Love and Olive Oil

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

Is there a feeling worse than the hole that overtakes your soul when you are craving a decadent peanut butter dessert, only to discover you are fresh out of peanut butter?

I didn’t even have any peanuts on hand to make my own (believe me, I thought of that).

And sorry, but peanut butter cravings simply cannot be quelled by almond butter (too bad, as we had upwards of 4 jars. Approaching hoarder status, I am aware).

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

Luckily I made up for it the next weekend. These bars have enough peanut butter for THREE weekends worth of cravings, with peanut butter, peanut butter chips, and mini peanut butter cups mixed in.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

I’ll admit, I was underwhelmed after the first bite. It tasted like a slightly dry and boring peanut butter cookie. I even debated whether they were worthy of consumption by other food bloggers. If I hadn’t run out of time, I might have thrown something else together to bring to the party at the last minute.

But then I bit in to one of the center pieces, and solidified once and for all the fact that I am a soft center kind of girl. Not under-baked, but soft and chewy, with more chips and candy bits than the edges.

I’ve realized that, much like brownies, there are two kinds of bar-cookie eaters: those who like to live on the edges, all brown and crispy, and then there’s the softies like me, preferring the nearly dough-like softness that only the center-most pieces deliver.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

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  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
  • 2/3 cup mini peanut butter cups (or peanut butter M&Ms)
  • 1/2 teaspoon flake sea salt (such as Maldon), for sprinkling


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar and peanut butter and stir until smooth. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients until just incorporated, then stir in chocolate and peanut butter chips and peanut butter cups, reserving a few tablespoons of each for the top (optional, but makes for extra pretty bars).
  4. Press dough into prepared pan. Scatter remaining chips and peanut butter cups on top, then sprinkle with sea salt.
  5. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and center is just set. Do not overbake. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature before lifting out of the pan and slicing into squares, rectangles, or triangles. Bars will keep, stored in an airtight container, for up to 5 days.

Adapted from Handle the Heat.

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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  1. Very easy to make. I did not have peanut butter cups or chips so replaced with chocolate chips. Came out well 

  2. I made these yesterday for my work crew today. They are not picky (firefighters) but they ADORED these bars!! One even told me that these are the best dessert I’ve ever made. I used all chocolate chips instead of peanut butter chips but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. They are dense, buttery, peanut butter and have an excellent texture. Thank you so much!

  3. This slice is the bomb! Absolutely delicious.

  4. Oh my these are good!, putting some away in the freezer for later! One of the first recipes I’ve made from your site, I love your writing!

  5. These were so good! Thinking about adding mini marshmallows next time.

  6. Wow — these are great. My new favorite bar recipe! Thanks so much.

  7. I have no self control when it comes to cookies like this!

  8. I made these for my Bible Study group tonight and they are incredibly delicious! I did not have any creamy peanut butter so used the Jiff Chunky! Fabulous!

  9. Oh my, these sound WONDERFUL! Now I’ve got a serious peanut butter craving!

  10. Just made these (a little different mix-ins based on my quasi stocked pantry) and they are delish!  I will totally be making them again!

  11. These look so yummy and incorporate some of my favorite things! I will definitely be giving these a try! 

  12. just made these & posted about it on my blog. rave reviews!!!

    softies for lyfe :)

  13. Yum! I have a peanut butter craving that is never truely satisfied!

  14. These look delicious, especially since oatmeal and pb are two of my fave types of cookies!

  15. Center eaters unite! High five!

  16. I love that third photo! So creative! And these look fabulous!

  17. I buy my peanut butter by the bucket. Literally. The thing has a handle. I think I can spare 3/4 cup to makes these beautiful cookie bars. Holy crap, they are calling my name.

  18. These bars look so amazingggggg!

  19. In love with these  beauties. Huge craving just hit in the middle of dinner. I think I should just stop and make these now!

  20. Isn’t it funny how a peanut butter craving is just that and can NOT be satisfied from almond butter. I know because I’ve tried! These are gorgeous, Lindsay! 

  21. These bars were delicious  and the perfect curaten for  a sweet tooth craving, not too mention the inclusion of oatmeal makes it seem a little healthy, right?!? ;-)

  22. just curious if you have an estimated calorie count??

    • a lot, probably. :) haha, sorry, you could try plugging the recipe into a nutrition calculator but I do not have that kind of info.

  23. You are so right about the edgers versus the centers…and that is what makes bar cookies so appealing. Talking of appealing, the photograph with the unbaked and the baked bars side by side was amazing and the word chefmate was almost there in its entirety. Very captivating photograph.

  24. I’m with you on the center-of-the-pan cookie/brownie. Why would anyone pick the edges??! 

    And these look fantastic. As in “must make them just because it’s Wednesday” fantastic. :) 

  25. Looks like just one days worth of cravings to me ;-) haha

  26. Chocolate + Peanutbutter? Count me in!! 

  27. MMMM! I’m a centre-square sort of gal myself!

  28. These look absolutely amazing!  I’m a huge fan of chocolate and peanut butter, and I love the addition of the oatmeal. :)

  29. This is one of my favorite combinations of all-time. Pinning this recipe for sure!!

  30. OMG this looks AMAZEBALLS! I want to go home and bake right now. Your photos are lovely too. On my retina display it makes them look so real, I want to take a bite out of my computer. For real. I need to make these right now. YUM!

  31. thats the greatest before and after shot ever.  jealous.

  32. I was craving PB last night. These look perfect!

  33. These look phenomenal – I wanna devour the whole platter!! Anything with peanut butter and I’m in. Love it! Pinned :)

  34. WOW!! looks so good!! i want to eat taht right now :)

  35. I am so the center of the pan type of girl too. These look absolutely sinful – therefore they will get made and eaten!

  36. These looks delicious!! I think I might try making these for long bike rides!!

    • Ooo, maybe I should spin them as energy bars, not dessert. Then they’re perfectly acceptable to eat in the morning, right? :)

  37. Oooo, craving cookies at 8am :)  Mmm!

  38. Can I just say that I love your photography? Especially the first picture! So bright and appealing!

  39. Oh my goodness! These look like such a fabulous treat. I love all the chips in there!

  40. I currently have 6 different types of peanut butter in my cupboard because I have hoarding problems, too. I adore the triple threat and peanut butter, peanut butter chips, and Reese’s!

  41. Running out of peanut butter is pretty much my worst nightmare, soooo glad you made up for it with these! I’ll take the pan and a fork please!

  42. I currently have 1 opened jar of PB and 2 unopened…just in case. Never run out of peanut butter. I am totally sad for you that you had to experience this! I am totally loving this pictures and these bars. I am definitely a soft center kind of gal too and those chunks of pb cups are killing me.

  43. These bars looks so good. They have all the best things in them :)

  44. I’m a middle of the brownie/bar kinda girl too.  Soft, chewy and so good! 

  45. Love everything about these!!

  46. Ok so I never run out of PB for exactly the reasons you said. There’s NO substitutes!

    These look absolutely incredible! Truly something RIGHT out of my dream dessert. The texture from the oats, the choc chips, the PB chips, the Pb dough, and the PB cups. Yes, yes yes! And I’ve made 1 or 2 pb desserts in my day and these get me excited! pinned!

    And that shot with unbaked/baked in 1 photo. Now THAT is cool!!! Love that!

    • I thought you might like them. :) Also – you amaze me with your late night commenting prowess. I think you’ve been the first comment on my last 10 posts. DO YOU NOT SLEEP?!?

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