Peanut Butter Bars

On a recent trip to the grocery store, I saw some steel cut oats, and thought “Hey, didn’t someone say those were healthier than regular oats?” So I bought some, but of course I never, ever remember to soak them the night before. And so poor P doesn’t get his oatmeal. The one time I did remember to soak them he said “Mama, I don’t LIKE this kind of oatmeal!” Which got me thinking, what’s so bad about rolled oats anyway? Aren’t they pretty healthy too? Shouldn’t I just be thankful my kid actually eats oatmeal? And so I went back to quick oats. But those darned steel cut oats – I wasn’t sure what to do with them. So I decided to bake with them.

I adapted a recipe from Rebar, one of my favourite cookbooks. I’m not sure if baking with steel cut oats is “accepted” but I found they gave the bars a very appealing texture – sort of as if I’d made the bars with chunky peanut butter instead. Sure, you could just go buy chunky peanut butter if you wanted that texture, but the goal here is using up those oats! If you are the kind of person who actually remember to soak oats, or never buys steel cut ones in the first place, you can also use regular oats, although the texture will be different. The original Rebar version also has a very yummy icing, but I left that off in order to make these into an every day “can go in P’s lunch” kind of treat.

You’ll need:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup peanut butter (preferably smooth!)
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup steel cut oats
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Half a bag of chocolate chips

Soften the PB and butter and then mix with the sugars – I used a KitchenAid but any mixer will do. Add the egg and vanilla to the wet mixture too. In a separate bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking soda and salt. Once combined, add the dry mixture to the peanut butter mix and stir well. Throw in as many chocolate chips as you like. Spread mixture in an 8×8 buttered pan and cook at 350F for 25 minutes.

Mmmm. They were gone in a day.