Peanut Butter Dream Bars

Posted on May 28, 2008 
Filed Under Cookies and bars

There are just some recipes you fall in love with when you read over them and you know you’ve just gotta try it. The recipe today was one of them. Most of the recipes like that for me are cookies, bars, or a dessert of some sort.

Sometimes I wonder why I didn’t just do a dessert site instead of a general cooking site. But, on second thought, that might not be a good idea because think of all the desserts and cookies and stuff I’d have to make to keep it updated! That wouldn’t be good for the wasteline.

In case you wonder, you pretty much get stuff hot off the press here. So, you know what we’ve been eating within the last day or two. I’m not a plan ahead person in any other area of my life (it’s something I’m trying to work on though!), so I’m not with this site, either. I have no posts made ahead. For example, I’m planning to make my ‘Out of my Comfort Zone’ lettuce salad with fruit in it today and post it tomorrow. And no-posts-made-ahead is why my site died the week I went with Shannon on a business run to PA and also over Memorial Day weekend.    

Anyway, I don’t know why I said all that just before saying this: these bars are an exception, I actually made them last week! I think it was maybe Thursday. So they are long gone by now. I only made half a batch because I didn’t want a huge pan of them around here. Way too tempting! I got the recipe from Michelle. She said, “I think the title doesn’t do them justice. I think a better name would be Peanut Butter Dream Bars. See what you think.” And I agree! Oatmeal Bars sound like a healthy something with raisins in. These would NOT fit that mental picture!!! See what you think. 

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Oatmeal Bars

2 cups melted butter (starting out with melted butter… you KNOW they’re gonna be good!)
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. soda
4 cups quick oats
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup peanut butter
2 14-oz cans sweetened condensed milk
2 cups mini choc. chips or mini m&m’s

Mix together melted butter, sugar, soda, quick oats, flour & salt until it’s crumbly.
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Set aside 3 cups. Press the rest into a greased 15×10 pan. Remember I made a half batch. I couldn’t decide what size pan would be half of a 10×15. That’s 150 square inches, so half would be something that’s 75 square inches. An 8×8 is 64, a 9×13 is 117. So I picked the 8×8. Maybe I need more baking pans. Or maybe they don’t even make 8×9 pans (72 sq in) or better yet, 7 x 10.5, that would be perfect. Um, let’s see, I forget, were we baking or having Math class?
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Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
Mix peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk. Spread over the baked crust. Pour/drizzle worked great. Yum, doesn’t that mixture look good?! It is. I licked the spatula afterwards.
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Mix mini choc chips or m&m’s with the reserved crumbs. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs on top of the peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk mixture. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
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Enlarged to show texture. And that creamy caramelly peanut buttery layer. These definitely do not fit the ‘Oatmeal Bar’ name. In a recipe that has peanut butter and M&Ms and oatmeal, WHO would pick out the oatmeal and name them THAT?! So, Peanut Butter Dream Bars they will be. They are, of course, irrestistably good. They’re a bit crumbly, for example, you wouldn’t want the kids to walk around in the house eating them. But then, who’d ever let their kids do that anyway. Thanks for the recipe, Michelle! It’s a keeper.

Edit: I made them again and put a half recipe in a 9×13 and that was perfect, they were not as crumbly as they were with the 8×8 pan.

Comments

32 Responses to “Peanut Butter Dream Bars”

  1. Annette33 on May 28th, 2008 8:25 am

    Oh, those look good! I will have to try this recipe. Yes, I am one of those moms that lets their kids walk around with crumbly food, lol. I know, one bad habit. I recommended your site yesterday to my scrappin’ friends at DMarie. I love the fact that your recipes seem simple, and look so delicious with attacked pics. Just the motivation I need to cook some scrumpcious stuff this summer.

  2. Lisa on May 28th, 2008 8:28 am

    My boys would go wild over these….heck who am I kiddin’ so would my husband and I. Do you think that a regualr 9×13 pan would work on a full batch of these? I don’t have a 15×10 pan. That recipe is for a full batch right? Thanks!

  3. Shannon on May 28th, 2008 8:37 am

    Ohhhh I’m looking for something to bake this morning and I think I just found it!!! I have to go see if I have everything. I love peanut butter & oatmeal and these look wonderful!

