No Bake Chocolate Drenched Oatmeal Coconut Squares

I love coconut though I do not bake with it nearly often enough. When this recipe popped up in my GoogleReader, I starred it immediately. I love no-bake treats, especially during the warm summer months. I whipped these up over the weekend in no time.

The original recipe calls for a 9×9 pan but I opted to use an 8×8 as I wanted my bars a little more substantial and not so thin. I also found that the amount of butter/coconut oil was more than what I needed to completely wet my dry ingredients. I did melt the original amount but only used about 3/4 of it. I would recommend pouring it in and stirring slowly as you may find you don’t need to use it all either. Next time I make these I will cut the amount and see if I can find out the amount that works for me. I also cut the honey down to only 3 TBS as I did not want the flavor to overpower the coconut. I am glad I did this as I did taste the honey but it was not overpowering.

After pouring the chocolate over the bars I topped mine with toffee bits. I must say these bars were really satisfying. I liked my modifications so feel free to make these bars you own. I think some toasted coconut on top may be good as well as some chopped almonds. I will be making these again this summer I am sure.  My only complaint is these are tough to cut and transport or serve as they do tend to be a bit crumbly unless right from the fridge.

I rate this recipe an 8.5

Thin + Chewy Chocolate Drenched Coconut Oatmeal Squares
recipe found here 

1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut
1/4 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
pinch of salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup coconut oil (measured solid)
1/4 cup honey

Spray a 9×9 pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut, brown sugar and salt. Heat a small saucepan over low heat and add butter and coconut oil, stirring until melted. Add the butter and oil to the oat mixture, then add the honey and stir very thoroughly until the entire mix is moistened. Press it into the pan and stick in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Chocolate layer

8 ounces good-quality chocolate, chocolate
2 tablespoons coconut oil (measured solid)

Using the same saucepan that you melted the butter and oil in, add the chocolate and oil and stir over low heat until melted. Remove the pan from the fridge and pour the chocolate evenly over top, spreading with a spatula or spoon. Place back in the fridge for about 30 minutes. When ready to eat, either cut the squares in the pan, or gently lift the square out and place on a cutting board to cut. It helps if the bars somewhat come to room temp before cutting, as they will slightly crumble a bit if super cold!

No Bake Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Bars

I love a good no-bake dessert, especially during the warm months. I have made a several no-bake desserts over the years and love trying out new recipes.

These bars are so super quick to make, take few ingredients and are perfect for a last minute dessert. These bars are a bit like my other bar recipes and no-bake cookies combined. The flavor of peanut butter shines and the oatmeal makes these bars chewy and soft. I love the combination of peanut butter and oatmeal and to top it all off a yummy chocolate ‘frosting’.

The trick to these is that the mixture needs to boil for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes in order for the bars to set. If you don’t boil long enough they will still be good, but just really gooey and difficult to eat. You can remedy this by keeping them chilled but just be warned at room temperature they will be messy! I will be making these again when I need a quick dessert, I am rating these an 8.5 only because I do like the other bars a bit better.

I rate this recipe an 8.5

No Bake Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Bars

3 Cups Oats
2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup butter
1 tsp vanilla

1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup peanut butter

Lightly spray an 8×8 pan with Pam.

In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter, sugar, and milk. Over a medium high heat, bring to boil making sure to stir constantly. Continue to stir and boil for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes after it reaches a rolling boil.

Remove the pan from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla until peanut butter is melted. Stir in oats.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and press lightly and make sure to spread out mixture evenly.

In a medium sauce pan, heat chips and peanut butter over medium heat and stir until melted. Pour over bars and spread evenly.

Allow bars to set before serving.

Flourless Peanut Butter Oat Bars

I made up this recipe based on the Hand Mixed PB Cookie recipe I love. The great thing about both the cookies and the bars is that they are flourless. I have no dietary restrictions but I know several people who do and they struggle to find good cookie or dessert recipes that don’t call for strange ingredients in the place of flour.

These bars did not even require a mixer, I just stirred by hand. They were thrown together in less than 5 minutes and with 20 minute bake time were ready to enjoy in no time.

The bars came out chewy in the center and a little more crisp around the edges,  a little mix of texture to please everyone. I found these to not be too sweet and a small bar satisfied my craving. These would be good for a quick treat when you don’t want to dirty a bunch of bowls or use your mixer.

I rate these an 8 (if for no other reason than they are super simple)

Flourless Peanut Butter Oat Bars
adapted from here

1 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 to 1 cup oatmeal  (add 1/4 cup at a time until desired consistency, oatmeal should blend in but dough should not be dry or too stiff)
chips (optional)

Spray an 8×8 pan with Pam.

