Chocolate, peanut butter, and oatmeal.
Some of my very favorite foods.
Before moving, I tutored Literature and Western Civ to a small group of high schoolers. We had many wonderful discussions of great literature and historical exploits over cookies.
It was fun. Not only because the topics were wonderful and I had amazing students, but because just about anything discussed over a plate of cookies is fun.
My students liked the cookies, but when I brought out a plate of Mrs. Thompson’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars they really got into the discussion. (After a brief bunny trail in which we agreed that foods named after a person are among the best.)
These bars may not qualify as a health food, but as far as desserts go, they are pretty good.
Plus, they don’t have any eggs or gluten, so are a great choice for serving friends with those food intolerances. Or for times when you’re entertaining guests but happened to run out of eggs or flour.
(Please don’t ask how many times I’ve made this recipe because that’s happened to me!)
Recipe from Mrs. Thompson, with slight alterations to make it healthier.
Mrs. Thompson’s Peanut Butter Bars
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar (or raw sugar or white sugar with added molasses. The molasses helps it stick together. I add about 1 T.)
- 2/3 cup butter, softened
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 4 cups oatmeal (As I learned from a friend, oatmeal itself doesn’t contain gluten, but if it’s grown too close to grains that contain gluten, the oatmeal might get “contaminated.” So if you need it to be completely gluten-free, buy certified gluten-free oatmeal.)
- 2/3 cup chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup peanut butter
- Extra chocolate chips and peanuts to sprinkle on top
- Grease a 9×13 pan well. Really well. Otherwise it will stick. I guarantee it.
- Mix brown sugar, butter, honey and vanilla.
- Add oatmeal and mix well.
- Spread into the pan and press firmly.
- Bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes, or until the edges are just slightly golden.
- Cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, melt chocolate and peanut butter over low heat.
- Spread onto slightly cooled oatmeal crust. Sprinkle on additional chocolate chips and peanuts.
- Cool and cut. (I usually stick it in the fridge to harden the chocolate before cutting. Just don’t leave it in too long or else it will be pretty difficult to cut. If it gets too hard to cut, just set it on the counter and let it soften a little.)
These are great for entertaining. You can make them ahead and freeze. Just place in an airtight container in the freezer. About half an hour before you’re ready to serve them, pull them out of the freezer so they can soften a little.