  4. Kay on May 28th, 2008 8:48 am

    Annette, so you’re a scrapper… me too! Thanks for sharing this site with your friends! :)

    Lisa, I’ll bet it would work. Yeah, the recipe is for a full batch. They might be a little thicker, but then mine would’ve been a little thicker too because my pan size would’ve been a little less than half of a 10×15… see Math work above. :)

    Shannon, do NOT let the chocolate out! I’m so afraid you will. And no, it wouldn’t be better with white chocolate!!!! :)

  5. Jo on May 28th, 2008 8:53 am

    Well, I don’t love PB, but everyone else in the family does. And even I liked your PB cookies. ;-) So it looks like I’ll have to try these out…once I have brown sugar in the pantry again.

  6. Berneice on May 28th, 2008 8:55 am

    These are a favorite of Lorens. Not mine though, I stay pretty far away from PB. They sound so good with that condensed milk I had to try them, but still couldn’t hack that PB!

  7. Shannon on May 28th, 2008 8:57 am

    Ha ha Kay. :p I came back to write the recipe down and I see your comment. I was cosidering leaving it out but I might go with half white half choc. :)

  8. Freida on May 28th, 2008 9:39 am

    These look wonderful. Doesn’t look like I should make them for tonight, tho, since Shannon and Berneice both beat me to it. That’s ok. I’ll just make them some other time and eat them all myself. :-)

  9. Karisa on May 28th, 2008 9:58 am

    OHHHHH they look heavenly and I am going to put these on my list of things to make in the near future.

  10. Dawn on May 28th, 2008 12:06 pm

    YUM! :-)
    I love this site so much. I am such a sucker for easy recipes. :-)

    God Bless!
    Dawn

  11. Roxanna on May 28th, 2008 5:18 pm

    These look awesome! I’m on my way to the kitchen right now! I’m not sure they fit in my diet-but oh well-I’ll exercise more tomorrow! :)

  12. Karen on May 28th, 2008 7:48 pm

    YUMMMMM….i LOVE THESE AND ACTUALLY THE FRIEND WHO GAVE ME THE RECIPE CALLED THEM DREAM BARS.

  13. Roxanna on May 28th, 2008 8:48 pm

    Yep-they’re wonderful! They are richer than I thought they would be though. I made a full recipe so some will probably go in the freezer for later! Thanks again for another wonderful recipe!

  14. Jo on May 29th, 2008 7:24 am

    Just wondering…quick oatmeal or regular, or doesn’t it matter?
    Titus is getting br. sugar for me right now, & these will be baking up in my oven sometime today. Mmmm, can’t wait!

  15. Denise Weaver on May 29th, 2008 10:50 am

    Wow!! This looks super good. And I was thinking of making some peanut butter cookies for this weekend’s carry-in church supper. The supper is planned for the chorus coming to sing and for the church folks and any other visitors. I’m on for cookies or bars. Well I already planned to make choco. chip cookies and peanut butter cookies but now it will definitely be pb dream bars! Going shopping tomorrow with my sis-in-law so, I’ll get what I don’t have. THANKS!

  16. Audrey on May 29th, 2008 1:30 pm

    Wow! Those look like they would be right up our alley! I love peanut butter and chocolate! In fact, maybe I’ll make them for company this week end! Seems like maybe they would get too thick or high for the kind of cookie sheet 15X10 pans that I have. What do you think? They only have that low edge on them? Also, is there a way to print just a recipe on your web site, instead of getting everything that goes along with it? Could I maybe cut and paste to another program or can I somehow do it right from this web site?

  17. Kay on May 29th, 2008 2:03 pm

    Roxanna, thanks for trying them and for the feedback! Yeah, they didn’t fit into my diet either. :(

    Jo, I’d say definitely quick oats… but then I never buy regular and use quick oats for everything w\ oatmeal.

    Audrey, I actually thought of that same thing, my 10×15 has low sides too. I should’ve made a full pan to try it, then put the rest in the freezer like Roxanna did. That gooey layer would drip over the side if it wasn’t down in the sides of the pan. Oh well, I’ll just have to make them again in a full batch. :)
    And about printing recipes, I’m going to make printer-friendly recipes (without all the progress pics and extra chatter) and attach a link, but haven’t figured out a good way to do that yet. For now, you could copy and paste into a program and delete the pictures and print it. Or scrawl it down w\ pen and paper.

