I had a different recipe planned for today, using up some ingredients that I had on hand. Out of the blue my husband sent me a link to these bars, and he said that he was looking out for me since he didn’t want me to have to turn on the oven. I do appreciate that, but sometimes cooking a mixture on top of the stove is just as warm! I figured I could adapt this recipe and make it my own and avoid turning on the oven.
The original recipe for these bars was a combination of chocolate and oats, which is quite classic for a no-bake cookie. I’m not the biggest fan of uncooked oats, but these are cooked slightly on the stove so I thought that would be an improvement. I didn’t want to make another cookie with chocolate filling, as I seem to have made a lot of those lately, so I changed the milk chocolate chips to peanut butter chips. There was already peanut butter in the filling, so I knew that would be a fine substitution.
I was getting ready to make the bars and I knew I was low on oats, but I was REALLY low and didn’t have enough to make the recipe. I went online and searched to see if ground almonds would be a good substitute, as I had those on hand. The Internet was not helpful, and darn it, I don’t want to make oat flour. I tried it anyway and it seemed to work ok, although perhaps a little less butter would have been even better. I refrigerated my bars overnight and I certainly recommend cutting the cookies when they are super cold. Peanut butter and oats is a wonderful combination, but keep them stored in the refrigerator or they will get melty.
No-Bake Peanut Butter Oat Bars
1 cup butter
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup ground almonds
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup peanut butter chips
2/4 cup peanut butter
Line an 8” square pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla. Heat oven medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until melted. Add the oats, ground almonds, cinnamon and salt and cook on medium-low for 5 minutes.
Press about 2/3 of the oat mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside.
Make the filling: in a large glass measuring cup, combine the peanut butter chips and peanut butter. Cover the measuring cup and microwave the mixture in 30 second increments, stirring frequently, until melted. Pour all but ¼ cup of the peanut butter mixture onto the prepared oat crust.
Sprinkle the remaining oat topping over the bars, pressing down slightly. Top with a drizzle of the remaining peanut butter mixture.
Refrigerate the cookies for at least 4 hours before cutting into bars.
Recipe from My Incredible Recipes