred not to use the microwave so much, you could make the oat mixture on the stovetop. Simply melt the the butter, brown sugar, peanut butter and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook until the sugar is completely dissolved, then throw in the oats, peanuts and salt and boil for 4 minutes.
Pour half of the hot oat mixture into the prepared pan, spread it evenly and press down firmly with a rubber spatula. Set aside.
Now to make the peanut butter filling: in a clean bowl, combine the chopped chocolate and creamy peanut butter.
Melt in the microwave for 1 minute, stir well for at least 30 seconds, then return to the microwave for another 30 seconds and stir well for 30 more seconds. If there are still lumps remaining after that, return the the microwave for 30 more seconds then stir, and repeat as many times as necessary for the mixture to be completely smooth and silky.
Reserve about 1/4 cup of that chocolate mixture to drizzle over the bars later.
Stir the chopped peanuts into the rest of the peanut butter chocolate mixture.
Let’s drool for a few seconds over this gratuitous shot of a delicious, mouth-watering bowl of melted peanut butter and chocolate, filled with tiny little morsels of crunchy roasted peanuts.
Oh! I want to dive right in, mouth wide open. How I love this peanut butter / chocolate combo!
But let’s put our attention back on our cooking now, shall we? Pour that dreamy peanut chocolate mixture over the reserved crust and then spread it evenly all the way to the edge.
Now top with the remaining oat mixture, dropping the mixture very delicately by the spoonful. It will sort of sink into the melted chocolate, that’s very much okay. Both layers will more or less blend and become one, you’ll see — it’s a beautiful thing!
Finally, drizzle the reserved melted chocolate mixture all over the top of the bars. No need to be super fancy about it… a fork or spoon will do just fine.
Just go liberally and in any direction you feel like; this is not exact science.
That’s it! You’re done. And now, for the hardest part: the wait!!!
Send the bars to the refrigerator until they’re completely set, at least 4 hours.
Have 4 hours already elapsed? Really? Okay then, I believe you. Time to cut your bars and ENJOY!!
I chose to cut mine into 24 bars, because I thought it was a very good size, but you could choose to do more or less, you know. That is entirely up to you.
Kept in an airtight container in a cool dry place, very far from your eyes like way in the back of the pantry, on the upper most shelf, one that requires you to climb on a chair in order to reach, these bars will keep for up to a week.
The finished bars can also be frozen for up to several months. If you manage to forget about their existence, that is…
When you are ready to indulge, simply thaw for 3-4 hours at room temperature and serve: they’ll be as good as new!