My hubby always tells me NOT to buy baked goods and sweets from the local stores and bakeries, not because he doesn’t believe in supporting them, but because he KNOWS I’m never quite satisfied with whatever I bring home. I guess it’s sort of a curse for those that like to bake a lot, it just seems the “standard” stuff out out there usually falls a little short of what we expect. Well, at least thats how it is for me anyways. So last week I did it again, purchased from a local shop for the kids because I wasn’t feeling well and didn’t have the energy to make anything myself. Needless to say the kids thought it was great (but hey, they like all sugar), but my opinion was much different, lol. So now that I’m all better, I decided to re-make the recipe at home and it turned out great!
The original bars were called “oh henry” bars, which were slightly chewy, with a hint of peanut butter, rice crispies (I think), and a layer of soft chocolate on top (melted chocolate chips mixed with shortening, ugh). I don’t know about you, but unless it is chocolate frosting or a truffle, I expect my chocolate to be a little “snappy”, not soft. I personally did not think they had enough peanut butter in them and I omitted the crispies as one of my kids found it slightly strange, and I fixed the chocolate issue. What I ended up creating was a Peanut Butter Cup tasting bar, but a version that is much healthier then most, as it doesn’t use much butter and oatmeal replaces graham crackers. Since these are so quick to whip up and NO BAKING is necessary, these make a great picnic or potluck option!
The key here is to measure out the oatmeal BEFORE grinding it so the bars are not too dry, and if you prefer a little texture to your bars, just coarsely grind the oatmeal.
Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cup Bars (16 small bars)-
- 1 3/4 cups quick cook or regular rolled oats
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup corn syrup
- 2 TBLS butter
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup good quality chocolate chips
- Set aside an un-greased 8×8 inch non-stick baking pan.
- Using a small grinder (like a coffee grinder), grind up all of the oatmeal until it resembles oatmeal flour, which is slightly coarser/larger grained then regular flour. Place the ground up oats in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a microwave safe mixing bowl combine the next 4 ingredients, then heat in the microwave for approx. 30 seconds to make it easier to blend everything together. Once the wet mixture is thoroughly blended together, add in the oat flour and work it in well. It should form a big ball, but if it still seems a little dry you can add another tablespoon of butter.
- Press the mixture evenly into the pan, then scatter the chocolate chips on top. Using the back of a rubber spatula, press the chocolate chips into the bars. You can also do this by laying a piece of wax or parchment paper on top of the bars and then pressing them in with the palm of your hand.
- Chilling these for 30 minutes or so will these easier to cut. I find that these taste best at room temperature, as the chocolate and peanut butter are more flavorful warm then chilled.