Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dream Bars

 

Once again I bring to you one of my favorite flavor combinations: Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Oatmeal. You may remember one of my summer favorites from last year because they require NO baking (meaning, no heated kitchen in the hot summer months).
I found this recipe over at this blog and the description and pictures tempted me too much, I finally caved in and decided to give them a try. I am sure glad I did! I changed up the recipe a bit as reflected in the ingredients and recipe below. These bars are wonderful! They have a slight subtle caramel flavor thanks to all that butter and brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar, which intensifies and deepens this flavor). The filling has a nice light peanut butter flavor without being too overpowering or sweet. Infact, I thought it would be sweeter than what it turned out, and was pleasantly surprised. The filling was is and provides a nice compliment to hte sweetness of the Milk choclate chips and Reese’s Candy bar pieces.
 
 Right out of the oven they are ooey, gooey and very good. You definately need a spoon to eat and scoop up every last drop of the filling from the dish! I did chill these until set and they are much easier to eat, I can’t decide which way I like them best, warm with melted chocolate and peanut butter all over my spoon and fingers (MMMM, I love to lick my fingers) or chilled and set making the filling seem almost fudge-like (only a bit softer). Either way these are sure to please any Peanut Butter and Chocolate lover, and with the oatmeal, these are almost a health food!
 
The down side is that I don’t think these will travel well or stand up to summer heat. They are great but messy, but heck, as complaints go, that is a minor one!
 
I rate these bars an 8.5
 
 
Oatmeal Bars
2 cups melted butter (starting out with melted butter… you KNOW they’re gonna be good!)
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. soda
4 cups oatmeal
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup peanut butter
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
2 cups mini choc. chips or mini m&m’s
Mix together melted butter, sugar, soda, oatmeal, flour & salt until it’s crumbly.
Set aside 3 cups. Press the rest into a greased 15×10 pan. Remember I made a half batch. I couldn’t decide what size pan would be half of a 10×15. That’s 150 square inches, so half would be something that’s 75 square inches. An 8×8 is 64, a 9×13 is 117. So I picked the 8×8. Maybe I need more baking pans. Or maybe they don’t even make 8×9 pans (72 sq in) or better yet, 7 x 10.5, that would be perfect. Um, let’s see, I forget, were we baking or having Math class? 
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
Mix peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk. Spread over the baked crust. Pour/drizzle worked great. Yum, doesn’t that mixture look good?! It is. I licked the spatula afterwards.
 
Mix mini choc chips or m&m’s with the reserved crumbs. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs on top of the peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk mixture. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
Enlarged to show texture. And that creamy caramelly peanut buttery layer. These definitely do not fit the ‘Oatmeal Bar’ name. In a recipe that has peanut butter and M&Ms and oatmeal, WHO would pick out the oatmeal and name them THAT?! So, Peanut Butter Dream Bars they will be. They are, of course, irrestistably good. They’re a bit crumbly, for example, you wouldn’t want the kids to walk around in the house eating them. But then, who’d ever let their kids do that anyway. Thanks for the recipe, Michelle! It’s a keeper.
May 117
Once again I bring to you one of my favorite flavor combinations: Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Oatmeal. You may remember one of my summer favorites from last year because they require NO baking (meaning, no heated kitchen in the hot summer months).
 
I found today’s recipe on a fellow blog and the description and pictures tempted me to the point that I finally caved in and decided to give them a try. I am sure glad I did! I changed up the recipe a bit as reflected in the ingredients and recipe below and in my opinion, they changes were a success. 

These bars are just wonderful! The crust and topping has a subtle caramel flavor thanks to all that butter and brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar, which intensifies and deepens the caramel flavor). The filling has a nice light peanut butter flavor without being too overpowering or sweet, almost like creamy peanut butter fudge. Infact, I thought the filling would be sweeter than what it turned out, and was pleasantly surprised. The filling is smooth and creamy and compliments the sweetness of the Milk choclate chips and Reese’s Candy bar pieces that I added to the topping.

 
 Right out of the oven these bars are ooey, gooey and very good. You definately need a spoon to eat and scoop up every last drop of the filling from the dish! I did chill these until set and they are much easier to eat, I can’t decide which way I like them best; warm with melted chocolate and peanut butter all over my spoon and fingers (MMMM, I love to lick my fingers) or chilled and set making the filling seem almost fudge-like (only a bit softer). Either way these are sure to please any Peanut Butter and Chocolate lover, and with the oatmeal, these are almost a health food!
 