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium bowl stir together peanut butter and sugars. Add egg and baking powder. Stir to combine. Add salt and oatmeal. Stir until mixed. Gently fold in chips if using.

Press into prepared pan.

Bake for 15-22 minutes (do not overbake)

Butterfinger Bars

If you are looking for  a recipe that takes VERY few ingredients, can be made from start to finish in 30 minutes and is super delicious, look no further. I have had this recipe for years, it was in a homemade cookbook that I got from a school teacher with recipes compiled from her students. There is no name or citation to this recipe so I apologize if this is your recipe (just email and let me know and I will give credit).

The base of the bars is a sweet, buttery oatmeal crust topped with a chocolate and peanut butter mixture. The finished product is like a sinful granola bar. I don’t think they taste a lot like a Butterfinger (since they are named that) but I love them none the less.

These bars are not for the calorie conscious but we all need a treat now and again right? The only down side to these bars is they are very crumbly when warm and still slightly crumbly when cooled. I have made these millions of times and can not get them to be less fragile (email if you find the cure). I keep making these because they take care of my sweet tooth with a small bar, so I don’t feel guilty about eating one (or 10).

I have added toffee pieces to the top of the chocolate mixture (while warm) for a bit of a twist.

I rate these bars a 9 (if for no other reason than they are so simple and easy)

Butterfinger Bars
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar (I use 3/4 cup)
1 cup butter (I use 3/4 cup)
4 cups oatmeal (I use quick cooking)
1 cup Peanut butter (I use creamy)
1 cup chocolate chips (about 6oz or a bit more)

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease a baking sheet (for thinner bars) or a 9×13 pan
In a medium bowl mix together the first 4 ingredients until combined and press into the bottom of the pan.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden but not brown
Melt peanut butter and chocolate chips (I nuke in microwave stirring after every 20 seconds until smooth)
Poor melted mixture over slightly cooled bars.
Cool before cutting (I LOVE these warm and crumbly so I eat with a spoon in a bowl!)

*I have also halved this recipe and used an 8×8 pan and baked for about 15 minutes.

 

Neiman Marcus Cookies

I have been making this recipe since I was 10 years old. It is one of the first cookie recipes I ever made on my own.  I never knew the controversy behind it (we are talking pre-internet days in the rural Midwest). I never knew the story behind this recipe and thought it was just another cookie recipe in my mom’s church cookbook. I loved trying recipes out of those books! It was so neat to make recipes submitted by our neighbors and family, heck they were celebrities in my mind. I wanted to get a recipe into that cookbook so bad. Ah, dreams as a child.
I must have been living under a rock (or the MIdwest) because it wasn’t until recently that I realized the cookies I enjoyed making as a child are actually quite famous. I know there are a few variations of the recipe but this is the one I am most familiar with and used to make.

These cookies were a favorite in my family. I enjoyed using the blender to whirl the oatmeal, it made this recipe a bit more special than others I made. The blended oatmeal creates a chewy texture and a bit of nuttiness that takes this cookie to another level flavor wise. Over the years I have modified the recipe a bit but the original I used to make is the same as the one in the link below.

I have found that a tad less butter does not sacrifice flavor or texture and a larger ratio of brown to white sugar gives a creates a chewier texture and a deeper flavor profile. I also don’t blend the oatmeal to a flour but instead allow a bit of the texture to remain, sort of in between flour and oatmeal. I have also found I much prefer the mix of semisweet and milk chocolate chips, they play off of each other so well! I also highly recommend the walnuts (toasted preferably). They really compliment this cookie. If you have never made these before, go ahead and try the original (from the link) and adapt to your own preferences.

Overall these are a great cookie when you want a chocolate chip cookie but something a little bit out of the ordinary (not totally crazy). My Taste Tester enjoyed these but not as much as I do. He suggested next time to add a bit more flour to make them a bit “thicker” to suit his preferences. I also would like to brown half the butter next time to further develop the nutty undertones.

I rate these cookies an 8

Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe
adapted from here

2½ cups rolled oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature or slightly softer
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract6

6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces milk chocolate chips
1½ cups chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 . Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Blend the oats in a food processor or blender to a course powder. In a medium bowl whisk together the blended oats with the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the sides and beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. On low speed gradually mix in the flour mixture, beating just until incorporated. With a rubber spatula fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

Roll the dough into 2-ounce balls  and place about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Cookies should be lightly brown and set on the outside but still look a little undone in the middle. (this will keep them soft after cooling). Store in an airtight container.

Granola Bars


I had about 3/4 cup of Rice Krispies cereal sitting in my cupboard (does this happen to anyone else? Having small random amounts of foods left over?). I was not in the cereal eating mood so turned to my online BFF Google.

