Wednesday, April 16, 2014

No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Bars or "Why Didn't I Make These Sooner?!" Bars

I don't say this about many things, but I wish I had seen this recipe from MoneySavingMom years ago. It has absolutely everything a high school kid for a bake sale, a poor college kid, a mom, and ME could ever want: simplicity, no oven, and chocolate + peanut butter = the ultimate marriage of flavors. If you have a dinner party tomorrow night and want an easy dessert or maybe you just want to treat yourself, grab a pan, a measuring cup, and these ingredients and be prepared to have your mouth salivate in 3... 2... 1...

* 1 Cup of peanut butter (make sure you have an almost full jar, as you'll use almost 3/4 of the contents!)

* 1/2 Cup of honey

* 1/2 Cup of coconut oil (or butter, if you prefer)

* 2 Cups of old fashion oats

* 1 Cup of shredded coconut

* 1/2 Cup of chopped nuts (I used walnuts), raisins, or dried cranberries

* 1 1/4 Cups of chocolate chips (photo shows mini but I used semi-sweet regular chocolate chips)

* 1 teaspoon of vanilla

In a medium saucepan, melt the peanut butter, honey and coconut oil (or butter). Make sure it doesn't burn by stirring frequently (took mine about 4 minutes to melt completely).

Once it has melted, take the pan off the heat and add the oats, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, nuts/raisins, and vanilla. Stir until the chocolate has completely melted.

Pour the mixture into a greased 9x13 pan and set in your fridge to harden.

How long you ask? Good question. I found after two hours it wasn't quite hard enough, 5 hours was better, but overnight would be ideal. If you do leave them to harden overnight, be prepared to get a workout - these suckers were so thick they were difficult to cut out but so worth it!

There are so many different variations you could do - you could replace or add gluten free oats, flax seed, almond butter, salt, etc. Someone in the original post's comments said this makes 24 bars at 240 calories/piece, but really, who's counting? Just cut them up and enjoy. Life's too short to skip dessert.

TOTAL COSTS: About $30 if you don't have any of the ingredients
$2.69 for peanut butter
$4.29 for honey
$5.99 for coconut oil at Whole Foods (though really, you could use $1 butter from the store)
$1.99 for oats
$2.50 for shredded coconut
$5.99 for chopped nuts
$2.50 for chocolate chips
$4.99 for vanilla

TOTAL AMOUNT OF TIME: 20 minutes + at least 2 hours to cool
I still recommend you let these harden overnight but if you can't wait, I completely understand!

EASY-PEASY SCALE (1 super easy - 5 very difficult): 2 out of 5
The "hard" part might be making sure the peanut butter mixture doesn't burn but that's just a matter of keeping your eye on the pan and stirring. Really, it's not hard at all and I encourage everyone to make these!


  1. ^.^
    Man, the only thing I don't have right now is shredded coconut. So, SO doing this, and putting in flax and oats and pumpkin seeds, maybe, for some good crunchies. First, I have to pry my coconut oil out of the jar... a really good use for it, since it goes SOLID so easily. Maybe I'll line the pan with wax paper and per-perforate the squares in hopes of them coming out more easily...

    1. I definitely recommend cutting the squares before putting in the fridge - it'll be a lot easier on your knife!

  2. When I make no bake cookies about like this, but with milk, butter, and cocoa powder, I drop them on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and they come off easier than cutting them as bars I imagine.

    1. I should have tried wax paper or parchment paper... it would have made things a lot easier!