The down side is that I don’t think these will travel well or stand up to summer heat. They are great but messy, but heck, as complaints go, that is a minor one! Next time I might add more chopped Reese’s candy bars because I can’t get enough of those babies!
 
I rate these bars an 8.5
 
Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Dream Bars
adapted from here 
1 cup melted butter 
1 cup brown sugar (I used Dark brown sugar)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups Quick Cooking oatmeal (NOT instant)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2  cup peanut butter (I used creamy)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 King size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup candy bars, roughly chopped
1 cup Milk Chocolate Chips
 
Preheat oven to 350.
Line a 9×13 pan with tin foil and spray lighlty with PAM. 

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together melted butter, sugar, soda, oatmeal, flour & salt until it’s crumbly.

Set aside about 1 cup or a little more.
Press the rest of the crust into prepared pan. Bake crust for 10 minutes. May 118
While crust is cooking, in a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk.
Once crust has baked, evenly pour and spread peanut butter filling over the baked crust.Be gentle so you don’t pull up the warm crust while you spread the filling.  
Evenly sprinkle the reserved crumbs on top of the peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk mixture. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle the chopped candy bars and chocolate chips evenly over the top. Return to oven to bake for another 5-10 minutes or until topping is light golden brown and candy bars/chips are melting. 
Allow to cool to make cutting and serving easier.  

Oatmeal Jumbos

I was wanting to make some cookies using up some oatmeal. Usually I turn to my favorite cookie recipe for Monster Cookies when I am looking for a yummy cookie to whip up quickly. Today, however, I wanted to try a new recipe.

Like my monster cookies these are loaded with oatmeal, peanut butter and chocolate! What a winning combination? The dough to chocolate candy ratio is small so these cookies are not as sturdy as some but boy are they good! I used Old Fashion oats instead of quick oats in this recipe which created a chewier, softer and more fragile cookie. The higher ratio of brown sugar to sugar gives these cookies a nice depth of flavor and balances out the peanut butter and candy nicely without being overly sweet. You can cut down on the amount of candy and chocolate if you prefer to make them a bit sturdier and ‘healthier’. Either way they will be great!

If you are looking for a chewy cookie that is loaded full of your favorite candies than look no further! This recipe makes about 4 dozen average size cookies or 2 dozen ‘jumbo size’ cookies.

I rate these cookies an 8.5

Oatmeal Jumbos
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups old fashioned oatmeal
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup M&M’s
1 cup Reese’s Pieces

Preheat oven to 350.
In mixing bowl, combine peanut butter and butter  until blended. Add the brown sugar, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Beat until well mixed. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until combined.

Gently fold in the oatmeal, chocolate chips and candy.
For Jumbo Cookies: Drop dough by 1/4 cup balls onto parchemnt lined baking sheet about 5 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until light brown. Allow to cool on sheet for 10 minutes before tranfering to rack to cool completely.
For average cookies: Drop dough by medium scooper on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes until light brown and just set around edges. Cool on sheet for 10 minutes before transfering to rack to cool completely.

Cheesecake Stuffed Oatmeal Cookie

I was in the mood for an oatmeal cookie and wanted to try a new recipe. I love oatmeal cookies because they give the illusion of being ‘good’ for you! I found this recipe on a blog totally dedicated to the wonderful Oatmeal Cookie. The combinations that he comes up with amazes me, if you are in need of a new cookie, definatley check out his blog.

While I usually use my tried and true recipe,  I settled for an oatmeal cookie that is stuffed with a cream cheese mixtures before baking. What could be more ‘good’ for you than adding dairy to your wholesome oatmeal cookie?? This is practically a breakfast food right??  That is my delusion, please do not take it away from me.

If you are planning on whipping these up quickly, think again. This cookie does take a little more prep time than your typical recipe because you have to make two doughs (the cookie and the filling) and allow both to chill before baking. Oh, and it took me quite a while to stuff each doughball with the filling mixture, it was quite a process compared to my usualy scoop and drop method of baking cookies.
In addition to their filling, another thing that sets these cookies apart from your basic oatmeal cookie is the inclusion of graham cracker crumbs in the dough!  Who would have thought?  I liked the flavor that the graham cracker crumbs gave the dough and the cookie, just a little depth of flavor that paired nicely with the brown sugar undertones without making it too sweet. MMM Good.

