Peanut butter & chocolate. You know by now, it’s my all-time favorite flavor combination. Reese’s are my favorite candy. I grew up mixing m&ms into jars of peanut butter for an after-school-track-practice snack. I put peanut butter on my Oreos. It’s just the best.
True to form, how about another way to eat this creamy, indulgent flavor duo?
These gooey bars are packed with peanut butter & oats, and studded with an abundunce of chopped up peanut butter cups. IMO, Trader Joes has the best peanut butter cups. Better than Reese’s (WHAT?!) I’m not hating on Reese’s. Like I said before, they’re my favorite candy. But the ones at Trader Joe’s are made out of a bit better quality chocolate and are thicker, supplying a thicker layer of sweet smooth peanut butter filling in every bite.
In these bars, I used a combination of Trader Joe’s milk chocolate peanut butter cups, TJ’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups, & Reese’s. The best of all worlds.
Did I mention this is a one-bowl recipe? No mixer needed. Just one bowl. Two measuring cups. Very minimal clean up! The batter comes together in 30 minutes or less, and they bake for another ~25 minutes, which means if you start now, you could have a warm, gooey, rich peanut butter chocolate bar in your mouth within the hour…
Start the clock. Shall we?
Double Peanut Butter Bars
Makes one 15×10 inch or 13×9 inch pan. About 40 bars.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup peanut butter (not all-natural). I use creamy, you can use crunch if you prefer.
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp corn starch
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups quick-cooking oats
2-3 cups chopped peanut butter cups (Reese’s, Trader Joe’s peanut butter cups, or any other variety of PB cup that you desire)
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Line a 15×10 inch baking pan with foil (*if you want to use a 13×9 inch pan instead, you totally can. See the notes below for baking time). Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Now your pan is ready to go. Set it aside.
3) Measure the 1 cup of peanut butter into a large bowl. Pour the warm melted butter over it and whisk together until you have a smooth peanut-butter-butter mixture.
4) Add in the brown sugar and granulated sugar and whisk again. Whisk, whisk, whisk until the sugar is fully dissolved and mixed in, about 30 seconds.
5) Add in the 2 eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk once more, until you just can’t whisk anymore. Really, you’ll feel it in your arm. Challenge yourself and try whisking with each arm for an even working 🙂 When you have a smooth, homogeneous batter, you’re ready to switch to a spatula.
6) Next up, we’re going to add the dry ingredients. Try to ad them as distributed over the batter as you can, rather than just dumping each cup/tsp into one spot. Measure in the flour, corn starch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the batter. Add in the oats and fold in again. Finally, add in your chopped peanut butter cups. The batter will be thick. Switch to a wooden spoon for mixing if it’s too much for the spatula. Also, you can reserve a few chopped peanut butter cups to sprinkle on top for looks if you’d like. I like to, so, I recommend it!
7) Now, we’re ready to bake! Dump the bar batter into your prepared pan. Press the dough into the pan so that it’s even. If you reserved peanut butter cups to sprinkle on top, now is the time to sprinkle ’em and lightly press them into the top. Yumm yum.
8) Bake them in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until a light golden brown all over. *If you’re using a 13×9 inch pan, they will need a bit longer, about 35 minutes.
9) Cool the pan on a wire cooling rack or hot pad until they’re completely cool. After about 20 minutes, if you happen to want to dig into one warm…go ahead and cut them.
See that gooey-ness! Yesssssss
Since the recipe makes ~40 bars (depending on how big/small you’d like the bars to be) you’ll have enough to feed a crowd! Bring them to work, to soccer games, to picnics, to birthday parties, or, freeze some! They freeze well, just seal in a freezer-safe container or freezer ziploc. When you’re ready to eat them, allow them to thaw on the counter for ~ 2 hours. Then they’ll be ready!
How else do you like your peanut butter & chocolate? Give me a shout– I’ll experiment.
Have a great week!