Not quite a cookie; however, the flavors of this bar will take you to cookie heaven! That’s the simplest way to describe our Crunchy Oats and Peanut Butter Bars. You may even think that the only difference between our bars and cookies is the shape— after you taste one. There are a few things that set them apart, though.
Contrary to most cookies, this recipe has no flour. We use rolled oats, also known as old fashioned oats, and brown rice cereal. The glue that binds them together is our peanut butter, honey, and a bit of coconut oil. We found that you can omit the oil and still achieve very good results. The bars may turn out a bit less crunchy without the coconut oil, however.
Add honey, according to your taste! It is up to you! We found the best combination achieved with 2/3 cups of honey. When watching your overall sugar intake, you may choose to use 1/3 cup of honey instead and add another 1/3 cup of peanut butter for balance. This option also worked well.
The last step is critical when making the bars. When you remove them from the oven, try to cut them right away— when they are still a bit soft. Once they dry out completely, it can be bit difficult to slice them. Store these truly memorable bars in a tightly sealed container or in plastic bags to maximize their freshness.
Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Start by mixing oats, cereal, peanuts, baking soda, and flaxseed meal. In a separate saucepan, over medium heat, combine peanut butter, honey, coconut oil, and vanilla extract.
Once well combined, mix with dry ingredients. Spread on lined sheet and press down with back of a spatula until even. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until edges are lightly brown. Remove the baked result from the oven, and let it cool before slicing into 16 bars. Store in an airtight container to up to seven days.