There are few (maybe no) flavor combinations I love more than chocolate and peanut butter. They are meant for each other. They are a match made in heaven.
I decided to add some oats into the mix and this easy no-bake recipe turned into something that reminded me a hell of a lot like nutter butter cookies.
Layers of satisfying nuttiness. Thick layer of chocolate. Sprinkled with flaked sea salt.
Maybe I’m stress eating or maybe these are just THAT GOOD and THAT EASY, but lately this is all I want to eat.
My youngest son couldn’t stop eating them and I sat right there with him as we devoured the whole pan.
So buckle up because this recipe for No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars is about to be your new favorite.
Ingredients for Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars:
- peanut butter: I love natural peanut butter but if you have a peanut allergy or don’t have peanut butter in your pantry, feel free to sub any nut or seed butter you like! Tahini or almond butter would be delicious!
- sweetener: I like agave nectar, coconut nectar, honey or maple syrup for this recipe. You want a “sticky” sweetener because it really helps the mixture hold together. But, if you only have granular sweetener, try experimenting a bit. Mix everything together and then you may have to increase the amount of coconut oil you use.
- refined coconut oil: feel free to substitute butter or vegan butter like Earth Balance or ghee! Because coconut oil softens as it gets warmer, it’s important to keep these bars chilled!
- gluten free old fashioned rolled oats
- blanched almond flour: I love blanched because it’s super fine and has a really beautiful color to it. But, almond meal would probably work too.
- chocolate chips
- flaked sea salt
Tips for making No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars:
- Plan ahead! You’ll need time for the bars to chill in the fridge. So if you need to make a recipe for immediate consumption, this isn’t the best. HOWEVER, if you want a delicious set it and forget it dessert to make ahead so you can focus on cooking up a delicious dinner, then this is for you!
- You need parchment paper. Parchment paper is maybe my most favorite kitchen tool. It really really makes it so much easier to pull up the bars from the pan for easy removal. Aluminum foil works too, but I prefer parchment.
- Chocolate and peanut butter layer: I sandwiched the chocolate layer in between a thick base of the peanut butter oatmeal mixture with it sprinkled again on top. But, you can press all the peanut butter oatmeal on the bottom and just have a smooth chocolate layer on top. It’s totally up to you!
- They soften: These are easiest to cut when they are set. I like to cut these right after they’re done chilling in the fridge. They soften, so keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them! Or, if you cut them in advance, pop the bars back into the fridge until your’e ready to eat. Don’t get me wrong, they are AMAZINGLY soft and delicious at room temp. But, for the record, keep them chilled.
- Whisk together the natural peanut butter, agave, and 1/4 cup of the coconut oil until smooth.
- Add the oats and almond flour.
- Fold until combined.
- Transfer about 2/3 of the oat mixture to a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. I used an 8 inch round cake pan because that’s all I had one hand, but you want a smaller pan so the bars are thicker.
- I found it easiest to use damp hands to press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan.
- Melt the chocolate (Check out my post How to Melt Chocolate Chips) and remaining 2 tablespoons coconut oil in the microwave for about 1 minute.
- Whisk to make the chocolate smooth and pour overtop the oat bars.
- Spread the chocolate out evenly.
- Finally, use your hands to crumble the remaining oat mixture across the top of the bars.
- Chill for at least 2 hours in the fridge.
- Sprinkle with sea salt, Cut into 8 – 16 squares and enjoy!
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