As for the filling, the cream cheese filling is basic but you could add flavored extracts to jazz it up a bit if you so desired (almond or coconut extract would be yummy).

I did  find this dough a little difficult to work with because even after chilling for 30 minutes it was hard to get the dough to form a ball that was not super sticky. It could have been my warm kitchen, I am not sure. Next time I might roll the filling into balls after chilling and then freeze for 5-8 minutes to firm up more and make it easier to form the cookie dough around.
The cookie dough itself was also hard to work with and did not want to form into a ball (again, could have been my warm kitchen). This made it all the more difficult to form a ball around the cream filling. Let’s just say that this was a very messy and time intensive process for me! I did get to lick my fingers after each batch went in the oven so the process was not without its rewards! (don’t worry, I washed them before prepping the next batch). Because the dough is cool when you put it in the oven I pressed down slighlty on the dough balls with a glass (dipped in sugar) so they baked evenly.

All in all the cookie part had a lovely flavor that I enjoyed. It was tender and chewy but not cakelike at all, just what I like in a cookie. I would make the dough again even without the filling because I really liked the cookie flavor. The filling on the other hand was not what I expected. It wasn’t bad, just not the ‘cheesecake’-like filling I was hoping for. The consistency was a little to runny for my liking, almost like icing/frosting. I tried them warm as well as cooled and while it did firm up a bit after cooling, it was still to thin in my opinion. I did freeze some baked cookies and ended up liking those much better than warm. Maybe I was just in a weird mood, could have been the heat and humidity ha ha.   Live and learn.

I would make these again, but next time I would try them using only two eggs and one egg yolk in the cookie dough to help keep it more firm. I would add more oatmeal (maybe even wiz some in a food processor to use) as needed until the dough came together and was no longer sticky (or maybe even add some shredded coconut and use some coconut or almond extract in the filling). I will definately chill the dough until it can from  a dough ball easily.
As for the filling, I will use more cream cheese to thicken the filling dough and add maybe a teaspoon of flour/cornstarch as well. I will chill,  form into balls and then freeze until set so I can form the cookie dough around it without it oozing all over.

I rate these cookies a 7 but I would make again as there is room for improvement.

Golden Girls
adapted from OatmealCookie
Filling
8 ounces room-temperature cream cheese
4 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Cookie
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups finely ground graham crackers
1 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Add the filling ingredients to a medium bowl and mix well.  Let the mixture cool and solidify in the refrigerator until ready for it.
Preheat oven to 350º.
In your Kitchen Aid or a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, white sugar and cinnamon.
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla and then add to the creamables. Mix together until smooth.

In another large mixing bowl, wisk together the graham cracker crumbs, flour, oatmeal, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Mix until evenly combined.
*I needed to chill the dough for 15 minutes because mine was so moist it would not hold together.
Shape dough into balls—about 2 tablespoons each.

Remove the filling mixture from the refrigerator and stuff each dough ball with 1 teaspoon of the mixture.
Put the stuffed dough balls in the freezer for five minutes to firm up.
Place chilled dough balls about 2 inches apart on Silpat- or parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.
Bake at 350º for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes. Then place cookies on wire racks to cool.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I made these delicious cookies because I couldn’t decide if I should make Oatmeal cookies or  Chocolate cookies.  These are based loosely on a recipe I clipped out of a church bulitan about 8 months ago. I loved the idea of a chocolate oatmeal cookie but knew the recipe needed some work to satisfy my craving. I added some chocolate chips, used realy butter (no oil) and omitted chopped Dates.

What I ended up with was a really good cookie that has the wholesomeness of an Oatmeal cookie but still satisfies my sweet tooth and chocolate craving. They stay soft if not overbaked, are nice and dense thanks to the oatmeal and the chocolate chips provide a chocolatey sweetness slightly lacking in the cookie dough itself.

Next time: I will increase the amount of cocoa powder to 1/4 cup to intensify the chocolate flavor and maybe add some toasted nuts. All in all these were really good.

I would rate these cookies a 7

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup + 2 TBS flour
3 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2  teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups Oatmeal (I used quick cooking)
1/2 cup Milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.
Lighlty spray baking sheets with PAM.

In a large mixing bowl, wisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

Gently mix in the flour mixture by hand using a spoon or spatula. Gently fold in the oats and chips (and nuts if using).

