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Retro-style – but updated, Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars. Think doughy, buttery oatmeal cookie base, layered with creamy peanut butter, and sweet salted chocolate on top. All made with simple, wholesome ingredients: oats, pure maple syrup, natural peanut butter, and dark chocolate. They’re sweet, salty, heavy on the peanut butter, extra chocolatey, gluten-free, and butter-free. Every last bite is truly delicious. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

When I think of February, I think Super Bowl Sunday, and then of course, Valentine’s Day. This year, we have the Olympics which makes things even more exciting. I’m sharing a couple appetizer recipes next week that will be great for viewing your favorite winter sport as well as the upcoming Super Bowl too. Lots of fun things this month!

For some reason, when I think of the Super Bowl, I always think of chocolate and peanut butter together. I’m sure it’s because I’m from Cleveland. Ohio is the Buckeye State, which means we all love our chocolate/peanutty sweets.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

These bars are one of my favorite chocolate-peanut buttter combos yet. They’re somewhat inspired by my lunchroom peanut butter bars. But also by the Twix bars I shared a couple weeks ago. I took elements from both and incorporated them into this recipe. 

What’s awesome is that they’re naturally gluten-free, butter-free, and have no added sugar other than pure maple syrup! We’re all loving the more wholesome desserts right now. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

I based this layer off of my mom’s oatmeal cookies, but made things less sweet. Just some oats, almond flour, and maple syrup with eggs and vanilla. 

I also used coconut oil in place of vegetable oil, something I’ve been doing for years. 

Then, just bake the cookies until set. They taste buttery and perfectly sweet, but with no butter or sugar! 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

The peanut butter layer

Simply just peanut butter, maple syrup, and coconut oil boiled together to thicken the mix. The secret to making this layer really delicious is to use a peanut butter with just peanuts and salt. Don’t use a no-stir peanut butter that contains oils and/or sugar. You just want a natural peanut butter. This will give you the best flavor and texture.

Pour the peanut butter layer over the oatmeal cookies, then freeze the bars. You only need them to freeze them for 30 or so minutes. This helps the peanut butter set up quickly.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

When the peanut butter is chilled and stiff, pour some melted chocolate overtop to finish the layers up. My one piece of advice here is to slice the bars before the chocolate top becomes too hard. This will make the bars much easier to cut and prevents the peanutty filling from getting squished out.

The final review? Slightly chewy and crumbly on the bottom, with the creamiest peanutty filling – that’s perfect salted. The chocolate top adds a nice “crack” with every bite. 

Delicious! And great for parties too since these can really feed a crowd! 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for easy party desserts? Here are a few ideas: 

Crinkle Top Brownies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Blondies

Homemade Vegan Peanut Butter Twix Bars

Caramel Butter Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Frosting

Lastly, if you make these Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings: 24 bars
Calories Per Serving: 380 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Oatmeal Cookies

Peanut Butter Mix

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9×13 inch baking dish with parchment paper. 
    2. To make the cookies: In a mixing bowl, beat together the oats, almond flour, baking soda, salt, coconut oil, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla. Press the dough into the prepared baking dish. Bake 25-30 minutes, until lightly golden.
    3. To make the peanut butter mix: In a medium pot, mix 1 cup peanut butter, the maple syrup, and coconut oil. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook 2 minutes, then remove from the heat. Pour over the oatmeal cookies. Freeze 30 minutes, until firm.
    4. Melt together the chocolate and 1/3 cup peanut butter in the microwave. Let cool 5 minutes and then spread the chocolate over the peanut butter mix. Return to the fridge to set, about 10 minutes, then slice. The chocolate will not be totally set, but slicing is easier this way. Keep in the fridge.

Notes

If the Cookie Dough is Dry: add 1/4 cup additional melted coconut oil to moisten it. 
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. Hi Tieghan! I just got all the ingredients but I am not sure about the coconut oil, if it should be flavoured or neutral. I once tried a recipe with the flavoured one and the rest of the flavours got lost as the flavour of the coconut was so strong. Maybe it was the recipe itself I’m not sure but anyway, what would you recommend? I don’t want the coconut oil to be the king of the party otherwise I am ok with the flavored one, it is what i got anyway. Otherwise i will go and get the neutral one 🙂 thank you!! (Btw i love all the recipes i try, the pesto lasagna rolls are one of my favorites 🙂 keep up the good work

  2. 5 stars
    Made these for a family gathering and will be making them again and again. The oatmeal base wasn’t too sweet but the addition of the peanut butter and chocolate topping really balanced it out. For the peanut butter layer I didn’t add the maple syrup just let the peanut butter melt on top. Love they’re gluten free! They gave me tasty Kake Kandy Kake vibes but obviously so much better.

