Dear baking world,
I seem to love people that can’t handle gluten. My little sister can’t eat gluten and one of my best friends in the whole world can’t eat it either. So, more often than not, I get requests for gluten free desserts and boy do I love the challenge.
Peanut butter is the saving grace of people with gluten allergies/celiac disease/wheat intolerances. Peanut butter literally works magic is so many desserts. In fact, I’ve only made one gluten free dessert without peanut butter and that wasn’t even a dessert, it was a bar.
So why is peanut butter so important in gluten free desserts? Because it acts like both a fat and a flour. For example, in flour-less peanut butter cookies, there is absolutely no flour, but the peanut butter acts like a flour.
So, naturally, I had to use peanut butter to make these beautiful gluten free bars. The recipe calls for a half cup of crushed up graham crackers, but that contains gluten, so I substituted the graham crackers for a half cup of Bob’s Red Mill gluten free oats. That was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
These bars were so easy, they only took me 45 minutes from start to taking photographs. They are insanely delicious. Imagine a fresh Reese’s and you’ve got these bars.
A couple of tips: Make sure you fully mix. The powdered sugar rolls into tiny balls and if you’re not diligent, they can look a lot like oatmeal, so make sure you keep mixing until all the powdered sugar is gone. (I’m speaking for experience here.) Second, when you’re melting the chocolate on a stove top (like I did, but you can also do it in a microwave), take it on and off the heat because the chocolate will continue melting if you stir it. Then if it needs another shot of heat, put it back on the stove.
The best part about these bars when they’re all done? I got to hand them to my little sister, who says to me with a big smile, “I never get good desserts except candy and ice cream.” Then we snacked on them together.
The second best part was that Cory, who wouldn’t look twice at a cupcake if it paraded by naked, ate these bars like they were going out of style and that makes me happy. Apparently he likes peanut butter, but I hadn’t figured that out until he asked for seconds.
Seriously, enjoy these. They’re incredible and they make any frigid day seem a little bit more bearable.
- 1 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup oatmeal, crushed
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- In the microwave or in a pan, melt the butter. In a large bowl, mix in the brown sugar, vanilla extract, peanut butter, powdered sugar and oatmeal.
- Mix thoroughly, or else the powdered sugar won’t fully incorporate.
- Pat into a 9 x 13 pan and cool in the fridge while melting the chocolate chips.
- Meanwhile, on the stove or in the microwave, melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips.
- Pour the chocolate chips over the peanut butter mixture and spread out evenly.
- Place in the freezer for 5 minutes and then put in the fridge for an hour. Serve and enjoy.