Drop by spoonfulls (I used my medium ice cream scooper) onto cookie sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies for spreading.
*I chilled my dough for 30 minutes before baking so mine did not spread as much as room temp dough may. I had to press my dough balls down a bit with my finger tips to form discs because the dough was stiff and would not have baked evenly if I did not.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until edges are set. Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container (with a piece of bread to keep soft).

Vanishing Coconut and Oatmeal Cookies

Oh how I do love this recipe. I recently blogged about my love for the Quaker Vanishing Oatmeal Cookie Recipe. It truly is one of the best oatmeal cookie recipes out there in my opinion. The last time I made the recipe I used raisins that had soaked in some vanilla and warm water (to plump up) and they were great (this coming from someone who doesn’t really care for raisins!).

Today I decided to whip up another batch of cookies using the Quaker recipe. This time I omitted the cinnamon, subbed Almond Extract for the vanillla extract and added some coconut. The results are Fabulous! The coconut makes these cookies a little sturdier and heartier. They have a lightly crisp exterior and edged but the interior is moist and bursting with flavor. The almond/coconut flavors play off of each brilliantly. Next time I might throw in some Milk Chocolate chips or chopped pecans/almonds not that these cookies need anything more, I just like to experiment. I suggest you make these sooner rather than later!

I rate these cookies an 8.5

Vanishing Oatmeal Coconut Cookies
adapted from Quaker
2 sticks margarine or butter, softened (I used butter)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional) (I used)
2 1/2 cups Quaker® Oats (I used Quick Cooking)

1/2 -1 cup Coconut (more or less to taste and texture: You don’t want the dough too dry to stick together to form balls)

Heat oven to 350°F.

In large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy.
Add eggs and almond extract; beat well.
Add combined flour, baking soda and salt; mix well. Add oats and 1/2 cup coconut; mix well. Add more coconut up to 1 full cup until desired consistency (and taste is achieved).

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Quaker Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies

I baked something I seldom do, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. As much as I bake oatmeal cookies, I usually add pretty much anything BUT raisins (walnuts, chocolate chips, cranberries, white chocolate, butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, M&M’s…………. not all at once!).
Well, today I was feeling rebelious and thought I would throw caution to the wind and add Raisins to my Oatmeal Cookies! I used a Tried and True recipe from the lid of the Quaker Oatmeal Box!
This recipe produces everything an Oatmeal Raisin Cookie should be, in my opinion, soft, chewy, wholesome (yet not “healthy” tasting) with a hint of cinnamon. The raisins were a welcomed addition to this much loved and altered Oatmeal Cookie Recipe!

I rate these cookies an 8

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

2 sticks margarine or butter, softened (I used butter)

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional) (I used)
3 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked) (I used Quick Cooking)
1 cup raisins (I soaked in warm water and vanilla for 10 minutes and drained before using)
Heat oven to 350°F.
In large bowl, beat margarine and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

The Best Monster Cookies Ever

EVER!!

Monster Cookies!

I am a lover of cookies. I love trying new recipes, but this one I crave more than all the others. I love the combination of Peanut butter and Oatmeal. I am not sure why they are called Monster Cookies, that is what my mom always called them.

I love this recipe for looks, texture and definately taste!
This recipe is so versitile and you can really make it your own (just like the Basic Blondies)! The peanut butter taste is not overwhelming but provides a subtle backround flavor that pairs nicely with whatever you choose to stir into this recipe. The oatmeal provides a great texture without being too grainy as some can be. These are enjoyed by adults and kids alike!
I rate these cookies an 8.5
Monster Cookies
½ cup butter, room temp
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/8 cup vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups peanut butter (I like Creamy)
1 tsp baking soda
4 ½ cups oatmeal (quick cooking or old fashioned)
Add-ins should equal 1 -2 cups total:
(I used 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 3/4 cup Reese’s Pieces Holiday Edition)
chocolate chips
white chocolate chips
butterscotch chips
PB chips
M&M’s
Reese’s Pieces
Nuts (walnuts, peanuts, pecans)
Raisins
Craisins
Preheat oven to 350.
In mixing bowl, combine butter and sugars until blended. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until combined.
Add Peanut Butter and baking soda. Beat until combined.
Slowly add oatmeal. Blend in as much as you can with mixer and fold in the rest by hand along with your choice of Add-ins.
Drop on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes until light brown and just set around edges. Cool on counter. Store in tupperware with slice of bread (not touching cookies) to keep soft and chewy for a few days.