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Chocolate and Peanut Bars

by on November 16, 2009 · 23 comments

Finding new cookies I actually want to eat every day can be a real challenge, especially since I’d be happy with chocolate chip seven days of the week. But there are other recipes that get my attention and this was one of them. It’s adapted from a site called All Things Frugal and it makes a bunch!

I made a half batch yesterday and they were terrific. The big question is why is “chewy” in the original title? With a crust of oatmeal, graham crackers and peanuts, mine baked up crispy and brittle – a borderline candy, but not too sweet and packed with peanut flavor. I thought these tasted even better the second day.

Here’s a terrible picture for you. Turns out the bulbs I got for my light box were too high a wattage and now everything looks overexposed. I have to dim the lights by putting paper over them and the light is still not right. I have half a mind to run out and buy a super camera like Bakerella’s (Canon XTi) so I can kick the light box to the curb and start taking some good shots.

peanut bars

Chocolate and Peanut Bars

2 cups oatmeal
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup salted peanuts, chopped
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup melted regular butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Line a 15×10 inch jelly roll pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray. If you’re halving the recipe, use a 9 inch pan.

Combine oatmeal, graham wafer crumbs, sugar, baking soda and peanuts in a large mixing bowl. Combine corn syrup, melted butter and vanilla in a second bowl or large measuring cup. Pour corn syrup mixture over oat mixture and mix well. Press into pan and bake for 15 minutes. If making a half batch, bake 13 minutes. Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter together in a bowl set over barely simmering water or using medium-low setting of microwave and stirring every 30 seconds. Spread chocolate over warm baked crust. Cool for about 20 minutes at room temperature, then transfer to refrigerator for about 20 minutes to partially set. Lift from pan by grasping foil, then cut into squares.
Return to refrigerator to fully set.

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Published on November 16, 2009

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue November 16, 2009 at 1:50 pm

These look so good! And funny you should mention chocolate chip cookies because I’ve been craving them lately.

Jessica @ How Sweet It Is November 16, 2009 at 1:52 pm

These cookies look phenomenal. What a great addition to my Christmas baking list!

clumbsycookie November 16, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Those look delicious Anna, even with the light issue ;) And they do look very crunchy and not chewy at all…

Sally November 16, 2009 at 2:38 pm

If you are looking at new cameras check out Her photos are just amazing. I can taste what she bakes while I’m drooling over the photos. Somewhere in her website I think she mentions the camera she uses. If I remember correctly hers is a Nikon.

Dee November 16, 2009 at 3:18 pm

When a recipe like this calls for “oatmeal,” does it matter if you use the quick cooking kind or regular oatmeal? Thanks.

Diane November 16, 2009 at 3:19 pm

These are my kind of treat. Quick question: what kind of oatmeal is best to use, old-fashioned or quick?


Diane November 16, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Whoops, I see Dee beat me to the punch!

Amanda November 16, 2009 at 3:34 pm

Sorry about your bulbs :-/ but your cookies look fantastic!

justJENN November 16, 2009 at 5:02 pm

MAN that looks good, with or without light bulbs!

Chris Mower November 16, 2009 at 5:09 pm

These are looking like the perfect treat for my family get-together tonight. The temptation to buy a super-deluxe DSLR is always there… so hard to resist.

Therese B. November 16, 2009 at 5:24 pm

Maybe it’s me…but, I don’t see a problem at all with the pics. Your pictures and
explanations of the recipe always tempt me to make them. These look so good
I just want to make them!!!

p.s. I made the butternut squash lasagna…it’s cooking in the oven right now!

tanya November 16, 2009 at 7:17 pm

They look perfect to me – yumm!


Shoshana November 16, 2009 at 10:32 pm

These look great! What kind of light box do you use? I have been only taking daytime pictures, but it would be much more convenient to have more flexibility.

Susan November 17, 2009 at 7:07 am

These look so perfect for a holiday show I’m doing soon. Do you think the chocolate on top will stay set and not melt? I always wonder about drizzled and covered chocolate on goodies once packaged.

Louise November 17, 2009 at 7:38 am

These look similar to a David Lebovitz treat I’ve had on my list to try. Matzoh is the base of his.

Anna November 17, 2009 at 7:43 am

About the oats, I used old fashioned. If a recipe says quick, I try to use quick because it affects the texture. In this case I don’t think it mattered too much,

Soshana, my light box is the portable type. Look up on portable light box on Amazon. It’s the one that’s about $40.

Susan, the chocolate topping gets soft at room temperature, but not too melty. I think it would work for you.

Thanks all for all the picture remarks and tips. Nikon is a great camera, but I’ve become a little brand loyal to Canon and will probably go that direction. A friend of mine had a Nikon and her pictures were great.

Dolce November 17, 2009 at 8:47 am

Before you get a new camera, it’s indeed all about the lights… But then, who can resist a nice DSLR?? Though, again, the best pictures I take (with, ahem, a point & shoot camera) are by daylight. Anything else needs to be edited, and that’s never as good as sunlight.

I am sure this chocolate & peanut butter bars would make a great hostess gift for Thanksgiving :)

Sue November 17, 2009 at 9:26 am

Thinking about your lighting and camera. I struggle with this in a HUGE way and have considered getting or making a light box. So far I haven’t found the time to do either. I take almost all of my photos by daylight, but once in awhile I give in and use artificial lighting, or gasp, even the flash on my camera!! The days are so much shorter now, and this time of year it tends to be cloudy a lot so I really need to come up with a better solution. BTW, my camera is Nikon D40X. I love it. It’s an entry level DSLR, but it works for me.

katherine November 17, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Do you think you could omit the peanuts or use almonds or pecans instead? I don’t have any peanuts and don’t want to make a special trip to the store…. actually pretzels would probably be good in this…

Mimi November 17, 2009 at 9:46 pm

I’m all for anything chocolate and peanut butter.

anth November 17, 2009 at 10:05 pm

I am making these right now… They are currently cooling. Smell AMAZING.

CakeSpy November 18, 2009 at 3:02 pm

These look amazing. I am curious to try it out with different nuts too (in addition to the peanuts!). I love the oats too, they’re so good in bars!

sweetie November 25, 2009 at 6:26 pm

krispies or granola in the base layer would also be yummy!

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