January 30, 2021
I am a self-proclaimed peanut butter junkie. I can eat peanut butter everyday and never tire of it. I eat it on bread with grape jelly. I love it in oatmeal. And yes, I even take a spoon to the jar sometimes and eat it plain. As a child I enjoyed chunky peanut butter, but as an adult I prefer smooth.
In our house there are two kinds of peanut butter. There is the natural one where the oil separates from the nut butter and you have to stir it like crazy before you can eat it. That’s mine. And then there is the one that my kids love. The more processed kind. We call it dog peanut butter, because that’s the peanut butter I wrap the dog’s pill in every morning so he’ll take it. You see our Jagger loves peanut butter too.
So it shouldn’t be surprising to find out that I bake with peanut butter also. I bake with dog peanut butter because sweets come out better with the more commercial variety. In fact, with these granola bars I used Skippy peanut butter.
These Peanut Butter Granola Bars are delicious and just happen to be gluten-free. My daughter Mia was gluten-free for a few years and I know how challenging it can be to find something delightful to eat that is also gluten-free. Well, you have found it here. And those of you who are not gluten-free, no matter. Just enjoy a delicious oaty granola bar that is easy to make.
Peanut Butter Oat Bars: And They’re Gluten-Free!
Adapted from Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin Ovenly
For the Oat Bars
4 cups (360 grams) gluten-free oats
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (80 grams) chocolate chips (any kind)
1/2 cup (50 grams) unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup (54 grams) slivered almonds, toasted
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200 grams) dark brown sugar (packed)
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (114 grams) honey
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (360 grams) peanut butter (I prefer Skippy)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Coarse sea salt, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 13 x 9 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl whisk together the oats, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine the chocolate chips, coconut, and toasted almonds. Set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugars on medium high until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the honey and mix until incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time. Beat for 30 seconds until smooth.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the peanut butter and vanilla extract, and mix on low until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again. Add the oat mixture and mix on the lowest speed for 2 minutes.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl again, and add the chocolate chips, coconut, and almonds. Mix on low until well combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl one last time and then give the dough a final 10 second mix on low.
Transfer the dough into the prepared baking pan. Smooth the top with an offset spatula, ensuring the dough is evenly distributed in the baking dish.
Sprinkle the dough with coarse se salt, and bake for 25-30 minutes. The top should be golden and the center should be just set.
Cool completely before cutting into bars. ( I didn’t wait long enough and it was a mistake!)