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.  
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92 thoughts on “Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dream Bars

  1. I actually just made the original recipes of these, and they were great! A lot of people liked them. That said, I think your additions look even better! I love the idea of the PB cups…I am definitely trying this version!

    Thanks for all of your recipes and great ideas!

  2. I swear Miss Joy. Everything you make looks better than the last one. Your blog is one of my favorites and I check for a new post every day.

  3. WOW!! This looks so good!
    For some reason, in my google reader, your posts are showing up really strange–all the letters jumbled together and spaced strangely. I wonder if I’m the only one?

  4. What to say? MMMMMMMMMMMMM!

    I hadn’t seen these babies before, thank goodness you did! I’m going to give these a try as I love those flavors together, too!

    Btw, the twins were saying how I hadn’t made your blondies in a while. Your blondie recipe was the one that started us off on our blondie/bar fixation……waaaaaaay better than brownies anyday!

    Oh, and I’m glad your friend liked the cake! Did you get to try it then?
    ~ingrid

    • Cookie Pie
      I actually like that they may not travel well, like you said, just an excuse to finish them off at home!

  5. Mmm, these bars look totally delicious! Your favorite flavor combination seems so like my own favorites :) Chocolate and PB were meant to be together.

  6. These are going to be perfect for my peanut-butter loving guy. When you described the ooey gooey bars… I almost got up and made them now, and it’s still morning.

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  8. These look amazing!
    I have been flicking through your past posts and I think you have the same taste in baking as me as everything is making my mouth water!

  9. Oh wow, these are RIGHT up my alley (the peanut butter got me, obviously). Sadly we can’t get Reese’s in the UK but I could pick some up next time I’m in Canada and then make these!

  10. I tried those yesterday, they are so good! Since I didn’t have Reese’s, I replaced them by crumbled oreos. Still delicious!
    And I love your blog, I found it about 2 weeks ago and can’t wait to try all the recipes.

  11. Everyone around me (including me!) rated them a 11! I sent a pan to work with my husband along with another pan of my state fair award-winning brownies, and these went first! Very easy to make and fabulous. I think I’ve made them 1x/month since discovering the recipe. A definite go-to for my collection. Thanks!

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  14. I made these today and I LOVE them. I didn’t have any chocolate chips, so I just doubled the peanut butter cups and they’re awesome. Also didn’t have sweetened condensed milk, so I used this substitute: http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,183,151170-244199,00.html and they turned out perfectly.
    Question, though: Has anyone made these gluten-free? I have a sister with celiac who would love these bars.

  15. I made these today and I did spoonfuls of the p/b filling across the top of the crust and there was no problem it spreading it. It actually spread from the heat of the crust. Delicious!!!

  16. While these sound great, I don’t think you can pass them off as “health food” just because they have oatmeal in them! Just sayin’ ;)

  17. Looks like a good recipe only I might substitute the peanut butter cups for m & M’s. I’d use the Christmas colored ones and serve them to family and friends during Christmas time. They would go great w/a nice cup of warm steaming coffee or a cold glass of milk.

    • You don’t but to be honest, the candy is what pushes these over the top and addicting. If you don’t have them or are wanting to cut some calories though, feel free to omit. I am sure they will be fine! It is only for added flavor.

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    • I would say a King Size bar is about a 1/2 cups chopped, maybe a bit less. Just use what you think is a good amount, I wouldn’t worry too much about an exact measurement. Just cover the top of the bars.

  19. I have to take a dessert for a fund raiser tonight at my daughters school…. and these are what we are going to make! (or bake… at the start of the post you state that there is no baking.. which had me hooked…then when reading all of the recipe, I see it calls for a total of 20-30 minutes of baking. But that’s ok! It’s cold outside and and I love all things warm and gooey!)

    • Yeah, I guess the post was a bit confusing. I did not mean this recipe is No Bake but the linked recipe is. I was comparing the 2 recipes and referencing one i really liked from the summer months as they share similar ingredients: oatmeal, chocolate, peanut butter!

  20. You could easily make these gluten free. Just use gluten free oats and you are good to go! Hoping to try them that way soon…been missing desserts since going gluten free.

    • I use salted and have never had a problem but do beware that some brands are saltier than others so you can reduce or eliminate any additional salt the recipe calls for if needed

  21. Why are they called no bake bars if you have to bake the crust?? Your first paragraph states “no bake meaning not having to heat up your oven on hot summer days”. But I have to bake the crust at 350 degrees. Am I reading this right?! Why conflicting information?

    • In the post I linked to a “no bake” dessert I liked from the summer. Those were “no bake”. The Oatmeal Dream Bars do need to be baked, I apologize if the post was confusing.

  22. I’m confused. You started out by saying No Bake = no hot kitchen, but the recipe says to bake crust then bars? BUT they sound delicious and i will try them. Thanks.

  23. I haven’t figured out why you state this is “NO BAKE” when you bake it twice — first you bake the crust and later you bake the whole thing. Looks delicious anyway.

    • The bars i linked to in the post are ‘no bake’, the actual Oatmeal Dream bars do need to be baked. Sorry for the confusion. I was comparing them to another recipe I like and linked it.

  24. id call you a bad influence but just made fudge marble birthday cake with white chocolate butterscotch frosting. I haven’t cut the cake. Yet but had to clean my mixing bowls.
    has anyone tried this recipe with new Skippy whips blended with mint chocolate? I got some on sale and was hoping to find new recipes to try. can’t find nutty bars or buddy bars anywhere lately so these might fill in nicely.

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  26. With the risk of sounding like a moron… why the tin foil on the bottom? And I dont have recees but plan to add the peanut butter chips..? What do y’all think?

    • The linked recipe in the post is for a no bake bar. The Oatmeal Dream Bars do require baking. Sorry if that paragraph was unclear. :(

      • I like to respond to each question/concern on the blog and by unlinking the bars I fear future readers would be really confused as to why everyone was thinking these were no bake to begin with. Not sure why this post has become so popular lately, I posted these years ago!

  27. Made these today. They really aren’t very good… the crust is a crumbly mess and it’s not at all gooey like I expected. Won’t be making them again.

    • Sorry to hear that, I have made these several times and have never had that problem. Did you use quick cooking oats? the crust itself is not meant to be gooey, but the middle of the bars are. Again, sorry you did not enjoy them.

      • We have loved these! The middle stays soft and the crust is firm almost like a granola bar.

    • I would have to agree. They were not very good and I followed the recipe exactly (salty not sweet and just tasted like something was missing). I wanted to throw them out, and will not eat them (instead my husband is going to bring them into work). Not sure why some people really liked them – guess that is why everyone has different tastes.

  28. Wow, people are so rude! This is a free service, guys. What is your problem? There are way more important things in life. This is a recipe for a dessert, not a cure for disease. I have made these and they are delicious, thank you!

  29. How many oz for the can of sweetened condensed milk? I do most of my shopping at Trader Joe’s and they sell this but in a plastic bottle that I know is bigger than the cans I used to buy.

  30. I have made these twice, once with just chocolate chips and the second time with chocolate chips & Reese’s. Both were excellent. Am trying tonite with apple pie filling instead of the filling and a little cinnamon added to the crumb mixture. My husband loves the crumb topping on Dutch Apple Pie so he should love this.

    • An just made these today for my hubby’s bday, and DEVINE!! Our whole family loved them!! :) thanks for sharing!! Just don’t want what we haven’t ate to go to waste, so fridge or counter?

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