These bar cookies contain sweetened condensed milk, which I tend to be a little weary to use, as it can make things so sweet. I recall several bar cookies I made ages ago that came from a little magazine insert featuring sweetened condensed milk. While the recipes were good, they hurt your teeth to eat them because they were so sweet. I was hopeful that the other flavors in these bars would balance the sweetness.
I made the crumb base in the mixer, but the original recipe had you cut in the butter by hand. This usually just turns into a messy proposition, and it seems like the mixer does a more consistent job anyway. The peanut butter layer was a lot thicker than I was expecting, so it doesn’t spread as easily as I had hoped. That being said, these bars were quick to make. These bars are very good, with the peanut butter layer tasting like a peanut butter caramel. They are sweet, but not over the top.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars
1 cup flour
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup butter, room temperature, cubed
3/4 cup peanut butter
14- ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” x 13” pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large mixer bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda. Add the butter pieces and mix on medium until the mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1-1/2 cup of the crumbs. Press the remaining crumbs evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
In the same mixer bowl, combine the peanut butter, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla. Stir on medium until smooth. Spread the peanut butter mixture on top of the oat base.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the peanut butter layer, and then top with the remaining crumb mixture.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Allow the cookies to cool completely before cutting into bars.
Recipe from Cookies and Cups