Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Squares
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Squares… Need I say more? Chocolate, Peanut Butter… that’s all you need to know, right? Oh, and also vegan, gluten-free, made with a bunch of wholesome ingredients, super quick and easy to make. But really, who cares? Peanut butter and chocolaaaaate! Oh yeah, I know!
Peanut butter and chocolate… simply put, they’re a match made in heaven! Some dreamy food combination thought up by the gods themselves. Right? Right!
If you agree with the above statement, then you need to stop what you are doing right now and immediately run to your kitchen to whip up a batch of these babies. You won’t believe how much flavor they pack under their hood! Think Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, to the tenth power, in a much less sweet version. We’re talking intense dark chocolate jab followed by a crazy peanut butter uppercut. These bars, they will send you straight to the floor, I tell you.
The best part is they are super super quick and easy to make! Ready in under fifteen minutes (well, the bad news is you then have to give them time to set… but just keep yourself occupied and that hour will totally fly by) and won’t even dirty up the kitchen. All you need to make them are a few basic kitchen implements and a handful of simple ingredients.
Seriously… so easy, even a child could make them!
First, line a 9″ square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a bit of an overhang on 2 opposite sides — this will make your job so much easier when comes time to remove the bars from the pan! — and set it aside.
Then, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, powdered peanut butter, coconut flour, salt, vanilla extract, creamy peanut butter and maple syrup.
Mix this with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until thoroughly combined; the dough will be quite thick and somewhat difficult to stir.
Dump the peanut butter oatmeal mixture into the prepared baking pan and spread it delicately with your fingers across the pan.
Once that’s done, press it down firmly to form an even crust, either with your fingers or with the help of a flat bottomed object, such as a small, sturdy drinking glass. Set that aside for now.
Next, grab a small saucepan and in it, combine the creamy peanut butter and chocolate chips to make the top layer.
About those chocolate chips, be sure to read the ingredients carefully as most of them contain dairy and other unhealthy ingredients! My personal favorite brands include Enjoy Life and Made Good but of course, there are many other good ones to choose from. Feel free to use your own favorite!
Now place that saucepan over very low heat and as soon as you see the peanut butter and chocolate start to melt, remove the pan from the heat source.
Stir constantly until the chocolate chips have completely melted into the peanut butter and the mixture is perfectly smooth. If you find that you still have a few unmelted chocolate chips, return the pan to the heat source for a few seconds and keep stirring until all the chocolate is melted.
Once all is smooth and deliciously velvety looking, pour the chocolate mixture over the peanut butter base layer and then spread the chocolate all the way to the edges of the pan.
If you want to, you can let that chocolate layer set for a few minutes and when it’s thick enough, draw all kinds of pretty little swirls into it with a spatula.
How long it will take for that chocolate to become thick enough to keep the imprints depends on how hot it was in the first place. About 10 to 15 minutes should do the trick. You could also place the pan in the fridge for a few minutes to speed up the process. But that’s only if you want to do the fancy little swirls. They are entirely optional and won’t in any way make the bars taste better…
When that top chocolate layer is to your liking, place the pan in the refrigerator and let the bars set for at least 1 hour, or until they are fully hardened.
Once that chocolate layer is fully set, take the the bars out of the pan — that’s when you’ll be happy you left some of that parchment paper stick out; Just pull on it and the bars will lift right out — and cut this lovely giant bar into individual squares.
That’s it, you’re done! That didn’t take too long, did it? If you want to, hit your squares with a tiny little sprinkle of Fleur de sel at the moment of serving…
Store your finished squares in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to several weeks. Did I really say weeks? Yeah… doubt that’s gonna happen! But hey, you can try!
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Squares
For the peanut butter oatmeal base
- Line a 9" square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a bit of an overhang on 2 sides and set aside.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the ingredients for the base and mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until thoroughly combined. The dough will be quite thick and difficult to stir.
- Dump the mixture into the prepared baking pan and spread it loosely across the pan with your fingers, then press it firmly to form an even crust, either with your fingers or with the help of a flat bottomed object. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine the peanut butter and chocolate chips to make the top layer. Place the saucepan over very low heat and as soon as the peanut butter and chocolate start to melt, remove from heat and stir constantly until the chocolate chips have completely melted and the mixture is perfectly smooth. Return the pan to the heat source for a few seconds if and as needed to finish melting all the chocolate chips.
- Pour this chocolate mixture over the peanut butter base layer and then spread the chocolate all the way to the sides. If desired, let the chocolate set for a few minutes and when it's thick enough, draw little swirls into it with a spatula.
- Place the pan in the refrigerator and let the bars set for at least 1 hour, or until fully hardened.
- Remove the bars from the pan and cut into individual squares.
- Store the finished squares in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to several weeks.