About 30 seconds later my BFF  introduced me to this recipe. It calls for 1/2 cup Rice Krispies…perfect! I can finish this box up and use the newfound pantry space for a big bag of Cheetos, double win!

These bars were a cinch to make, you basically just dump a bunch of ingredients in a bowl, press in a greased pan and bake. Easy Peasy. I did adapt the recipe just a bit based on what I had on hand. The end result was great. Mine did not turn out quite as chewy as the original claimed (thus my removing ‘chewy’ from the title of these bars). There were still great. The flavor of the peanut butter, chocolate and butterscotch was a winning combination and I found it rather addicting.
I easily ate 3-4 of these bars over about an hour by simply breaking peices off every time I went into the kitchen.  Next time I may not bake them quite as long to see if they will turn out a bit chewier, but I really did enjoy them crunchy. My only complaint was that they crumbled a bit when removing the edge peices. now worries, just  easier to shovel in my mouth.

These bars taste hearty yet sweet. I think these will be perfect to take on hikes, boating, sporting games. Pretty much anytime you need a sweet treat on the go this Spring and Summer. Don’t be afraid to mix and match ingredients to suit your family taste preferences. These would be great with almonds, cranberries and white chocolate or mini M&Ms and peanuts. Really, use your imagination!

I rate these an 8

Granola Bars
original recipe here

2 1/2 cups quick rolled Oats
1/2 cup Rice Krispies cereal (I used about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter (my addition)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup  butter, softened  (I used 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup butter)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray an 8×8 or 9×9 pan with PAM.
In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients and stir until combined well. Press into pan.
Bake for 16–20 minutes or until golden.

Cool for at least 15-20 minutes. Cut into bars.

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

It seems as though I am on a chocolate and peanut butter kick lately, must be the stress and anxiety of waiting for Spring to finally arrive!

I am sure many of you have already made these cookies or have at least eaten one. This is a quick and easy recipe that whips up in no time and does NOT require an oven or any baking making them perfect when the warm weather comes around and you are not wanting to heat up the oven but still desire a sweet treat. This recipe is one my family has been using for years so I am unsure of its origin, if you know, drop me a line and I will include it in my blog.

While this recipe includes common ingredients and whips up in no time, I do find these cookies can be a bit  temperamental. Ideally, you will end up with a cookie that holds its shape but is still fudgelike upon cooling. Many people either have problems with their cookies not setting up and remaining too gooey or being too dry and crumbly after cooling. These problems can both be avoided with the proper boil time. You could use a candy thermometer I suppose but why dirty another item and frankly, I don’t like them. I prefer to be more diligent and careful when boiling the mixture.

If you don’t boil the mixture long enough the final cookies will not firm and set up nicely (Though will still taste marvelous). If you boil too long, the final cookie will be dry and fall apart easily (and not too marvelous).

I find that timing 60-90 seconds once the mixture comes to a ROLLING boil (not just a simmer) work out well for me every time.

Now, on to the final cookie. If you are not familiar with these cookies their texture and flavor is like eating a piece of chocolate fudge with a slight peanut butter flavorlingering in the background. The oatmeal gives these structure and helps them keep their shape and texture.   Be sure to work quickly as they tend to begin to set up in about 3-5 minutes making scooping out difficult.

I like to tell myself because oatmeal is included these are ahealthy snack and can and should be consumed at breakfast. Want more reasons to make these? Ok, you can eat the ‘dough’ and lick the spoon (shouldn’t do this until done with scooping out all of the dough. No one wants slobber on their cookies) since there are no raw eggs, you can make these all different sizes since they don’t need to cook (just keep in mind if they are too big they will need more time to set up) and lastly, well, anything with peanut butter and chocolate has to be great right?

Give these cookies a try, they are great to make when you don’t have a ton of time as it does not take long for them to set up, if you are transporting them, however, I would wait for them to set up at least an hour at room temperature or 30 minutes in the fridge or they may still together. Also, I would keep them stored in a single layer or with multiple layers separated by waxed paper.  Keep these stored in a covered container so they don’t dry out (not that they will last that long).

I rate these cookies an 8.5

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
1 ¾ cup sugar
½ cup milk (I use 1%)
1 stick butter cut into chunks
4 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup cream peanut butter (could use crunchy)
3 cups quick cooking oats (I use a mixture of quick cooking and old fashioined as that is what I had on hand)
1 teasppon vanilla

Line a large cookie sheet with wax paper.

Measure out 3 cups oatmeal in a bowl. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa.
Bring to a boil. One boiling time for about  1 1/2 minutes.

Remove from heat. Immediately stir in peanut butter until smooth. Add oats, and vanilla.  Stir to combine:

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper until set, store in sealed container at room temp.