I love a good dessert bar loaded with oats. I’ve already shared many recipes highlighting this in naturally sweetened apricot oat bars, peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal bars, and one of my personal favorites: Healthy No-Bake Granola Bars (hint, there’s more peanut butter). To keep up the obsession, I wanted to turn a classic no-bake cookie recipe into an easy dessert bar. While I was at it, I was going to make them refined sugar-free and vegan!
The healthy adaptions keep this recipe easy and healthy. Many people LOVE no-bake cookies. These are even better!! Spread the mixture in a pan, drizzle with melted chocolate and slice into squares. No rolling or molding. They are deliciously thick for more texture, more sweetness and more chocolate!
I also loaded up the oat factor. Oats are such a healthy grain! Personally, oats fill me up and keep me feeling great. These bars are oat-rich, but still perfectly sweet. You can use regular or gluten-free oats, whichever you like! Also, if you’re not a fan of peanut butter or need to switch it out for allergies, almond butter is fantastic in this recipe!
You won’t believe how delicious these bars are. One bar is enough to satiate… for a few hours. You may not be able to stay away for long! Keep these in the fridge for a firm, chilled bar. They’ll be ready at a moment’s notice and reduce chocolate melting if you take them traveling or out on summer adventures. Trust me, they’ll make the best companion!
No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Bars
3/4 cup Earth Balance Butter (or Regular Butter)
3/4 cup Coconut Sugar
1/2 cup Natural Creamy Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
1 1/2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
3 1/3 cups Rolled Oats
½ teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4 cup Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
1 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
1 Tablespoon Earth Balance Butter
Line a 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a pot, combine the butter, coconut sugar and peanut butter or almond butter over medium heat. Stir until the mixture is smooth and combined and begins to bubble slightly, about 5-6 minutes. Add the vanilla and keep stirring. Add the salt and oats and continue stirring for another 4-5 minutes until the oats are well coated and the mixture has a slight caramelized, toasted scent. Remove from heat.
In a microwave safe bowl, combine the 1/4 cup nut butter, chocolate chips and butter. Microwave for 2 minutes, in 30 minute increments, stirring between each, until the mixture is like a thick smooth fudge.
Scoop out half of the oatmeal mixture to the prepared dish and press down to cover. Pour the chocolate on the top of this oat mixture in the dish, reserving about 2-3 tablespoons. Gently press the remaining oat mixture over the chocolate. Drizzle with the remaining chocolate. Place bars in the freezer for 45 minutes. Score the bars and return to the freezer for another 45 minutes to an hour, or until firm. Store bars in an airtight container in the fridge. Bars can be frozen for up to 4 weeks.