I hope that everyone had a wonderful Easter Sunday! I’m still recovering from my overeating, but I’m getting ready for some delicious leftovers. I made two desserts for Easter this year – carrot cake and these bars. A bit of an overkill for a party of four, but I saw these bars last week on Pink Parsley and just had to make them. And of course, I had to make a carrot cake too, so I made both!
These bars are incredibly rich, I would suggest cutting them into very small pieces. You can change out the Reese’s Pieces with M&M’s if you’d like. Looking back, I think some pastel M&Ms would have looked cuter than the fall colored Reese’s, but they tasted delicious anyway. You could also cut out the candy top completely if you’re looking to cut back some calories. These are best served at room temperature, but store them in the fridge if you are not planning on serving them. Also, you need to plan ahead a bit because they need to set at least 12 hours before cutting. Enjoy!
Peanut Butter Fudge Oatmeal Bars (makes 1 9×9 pan)
1/2 cup + 2 Tbs unsalted butter, softened & divided
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat free)
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
Reese’s Pieces, for the topping
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9 inch square baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides for easy removal.
In a medium bowl, cream together 1/2 cup of butter with the brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and 1 tsp of vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add in dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt & oats) and mix on low until combined. Using 2/3 – 3/4 of dough, press a layer into the prepared ban. Set the remaining dough aside for the topping.
To make the fudge layer, combine sweetened condensed milk, peanut butter, chocolate chips and remaining 2 Tbs of butter into a medium sized sauce pan. Cook over medium low heat, stirring often, until the chocolate chips and butter have melted and the mixture is uniform. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour the fudge over the oatmeal cookie base and smooth over with a spatula.
Crumble remaining cookie dough over the top of the fudge and top with Reese’s Pieces. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the oatmeal topping has just slightly browned. It will appear to be a little undercooked. Remove from the oven and let sit until room temperature. Cover and move to the fridge. Let chill for at least 12 hours before slicing into bars.
Recipe from Pink Parsley