    1. Hey Tierra,
      Wonderful!! Thank you so much for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback! I am so glad it was enjoyed. Have a great week! 🌺xxT

  3. 4 stars
    10 minutes is not nearly enough to set the bars for cutting. I cut them after that time and the oatmeal layer was crumbling and the chocolate was still liquid so the swirl pattern got ruined. Your video shows the bars were set for a lot longer because they are clearly cold looking.

    1. Hi there,
      So sorry to hear the recipe was not enjoyed and you had some issues. Did you allow them to set in the fridge? You can always let them set longer if you kitchen is warm or depending on how melty you want your chocolate to be. I hope this helps for next time! xTieghan

    1. Hey Lisa,
      You can use butter or any other neutral oil. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hey Janelle,
      Perfect!! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a go, I am thrilled to hear that it was a winner! Have the best week!🌸 xT

  4. 5 stars
    Super happy with how these turned out! Next time I will make 1/2 – 3/4 of the oat cookie base as I find the ratio of cookie to filling to not be proportionate. But they taste great, I even added some coarse salt on top like in the photos 🤤
    I also used all purpose unbleached flour instead of almond flour because of the cost.

    1. Hi Kelley,
      Happy Friday!! I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks a lot for trying it out! ☀️xx

  5. 5 stars
    These are way too good. They just are. We use Hu chocolate gems for the top layer to keep them refined sugar free, and they come out perfect every time! I’m a huge Reese’s cup fan, and these bars are a perfect healthier fix

    1. Hey Kari,
      Happy Friday!! Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a try, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! xx

  6. 3 stars
    Good recipe, very rich, and my dinner guests liked them. I did not have the issues described by others with the crust being too crumbly. It was chewy, didn’t fall apart, and cut well into bars. I did not freeze it but put the peanut butter mixture on the slightly cooled cooked oatmeal layer, and threw it in the refrigerator for a half hour, which worked fine to chill it for the chocolate layer. I would consider next time adding a bit of crispy/crunch on top (toasted nuts?), and maybe some chewy caramel added to the peanut butter layer ingredients.

    1. Hey there,
      Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try and sharing your feedback! Please let me know if I can help in any way for next time! xTieghan

  7. 3 stars
    My chocolate didn’t stick to my peanut butter layer and it turned out crumbly but I’m not sure why 🤔

    1. Hi Ann,
      So sorry to hear you had issues with the recipe. It is meant to be crumbly:) But was there anything you may have adjusted in the peanut butter or chocolate? Let me know how I can help!! xTieghan

    1. Hi Tracie,
      Happy Sunday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a try and sharing your feedback! xx

  8. 5 stars
    Love LOVE these bars!! Might be my favorite little treat these days… I’ve made them twice – once with original recipe and once with added coconut oil and am still having issues with the cookie base being super crumbly and falling apart when I cut them up. Maybe I’m not baking it long enough or do you think an extra egg or 2 would help? Thank you in advance. These are amazing, crumbly bottom or not!

    1. Hi Eva,
      Wonderful!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! The cookie base is really meant to be crumbly, you could try another egg to see if that helps. Have the best weekend!☀️ xx

  9. 4 stars
    We made and loved the taste and texture but base was too crumbly. Second time we used blender to break down about half the oats and left the other half of them whole and came out with a still chewey oat base that doesn’t crumble apart. Definitely great flavor here, thanks for the recipe!!

    1. Hi Jen,
      Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thank you so much for giving it a try!! Have the best day:) xx

  10. 3 stars
    I would cut the “cookie” part by half and made it more of a cookie, not a cake. Would have preferred it to be crunchy. I would also not add any maple syrup to the peanut butter so the taste came out more. Perhaps add more maple syrup to the cookie past so that the sweetness is still there. I think it will be great with a little tweaking. I liked that it is a really easy recipe to make. Will try again.

    1. Hi Traci,
      Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback!! Have a great week:) xTieghan

  11. 1 star
    I’ve made many of your recipes but this one is a miss for me. The cookie bottom was more savory than sweet. The proportion of peanut butter mix filling was way off in relation to the oatmeal cookie. The peanut butter mix was nearly undetectable. This would maybe work if only the cookie part was halved, made sweeter and pressed in an 8×8 pan. It’s too bad I now have a full 9×13 pan of treats no one wants to eat.