I first made these oatmeal peanut butter bars about six years ago, and they were an instant hit at home and at parties and picnics. The rich flavor belies their simplicity—an oatmeal peanut butter cookie crust with chocolate chips sprinkled on top then drizzled with peanut butter glaze—and they always garner “ohs” and “ahs” when served to peanut butter and chocolate lovers. Because I’m trying to switch over to whole grains in all our baking, I’ve swapped out the all-purpose flour for whole wheat pastry flour, but you can use unbleached all-purpose flour if you cannot find whole wheat pastry flour in your area.
The dough is pretty sticky and will even cling to silicone spatulas, so I just wet my hands and press the dough into the pan with my fingers, and it doesn’t stick to me.
[Updated February 23, 2012.]
WHOLE WHEAT OATMEAL PEANUT BUTTER BARS WITH CHOCOLATE CHIPS
Makes about 35 bars.
13x9x2″ baking pan, greased
stand mixer with paddle attachment (or hand mixer and large bowl)
medium mixing bowl
small mixing bowl
8 tablespoons (1 stick/113 g) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (88 g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (55 g) packed brown sugar
1/3 cup (85 g) smooth peanut butter
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 cup (120 g) whole wheat pastry flour (or unbleached all-purpose flour)
1 cup (80 g) quick oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces (340 g) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup (65 g) confectioners sugar, sifted
1/4 cup (64 g) smooth peanut butter
2-4 tablespoons milk (depending on how thick you want the glaze)
1. Preheat oven to 350° F/175° C.
2. In the bowl of the stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Add the peanut butter and egg and mix until the peanut butter is thoroughly distributed.
3. In the medium bowl, stir together the whole wheat pastry flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix until fully combined.
4. Press the dough into the prepared baking pan with wet fingers. Bake in the preheated oven until golden, about 15 to 20 minutes.
5. GLAZE: While the dough bakes, mix together the powdered sugar, peanut butter, and milk in the small mixing bowl. Use enough milk to make a glaze with a drizzle consistency.
6. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips on top while the cookie base is still hot. The chocolate chips will start to melt and ooze all over the cookie. Drizzle the glaze all over the chocolate layer. Allow to cool before cutting into squares/bars.