Can you really go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate? It’s one of my favorite combination of flavors and it works perfectly in these bars. The crust and topping is a chewy oat, sugar, and butter mixture that is studded with chopped nuts of your choice. The middle layer consists of peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk which adds a creamy richness to the bars, but isn’t over-the-top sweet. Topped with some chocolate chips, this dessert is sure to fulfill any peanut butter and chocolate craving!
I chilled these bars in the fridge so I could get a nice clean cut, but Marc and I both agreed they were better at room temperature. The crumb topping can also be a little messy but that just makes cleaning your plate more fun, right?
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Crumble Bars
adapted from Piece of Cake
For the crust and crumble:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 large egg
3/4 – 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
7 oz (half can) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (not natural)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 8×8 baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with baking spray.
Mix together flour, salt, and baking powder in large bowl. Mix in butter with electric mixer (how I did it) or with fingers (how recipe I followed did it). Add in oats, brown sugar, and chopped nuts. I did this all in my Kitchenaid Mixer.
Set aside a quarter of the mixture (about 1 cup) and add chocolate chips. This will be your crumble topping.
To the remaining crumb mixture, mix in egg to form the dough for the bottom layer. The egg will act as the binding agent for the crust. Pat this mixture evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.
For the middle layer, simply stir together the sweetened condensed milk with the peanut butter. Don’t worry about getting exactly half of the can of sweetened condensed milk…just estimate it!
After crust is done baking, pour peanut butter mixture over and spread with spatula to make sure it is even. Finally, drop the crumb and chocolate mixture on top, and press down lightly.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown, then let cool completely before slicing. They may seem like they are not done in the middle after 20 minutes but they will set up as they cool.
If you are baking these in a glass plan, remove the bars from the pan with your aluminum foil “handles” and let cool on cooling rack. Glass pans retain heat and will continue baking the bars even after they are out of the oven. Cut into squares, and enjoy!