14 August 2012

Beat the Heat with No-bake oatmeal, peanut butter and chocolate chip bars

This recipe is a great option for some summer "baking". We do the same thing every year in our house, postpone putting in the air conditioner until it is unbearable. I don't know why we do it, but we do. We suffer and then when we crack, we put the a/c in. LOL. So yesterday was my cracking point. The kids and I were so crabby, and I couldn't do any baking because it was way too hot and sweaty. So my wonderful hubby put in the a/c. Ahhh. And what's great about where we live, it cools off nicely at night and is cool in the morning. So we don't need to run the air all the time. But before I had the a/c in yesterday, I was craving something sweet. I no longer buy baked goods so we needed something. I couldn't bring myself to turn the oven on, that would be a very cruel thing to do. So I found a great recipe from the Brown Eyed Baker (love her recipes - be sure to browse her site!) via Pinterest. The bars are great! They are on the sweeter side for me, but I just cut the bars into smaller portions which also means that they will last a little longer.

No-Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip bars

3 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt

Line an 8 or 9 inch square baking dish with parchment and set aside. I used an 11x7 pan and it did a great job. You can also use 9x13 if you want them to be thinner bars.
In a large heat resistant bowl, stir together the oatmeal, 1 cup of chocolate chips, peanut butter and vanilla. Set aside. 
Combine sugar, milk, butter and salt over medium heat in a small saucepan. Bring to a full boil and boil for 2 minutes. The bubbles should be over the entire surface and it is best to put the timer on for the 2 mins. 
Immediately pour the hot sugar mixture over the oatmeal mixture and quickly stir to combine. Be sure that the oatmeal mixture has been moistened.
Put the oatmeal mixture in the parchment lined pan and press it evenly using the back of a spoon. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top and gently press them into the mixture. 
Allow the bars to cool for 30 mins at room temp, this will let them set. Using the edges of the parchment paper, lift the bars out of the pan and cut. Store in an airtight container for 1 week at room temp. Because of the heat in our house, I put these in the fridge and they were awesome cold!! Definitely an option. 

Happy baking!


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