I’ve made these chocolate-topped oatmeal bar cookies for many years because they are fast, easy, and contain my favorite flavor combo of peanut butter and chocolate – making them extra good.
However, I had to recreate them because my original recipe from the 80’s used a boxed frosting mix! After giving the recipe a make-over to include more wholesome ingredients I was happy to discover they still taste like a candy bar. Just a bit of whole food heaven here. Oh, and with a substitution of coconut oil instead of butter, these bars would be egg, dairy, and wheat-free, too.
My favorite recipes dump everything in a bowl and stir, and this ranks right up there with the best. I used pecans this time, but they are equally good with walnuts or even no nuts.
When everything is combined, press it into a 10×15 baking sheet and use water on your hands to press the mixture flat. I’ve found simply running your fingers under water and then patting out the dough works better than oil or butter and is easier.
While the oat bars are baking, melt a package of chocolate chips (or other chocolate equivalent to 12-oz.) with some peanut butter until smooth, about a minute in a microwave, or a few minutes on the stovetop.
Remove the bars from the oven and pour on the chocolate-peanut butter topping.
Spread evenly using a spatula. To get a decorative top, use the spatula (or a knife) to swirl the chocolate first lengthwise, then in the other direction which creates a chevron pattern in the chocolate.
Cool completely (refrigerate if necessary) before cutting into bars. You might want to cut these bars smaller than other cookies because they are fairly rich – I cut 6 one way and 8 the other, getting 48 inch-sized bars from this batch.
Chocolate-Topped Oatmeal Bars
- 4 c. whole rolled oats (not quick)
- 3/4 c. packed brown sugar (or sucanat)
- 1 c. nuts, chopped (OR: 1/2 c. nuts + 1/3 c. unsweetened coconut)
- 2/3 c. butter or coconut oil, melted
- 1 Tb. vanilla
- 1/2 c. honey
- 12-oz. chopped chocolate
- 1/2 c. chunky peanut butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 10 x 15-inch baking sheet with parchment (for easy removal and cutting) or just lightly grease.
- Mix together the oatmeal, sugar, and nuts. Melt the butter or coconut oil and mix in the vanilla before adding to the oatmeal. Use the same measuring cup from the butter to measure the honey and add it to the oatmeal mixture, stirring all together.
- Press firmly into prepared pan and bake for 13 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, if needed for even browning.
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and peanut butter together, about one minute in the microwave and stirring to finish melting (or carefully over a burner).
- Pour the chocolate topping over the warm bars, spreading evenly. Let cool before cutting into bars.
Makes 4 dozen [/recipe]
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