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Looking for a quick and easy treat that combines the rich flavor of peanut butter with the hearty texture of oats? Look no further than these delicious Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars. Only 6 ingredients needed and it starts with an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie mix. Thick, chewy, soft-baked, and best of all they’re so easy to make. 

If you want more short-cut, quick fix desserts then be sure and try my Oatmeal Cookie Apple Crumble or these Funfetti Cake Batter Cookie Bars

Overhead shot of these cookie bars with chocolate chips and oatmeal.

Easy, Short-Cut Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

I love using short-cut ingredients for a sweet treat like these peanut butter oatmeal bars. Simple to make with only 6 ingredients, and it’s even a recipe that your kids can make!

It starts with a bag of oatmeal chocolate chip cookie mix which is basically like a cake mix, all the dry ingredients you need in a convenient package, throw in a few more ingredients and that’s it. 

Thick, chewy, soft-baked bars with tons of texture and rich peanut butter flavor in no time at all. 

A hand holding a bar with a bite taken out of it.

Ingredients Needed

  • Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix – This is a bag of cookie mix that you will find by the boxed cake mixes at the store. I’ve only ever seen it sold by the Betty Crocker brand. It’s a 17.5 ounce bag of cookie mix ‘oatmeal chocolate chip’ flavor. 
  • Old-Fashioned Oats – These are the whole oats, and not the quick oats, although quick oats can be used if wanted. Whole oats provide more texture to the bars. 
  • Chocolate Chips – Use either semi-sweet chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips. I prefer using milk chocolate in this recipe. You can also use peanut butter chips as well. 
  • Large Eggs
  • Creamy Peanut Butter – It’s best to not use any peanut butter that is ‘all-natural’ or the varieties that need to be stirred first (they have that oil layer on top). Stick with regular creamy peanut butter like Skippy, Jif, or Peter Pan brand. 
  • Heavy Cream – Provides some rich moisture for our cookie bars.

Labeled ingredients for this recipe

How To Make Easy Cookie Bars with an Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

Follow these easy, step-by-step directions for making this simple dessert that needs only 6 ingredients. 

  • Step 1 : Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. 
  • Step 2 : In a large mixing bowl, or use the stand mixer bowl, whisk together the oatmeal chocolate chip cookie mix, oats, and chocolate chips until combined. 
  • Step 3 : Use the stand mixer, or hand mixer + a mixing bowl, and beat in the eggs, peanut butter, and heavy cream to form a thick dough. 
  • Step 4 : Spread the dough into the prepared pan and press it into an even, thick layer. 
  • Step 5 : Bake for 25-35 minutes or until cooked though and the edges are just starting to turn golden brown. It also helps to poke a toothpick into the center to make sure it comes out dry. 
  • Step 6 : Let the bars cool completely before cutting into squares and serving. 

Process photos for how to make this easy cookie bar recipe.

Process photos for how to make this easy cookie bar recipe.

Process photos for how to make this easy cookie bar recipe.

Process photos for how to make this easy cookie bar recipe.

Process photos for how to make this easy cookie bar recipe.

FAQ’s For Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

  • How Should I Store Leftovers?

    • You can store the peanut butter bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. 
    • For longer storage, you can refrigerate them for up to a week OR freeze them for up to 3 months. 
    • If you freeze them, be sure to double wrap the bars tightly in plastic wrap and then a layer of foil. Place the wrapped bars inside a freezer-safe ziploc bag or container. 
    • Be aware, that if the bars are stored in the fridge and the freezer, that they will tend to be drier even after thawing. 
    • These bars are best eaten the day they’re made or up to 1 day after. We love to warm up leftovers in the microwave for a gooey warm cookie bar. 
  • What Changes Can I Make To This Recipe?

    • Remember that any changes you make to the recipe may affect the taste, texture, and overall outcome, so it’s best to experiment in small batches first until you achieve the desired result. Because of the very few ingredients in this recipe, you may need to adjust things if you’re wanting to work with the substitutes below. 
      • Add-Ins : You can switch up the add-ins such as chopped nuts (pecans are the best in these), dried fruit, or other chocolate chip varieties. You want to keep the add-ins the same measurement as what the recipe calls for, to avoid dry cookie bars.
      • Chocolate Chips : Use peanut butter chips, dark chocolate chips, semi-sweet chips, or milk chocolate chips. You can even uses M&M’s or Reese’s Pieces.
      • Gluten-Free : To make the bars gluten-free, use a gluten-free oatmeal cookie mix and ensure that your oats are also certified gluten-free. 
      • Dairy-Free : To make the bars dairy-free, you can substitute the heavy cream with a non-dairy milk such as almond milk or coconut milk. Doing this will affect the final taste of the bars, and you will want to start with 2 tablespoons of the alternative milk and use more if needed.
      • Nut-Free : While these are peanut butter oatmeal bars you can make them nut free by using a nut butter substitute such as sunbutter or wow butter.

