Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

choc pb barsMy dear friend Bryan lives in New Mexico, and he’s very supportive of my baking endeavors. I promised to bake and blog something just for him, so, ta daaa, chocolate peanut butter bars!

Bryan and I worked together in the visitor services department at the National Building Museum in DC; I believe we first bonded over having grown up sixty miles apart in Wheeling, WV and Pittsburgh respectively. One of my favorite memories with Bryan is the day he and I conducted visitor services research (read: ran around checking out signage, exhibits, and having great fun) at other museums. Though we lost touch for a while because of job changes and moves, I was happy to reconnect with Bryan on Facebook, where you can find us liking each others statuses every five minutes.

I admire Bryan for many reasons. He’s a therapist, so he helps people make sense of their lives. He’s a great husband, doing thoughtful, awesome things for his husband Paul. He is passionately committed to causes that are of great interest to me, and he’s the kind of person who states his position with not only great conviction, but respect for alternative points of view.

If I could manage to ship these tasty bars to Bryan, I would! They feature oats, chocolate chips, and peanut butter, which are among my favorite things, and therefore fitting for one of my favorite people.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup butter, slightly softened
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, flours, baking powder, and baking soda.

Add butter and rub in with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Stir in peanuts.

In a separate bowl, combine 1 3/4 oat mixture with chocolate chips; set aside to use as topping.

In a large measuring cup, combine peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk and whisk until smooth; set aside to use as filling.

Add beaten egg to remainder of oat mixture and mix well; press into bottom of a 15x10x1 pan.

Bake for 15 minutes; remove from oven and pour filling over bottom crust, then top with chocolate chip oat mixture.

Bake for another 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack.