Retro-style – but updated, Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars. Think doughy, buttery oatmeal cookie base, layered with creamy peanut butter, and sweet salted chocolate on top. All made with simple, wholesome ingredients: oats, pure maple syrup, natural peanut butter, and dark chocolate. They’re sweet, salty, heavy on the peanut butter, extra chocolatey, gluten-free, and butter-free. Every last bite is truly delicious.
When I think of February, I think Super Bowl Sunday, and then of course, Valentine’s Day. This year, we have the Olympics which makes things even more exciting. I’m sharing a couple appetizer recipes next week that will be great for viewing your favorite winter sport as well as the upcoming Super Bowl too. Lots of fun things this month!
For some reason, when I think of the Super Bowl, I always think of chocolate and peanut butter together. I’m sure it’s because I’m from Cleveland. Ohio is the Buckeye State, which means we all love our chocolate/peanutty sweets.
These bars are one of my favorite chocolate-peanut buttter combos yet. They’re somewhat inspired by my lunchroom peanut butter bars. But also by the Twix bars I shared a couple weeks ago. I took elements from both and incorporated them into this recipe.
What’s awesome is that they’re naturally gluten-free, butter-free, and have no added sugar other than pure maple syrup! We’re all loving the more wholesome desserts right now.
Start with the oatmeal cookie
I based this layer off of my mom’s oatmeal cookies, but made things less sweet. Just some oats, almond flour, and maple syrup with eggs and vanilla.
I also used coconut oil in place of vegetable oil, something I’ve been doing for years.
Then, just bake the cookies until set. They taste buttery and perfectly sweet, but with no butter or sugar!
The peanut butter layer
Simply just peanut butter, maple syrup, and coconut oil boiled together to thicken the mix. The secret to making this layer really delicious is to use a peanut butter with just peanuts and salt. Don’t use a no-stir peanut butter that contains oils and/or sugar. You just want a natural peanut butter. This will give you the best flavor and texture.
Pour the peanut butter layer over the oatmeal cookies, then freeze the bars. You only need them to freeze them for 30 or so minutes. This helps the peanut butter set up quickly.
When the peanut butter is chilled and stiff, pour some melted chocolate overtop to finish the layers up. My one piece of advice here is to slice the bars before the chocolate top becomes too hard. This will make the bars much easier to cut and prevents the peanutty filling from getting squished out.
The final review? Slightly chewy and crumbly on the bottom, with the creamiest peanutty filling – that’s perfect salted. The chocolate top adds a nice “crack” with every bite.
Delicious! And great for parties too since these can really feed a crowd!
Looking for easy party desserts? Here are a few ideas:
Lastly, if you make these Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
Servings: 24 bars
Calories Per Serving: 380 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9×13 inch baking dish with parchment paper. 2. To make the cookies: In a mixing bowl, beat together the oats, almond flour, baking soda, salt, coconut oil, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla. Fold in the chocolate chips/chunks. Press the dough into the prepared baking dish. Bake 22-25 minutes, until lightly golden. 3. To make the peanut butter mix: In a medium pot, mix 1 cup peanut butter, the maple syrup, and coconut oil. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook 2 minutes, then remove from the heat. Pour over the oatmeal cookies. Freeze 30 minutes, until firm. 4. Melt together the chocolate and 1/3 cup peanut butter in the microwave. Let cool 5 minutes and then spread the chocolate over the peanut butter mix. Return to the fridge to set, about 10 minutes, then slice. The chocolate will not be totally set, but slicing is easier this way. Keep in the fridge.