Want to make a cookie or bar look like it does in a cookbook? Reserve some of your add-ins, like chocolate chips and Reese’s Pieces in these oatmeal bars, and sprinkle them on the top so they’re not all hidden inside the dough. As they bake, they’ll settle in.
These bars are on their way to North Carolina for my nephew Roman for Easter, and they’re pretty sturdy (strange way to describe a treat, perhaps?) so they should hold up well. The dough is quite thick, so you actually need to mix the chocolate chips and Reese’s into it with your hands – a spoon will absolutely not do it. The basic recipe can be tweaked to include butterscotch chips, cinnamon chips, or whatever other candy/toppings you like. I actually feel like these bars would be great warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on them. So much for Lent, eh?
- 8 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3 cups oats (old-fashioned or quick-cooking; I used quick-cooking)
- 3/4 cup Reese’s Pieces
- 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking tin with baking spray.
In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and beat until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat, then mix in flour and oats. Add Reese’s Pieces and chocolate chips, then mix with your hands to fully combine; if you prefer, leave a few tablespoons of your pieces and chips out to sprinkle on the top.
Press dough into prepared baking pan and bake for 25-28 minutes, until top is light golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in the pan, then cut into bars and store in an airtight container at room temperature. If shipping, pack between layers of waxed paper. Makes 24.