Overhead shot of this recipe, with a cup of milk and cloth beside it.

Expert Tips

Here are a few of my tips so that you can have success recreating this recipe in your own kitchen ♥

  • Line Pan with Parchment Paper : I prefer lining baking pans with parchment paper because I think it allows the bars to cook more evenly and it prevents the bottom and sides from getting too browned. A layer of cooking spray can actually cause the bottom and sides to darken more. Parchment paper also allows for there to be some overhang, which means you can easily lift the bars out of the pan in order to cut them in clean and even slices. I use a pre-cut parchment paper sheet (made for cookie sheet) and cut in half. I then use one half vertically in the pan and lay the other half horizontally in the pan. 
  • Oats : For more texture use whole, old-fashioned oats. They are a larger, sturdier oat flake that provides really great texture for the bars. Quick oats can be used but it will change the texture of the bars slightly. 
  • Don’t Use All-Natural Peanut Butter : I recommend not using any of the all-natural peanut butter or the ones that you have to stir before using (in order to mix in that top oil layer). All-natural peanut butters tend to dry out baked goods because there is not all that oil in them that we need for these bars. I love the Peter Pan brand!
  • Stand Mixer : If you have a stand mixer, like a KitchenAid, then I highly recommend using that. The stand mixers beat everything together better which results in the correct texture (thick dough) without tons of beating to the batter. It’s also hands-off, which is always a good thing. I use the paddle attachment to my KitchenAid when I make this recipe in it. 

Close up side shot of this bar

Overhead shot of the bars

More Oatmeal Recipes You’ll Love

 

A hand holding a bar with a bite taken out of it.
Together As Family Logo

Easy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars


Author Jessica - Together as Family
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 12
Looking for a quick and easy treat that combines the rich flavor of peanut butter with the hearty texture of oats? Look no further than these delicious Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars. Only 6 ingredients needed and it starts with an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie mix. Thick, chewy, soft-baked, and best of all they're so easy to make.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 bag (17.5 oz) oatmeal chocolate chip cookie mix
  • 1 cup whole old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk chocolate)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line a 9x9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
    * I like to use the pre-cut parchment paper sheets and cut one in half. Place one half horizontally in the pan and the other vertically. There will be a slight overhang for the edges to easily pull the bars out with.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, or use a mixing bowl, whisk together the dry cookie mix, oats, and chocolate chips until combined.
    1 bag (17.5 oz) oatmeal chocolate chip cookie mix, 1 cup whole old-fashioned oats, 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • Add in the eggs, peanut butter, and heavy cream.
    Use the stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or hand mixer with the mixing bowl, and beat until a thick dough forms. About 1-2 minutes.
    2 large eggs, 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Spread the dough into the prepared pan and press into an even, thick layer.
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes or until cooked through and the edges are just starting to turn golden brown.
    You can also stick a toothpick into the center of the bars and make sure it comes out clean.
  • Allow the bars to cool inside the warm pan for about 1 hour before cutting into squares and serving.

Notes

Heavy Cream : If you are using anything other than heavy cream (2%, whole milk, half and half) then start with 2 tablespoons and add more if needed. Because heavy cream is so thick and high in fat, you need more of it to bring the dough together. Anything thinner and lower in fat, you will need less. 
Chocolate Chips : You can use milk chocolate, semi-sweet, dark chocolate, peanut butter chips, white chips, m&m's, Reese's Pieces, etc. 
Peanut Butter : I have never used this recipe with anything other than regular creamy peanut butter (Jif, Skippy, Peter Pan). I've never tried it with the all-natural, no-stir peanut butter varieties. Be careful if using those varieties because they do tend to dry out baked goods. I recommend using regular creamy peanut butter. 
Cookie Mix : This is just like a cake mix that includes all the dry ingredients you need to make cookies. Use the dry cookie mix inside the bag and disregard the instructions on the back of the package. Found in the baking aisle. It comes in a bag-like pouch. 

Nutrition

Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 111mg | Potassium: 162mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg

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