Sometimes two things just belong together, like chips and salsa, cookies and milk, pancakes and syrup, or bacon and eggs. Peanut butter and chocolate are another pair that is a match made in heaven! Like seriously…HEAVEN!! These Peanut Butter Bars are the ultimate combo of chocolate and peanut butter!
You all know how much we love peanut butter with a love that goes deeper than that little jar of creamy or crunchy nut bliss. If you haven’t heard our peanut butter story, you can read it here. We really do believe that peanut butter makes almost everything better.
Combine it with chocolate and the world is a happier and sweeter place!
I got this recipe from my dear friend, Kara. She made them for a baby shower that I attended and I knew immediately that the recipe had to be mine. They are devoured every time I take them anywhere now. SO. GOOD!!
Whenever I am at a party or gathering of some kind where there are desserts, I am drawn to dessert bars especially when they appear to include peanut butter and/or chocolate in any form. I’m like a moth to a flame. The new term should be like a Carrian to a dessert bar…seriously!
There are two ingredients in these bars that make them different than most peanut bars out there. First, we use margarine. I know all you baking purists out there are going to start getting hives when you read this recipe and want to swap the margarine for butter or shortening. Trust me on this one! Margarine is just the only way to go here!
Second, the oatmeal gives these bars the best texture and deep full flavor. Plus, oatmeal is nothing but good for you! It helps with weight loss, reduces the risk of heart disease, lowers blood sugar levels, and is full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. These bars are practically healthy with all that oatmeal in it. Okay, not really at all, but a girl can dream!
Margarine makes another appearance in the frosting, so you’re going to have to trust me again on this one. It just works! This is a creamy and rich chocolate frosting that you will just want to lather all over everything. You will definitely be licking the spatula on this one!
The frosting calls for 1/4 cup of scant cocoa. In baking a scant cup means that you don’t pack it in the cup and you don’t even fill the cup completely to the top.
What is Margarine?
Margarine is a substitute for butter that is made from vegetable oils or animal fats. It is a spread that can be used for flavoring, baking and cooking. It was first created in 1869 in France by Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès who had been challenged by Emperor Napoleon III to create a substitute for butter out of beef tallow for the armed forces and lower classes. We don’t use it often in our house, but certain recipes just need margarine! Like our famous caramel brownies from scratch!
Best Spatula Ever
See that little spatula in the picture below? It is one of my favorite kitchen tools because it is the perfect size. It cuts the dessert bars or lasagna or casseroles that are just the right size for a serving. I just love it! We have a phenomenal kitchen store here in Utah called Orson Gygi. I could spend days and thousands of dollars there easily. That is where I got my perfect little spatula. Here is a very similar one. It should be in every kitchen!
If you want to be the most popular person at your next neighborhood gathering or family potluck, make these peanut butter bars! They are just what peanut butter and chocolate should be!
Bar Dessert RECIPES
Looking for more bar dessert recipes? Try our Flourless Monster Cookie Bars, Maple Pecan Pie Bars, Peach Oatmeal Bars, Raspberry Lemon Bars, Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars, Classic Lemon Bars, Nutella Swirled Pumpkin Bars, Sugar Cookie Bars, or our No Bake S’mores Bars!
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Peanut Butter Bars
- 3/4 Cup White Sugar
- 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
- 3/4 Cups Margarine *see note
- 3/4 Cup Peanut Butter
- 1 Egg Large
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
- 3/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 1/2 Cups Flour
- 1 1/2 Cups Oats
- 3/4 Cups Margarine room temperature
- 1/4 Cup Cocoa Scant
- 1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar plus 1/3 Cup
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
- 1/4 Cup Milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9x13 pan by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray.
- Cream sugar, margarine, and eggs until well blended
- Add vanilla peanut butter, mix well.
- Stir in dry ingredients, including oats.
- Spread into the prepared 9x13 pan and bake for 22 minutes.
- Cool for 30 minutes then spread with chocolate frosting. (recipe below)
For the Frosting
- Mix powdered sugar, cocoa and margarine in a mixer.
- Add vanilla and milk, mix until creamy.