  18. Marilyn on May 29th, 2008 6:30 pm

    I tried the bars and they were oh sooo good! Definitely a recipe to keep in my file! :-)

  19. Jo on May 29th, 2008 8:04 pm

    I just pulled a pan of these out of the oven. :-) I used half reg. oats & half quick oats—we’ll see if that makes them too crumbly. And, I used a 10×15 pan—the sides of the bars baked up higher than the edges of the pan, but nothing ran over. Can’t wait to taste them; the house smells wonderful! ;-) Bring on the calories!!!

  20. Amber on May 31st, 2008 6:49 am

    My pan suggestion is a 7.5 x 11. I have 2 of them and they’re a great in-between size. :)

  21. Janice on May 31st, 2008 11:54 am

    I tried to leave a comment the other day but our internet service wasn’t good. Then I made the bars, (1/2 batch here) and can’t leave them alone. They are even better after a day or two b/c the filling sets more. While eating them, I think of the oatmeal part. :)

  22. Mary Faith Yoder on June 2nd, 2008 8:22 am

    I took these to our carry in yesterday and they were wonderful! I used my Pampered Chef bar pan and it worked out well. I was a little afraid it might run over in the oven because it was really full, but it didn’t. I probably won’t make them real often because I don’t have desserts like that around on a regular basis but the recipe is definitely a keeper and one that I will have handy for when I do want to make something. :)

  23. Suzanne on December 7th, 2008 3:03 pm

    I just made these this afternoon. They are currently still in the oven, but I am absent-minded today and didn’t read that you cut the recipe in half when you did it. I accidentally made the whole recipe and tried to squeeze it into an 8×10 pan, I think. My hubby tried the crumbly part, and said it was good. We shall see how they turn out! Oh and I only had one can of sweetened condensed milk, so I made my own. I took 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons evaporated milk, 1 cup sugar, and 3 tablespoons butter and cooked it until it came to a boil. It wasn’t as thick as the canned stuff, but it worked out okay for this particular recipe! Thanks for sharing it!

  24. bakingblonde on May 18th, 2009 6:54 pm

    I made these and loved them. I slightly modified this recipe and used a 9×13 pan like you recommended. They were so quick and easy with great results! Thanks.

  25. Christy McCullough on February 2nd, 2014 1:55 pm

    I saw this posted on facebook. Going to try them…my only question…what point do I add the chips? right before i bake them…or in the reserved topping?

  26. Kay on February 18th, 2014 4:14 pm

    Christy, mix them into to the reserved topping.

  27. Teresa on March 11th, 2014 1:39 am

    Oatmeal or Quick Oats? Because when you say oatmeal, to me that means you actually made a bowl of oatmeal and added 4 cups of oatmeal to the recipe. 4 cups of Quick Oats (not rolled oats) makes more sense, but I didn’t see anywhere on the recipe which one it is.

  28. Kay on March 12th, 2014 7:33 am

    You are right, Teresa. It should not say oatmeal. It is quick oats. I edited the recipe just now and it now says quick oats. Thanks for pointing that out!

  29. Courtney on June 12th, 2014 11:38 pm

    Just made these tonight and they were delicious! The only issue I had is the chocolate chips seemed to fall off when I cut and served them. Any suggestions to make sure they stick to the top without burning them by leaving them in too long?

  30. Kay on June 12th, 2014 11:54 pm

    I have a little problem with that when I use M&Ms, but when I use choc chips, they seem to melt into the oats mixture and stick a little better. Pressing down on it before baking seems like it would make the peanut butter layer squeeze up the sides, so that doesn’t sound like a great idea. I wonder what would happen if you’d mix the peanut butter and sw cond milk with the reserved crumbs and choc chips.??? Obviously, I’m just brainstorming here. :) Thanks so much for the feedback!! And now you made me hungry for them again… been awhile since I’ve made them.

  31. Michelle B on October 27th, 2014 2:40 pm

    Maybe a dumb question, but what size sweetened condensed milk can should I use? I have two sizes

  32. Kay on November 6th, 2014 9:02 am

    Michelle, thanks for that question! I’m going to edit the recipe to specify that. It should be a 14-oz can.

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