In first and second grade, one of my best friends was Martha. She was a tiny little thing. And Martha’s mom sent her to school every day with a giant chocolate chip walnut oatmeal cookie in her lunchbox. Bigger than one little girl could possible eat. Those cookies were dreamy. Crisp on the outside and ooey gooey on the inside and packed with walnuts and chocolate. Her mom seemed to make a weekly batch because Martha’s lunch was never without one. And, being the great friend that she was, would share 1/2 of that cookie with me on occasion. I loved enjoying every bite alongside my little 25 cent carton of white milk.
In every lunchbox, there’s always room for just a bite of something sweet. This month’s Recipe ReDux theme made me think of those cookies.
The Recipe ReDux theme for August is:
Bars & Bites for Brown Bags: Whether you pack your lunch in a bento box, a brown bag or a retro cartoon character lunch box, don’t forget the bars and bites. Small squares or round bites can pack nutrition into a sweet or savory taste. Show us your favorite way to jazz up any type of lunch box.
For awhile now, I’ve been trying to duplicate those cookies, but still have a ways to go. In my striving to make the perfect chocolate oatmeal cookie or some version thereof, these Peanut Butter S’mores Bars were born. These bars are hearty, packed with oats and peanut butter and full of chocolate goodness. They’re darn good. And a small square is just enough. Pack one for your kiddos for lunch, your husband/wife/significant other, or in our case, wrap a few up and pop in the cooler to take to the beach.
Go on, dig in.
Here’s how to make these decadent bars:
Peanut Butter S’mores Bars
Makes: 30 bars
- ½ cup Olivio spreadable butter with olive and canola oil
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- ¾ cup chunky natural peanut butter
- ½ tbsp. vanilla powder (or vanilla extract)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup instant oats
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- 1/8 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1 cup low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt (we use Chobani)
- 1 cup mini marshmallows, loosely packed
- 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, chunky peanut butter and vanilla powder together. Beat in the egg. Then combine whole wheat flour, oats, baking soda, salt, yogurt, ¾ chocolate chips and marshmallows. Mix into creamed mixture. Spread into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Top with ¼ cup mini chocolate chips. Bake at 350° for 17-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and slice into small squares. Enjoy with a glass of milk. Freeze any extras, as they’ll quickly thaw in a lunchbox or picnic basket.
For more great Bars and Bites, visit these Recipe ReDux member’s sites: