Thursday, October 23, 2008

Peanut Butter Oat Chocolate Chip Bars

Have I mentioned enough times that I love peanut butter? As in, LOVE it? These bars turned out to be slightly crumbly, but stayed put together for the most part, and turned out to be completely delicious -- and even better on the second day. Good enough to bring to serve to mixed company for sure (gluten-free or otherwise). They got rave reviews when I brought them around to people at work! If you like peanut butter, you will love the flavor of these bars, made even chewier by the gluten-free rolled oats I added in. [A word of caution about oats: not every celiac can tolerate them well, especially if you've just been diagnosed, so you may want to talk to your doctor before using them. If you don't want to use oats, try quinoa flakes or coconut flakes in this recipe instead!] If you are allergic to nuts, try using sunbutter instead of peanut butter here. I added Hazelnut milk because I'd never tried it before and thought it might add a nice touch, but I think this would work fine with any other kind of vanilla non-dairy milk, especially a thicker one like soy milk. If you want something less cakey and more fudge-like in its consistency, try using only one egg instead of two. Enjoy these while they last because it won't be for long!

Peanut Butter Oat Chocolate Chip Bars

3/4 cups all-natural peanut butter (I used creamy Smuckers, but my favorite is Trader Joe's brand)
1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup gluten-free oats
1/4 cups oil (olive oil or vegetable oil)
3/8 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread, softened
1/4 cup Pacific Hazelnut milk (or other milk substitute of your choice)
2 eggs (for vegan bars, replace with 3 tsp. + 4 tbsp. warm water)
2 tsp. gluten-free vanilla
1 1/2 cups Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix (or another gf flour mix of your choice, especially if you cannot tolerate dairy; consider using 1/2 cup sorghum flour, 1/2 cup tapioca starch, and 1/2 cup brown rice flour with 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. xanthan gum, and 1/4 tsp. salt)
6 oz. dairy-free chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life Chips)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix all wet ingredients ingredients together, then add the flour and finally the chocolate chips. Spread into a 9 x 13 pan that has been greased or sprayed with cooking spray on the bottom. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Cool and cut into slices. Store in an airtight container and freeze any slices you won't eat within 2 days.

**This would also be tasty with any other kind of chips you think would complement the peanut butter flavor!

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