I really love both oatmeal and peanut butter. In fact, one of my favorite breakfasts is oatmeal with peanut butter. It's a nice and healthy breakfast, and it's filling enough to keep me satiated until lunch. So let me be obvious here: these are not healthy. Nor will one bar keep you full until lunch. But 3 bars might - not that I tested that or anything...
So here's what we have: an oatmeal cookie base, topped with a thick layer of peanut butter fudge, and then topped with crumbled oatmeal cookie dough and Reese's pieces. Pretty intense. I made several changes from the original recipe based on my own preferences and what I had on hand. I added peanut butter to the chocolate fudge layer, because I wanted more peanut butter flavor. I also didn't have either M&Ms or Reese's cups on hand, though I did have almost a full bag of Reese's Pieces to use up. Perfect!
I made these to send to a friend who had just had a baby, and I sent the rest to work with Joey (after taste-testing a few myself, obviously). He told me they were gone before lunch, so I'd say everyone else enjoyed them as much as I did!
Peanut Butter Fudge Oatmeal Bars
adapted significantly from Pinch of Yum
makes 16 large bars, or 32 smaller ones
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Reese's pieces, for the topping
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream 1/2 cup of the butter with the sugar until well-combined. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix well. Turn off the mixer, add the dry ingredient (flour through oats), and mix at low speed until just combined.
Press two-thirds of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of the pan, and set aside the rest for the topping.
In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, condensed milk, chocolate chips, and peanut butter. Cook over medium heat until the chocolate and butter are melted, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Spread most of the chocolate fudge mixture over the oatmeal layer, using a spatula to spread evenly. Save the remainder for hot fudge sauce, or use it all for a thicker layer.
Crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture over the fudge, then sprinkle with the candy.
Bake 15-20 minutes, until the topping is starting to brown. They won't seem cooked all the way through yet at this point. Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 12 hours to set completely. Cut into squares and serve, or store at room temperature.