PB & J Oatmeal Bars! A wholesome, vegan dessert that everyone will love. Strawberry jam sandwiched between a whole-wheat peanut butter crust.
I think I’ve made 956 different versions of these PB & J oatmeal bars in the quest for perfection. Part breakfast bar, part cookie, part gooey peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Part what I want to eat every day for breakfast.
I originally set out to make a chewy peanut butter bar that could sub-in for a nourishing bowl of oatmeal. One packed with chia seeds, flax, rolled oats, and a smidge of peanut butter for good measure. And I made them! Though, no one really wanted to eat them. Sure, they were packed with nutrients but they were way too dense and dry to be anything other than compost food. So, back to the drawing board. Again, and again.
So, I tweaked my original concept a bit. They’ve still got enough fiber to be considered a breakfast bar, but just enough sweetness to enjoy for an afternoon snack or dessert. Hearty, chewy, and oozing with strawberry jelly, it’s a PB & J sandwich in bar form.
For easy cleanup, I recommend lining the baking pan with two sheets of parchment paper, crossed in the middle and a bit of overhang over the side. Once the bars are completely cool, grab onto the parchment overhang to pull the finished bars out of the pan. Then, slice and enjoy. This method is my favorite for just about any baked good. It makes both cleanup and serving so much easier.
I also recommend heating the strawberry jam a bit before placing over the peanut butter layer. On version #877 I dolloped the jam onto the batter and it didn’t spread as much as I’d like in the hot oven. Melting, then spreading the jam ensures that every bite of these bars are packed with both peanut butter and jelly flavor. Mmmm, peanut butter & jelly forever.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!Print
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see note)
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk (my favorite is Pacific Food’s [url:1]Organic Vanilla[/url])
- 3/4 cup strawberry jam
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8×8″ baking dish with parchment paper for easy removal. I like to criss-cross two sheets of parchment paper to lift up the bars once baking.
- Place the peanut butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on medium-high until fluffy. If you don’t have an electric mixer, use a hand mixer.
- Add in vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- Add in the flour, oats, salt and baking soda and mix together on medium speed. Drizzle in almond milk until a dough forms.
- Remove 2/3 of the dough and gently roll into a ball with your hands. Place in the middle of the pan and press to fit. Place it in the middle of an 8×8 baking dish, pressing it to fit.
- Warm the strawberry jam in a small saucepan or in the microwave until slightly melted. This will make it easier to spread.
- Pour the jam over the bars and crumble the remaining dough on top. Don’t worry if the dough doesn’t completely cover the jam, it will spread a little when cooking.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until set and golden on top. Let cool completely, then cut into 12 squares.
I first tried these with whole-wheat flour and the bars came out too dense. If you don’t have whole-wheat pastry flour, I recommend subbing in regular flour.