I hope that everyone is excited for Labor Day weekend! I have to work on both Saturday and Sunday, but I don’t have work or school on Monday, and that’s enough for me to be excited about. Mondays I have a really boring, introductory science class that I have to take as a requirement to graduate and I’ve been putting it off since my freshman year, so I am overjoyed at not having to go to that class this upcoming week.
These bars were just something I happened to have all of the ingredients for and so I whipped them together quickly before going over to a friend’s house that night. I think that they were great, although I think I would add a bit less oats (I’ve made this change in the recipe). They were both sweet and salty and had a bit of a crunch to them because I used chunky peanut butter (as always). There’s also a creamier texture to them because of the peanut butter chips I added in and the oats add a perfect chewiness to the whole thing. If you’re a big peanut butter fan, then these are definitely for you!
Combine the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
Beat together the butter, brown sugar, and peanut butter until well combined and creamy, about 3-5 minutes (no less than 3 minutes).
Add in the egg and vanilla and beat well.
Gradually beat in the flour mixture until just moistened. You can always finish mixing by hand, but you never want to over-mix with an electric mixer because it make the bars/cookies/whatever dry and crumbly.
I used peanut butter chips, but you can use chocolate chips or nuts or whatever you like! Fold these in by hand.
I highly recommend that you line and grease your baking pan so the bars can be easily lifted out later. Then, using your hands because the dough is so thick, press the dough down into the pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes if you’re using an 8×8 pan, or 40-50 minutes if you’re using a 9×13 pan. About three quarters of the way through baking time, my bars started to get a little too brown, so I covered them with tinfoil for the remainder of the baking time.
Let cool completely after being removed from the oven. When ready, lift the bars out of the pan by the edges of the tin foil (be careful!) and slice into squares.
I just loved these bars and they would even be good for breakfast!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup rolled oats
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick/4 oz./113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)
- ½ cup creamy or chunky peanut butter (I used chunky)
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup peanut butter or chocolate chips
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Position oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line and grease an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking soda and salt and stir with a whisk until well blended. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar and peanut butter on medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. Turn off the mixer and add the flour-oat mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended. Using the rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the pan and spread it evenly (I used my hands to press the dough into the pan because the batter was so thick).
- Place the baking pan in the oven and bake until the top of the cookie is golden and looks firm, 25 to 30 minutes (40-50 minutes if using a 9x13 pan. Also, if your bars start to get too brown on top, cover the pan with some tin foil). Remove the baking pan from the oven and set it on a wire cooling rack. Let cool completely. Lift the cookie from the pan, dust it with confectioners’ sugar and cut it into 1x4-inch bars.