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No-Bake Chocolate and Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

With a candy-bar-inspired top and a crumbly cookie base, each of these rich squares packs a double dose of that perfect pairing: chocolate and peanut butter.

  • yield: Makes 2 dozen

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Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 9 ounces chocolate wafers (about 40 wafers), finely ground (2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 5 ounces (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 10 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, melted

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the 2 long sides.

  2. Step 2

    Combine wafers, oats, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then add chunky peanut butter and 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter, whisking until well combined. Add peanut butter mixture to wafer mixture, stirring until combined. Transfer to baking dish, and use the bottom of a measuring cup or an offset spatula to firmly press mixture into an even layer. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  3. Step 3

    Pour melted semisweet chocolate over chilled mixture and, using an offset spatula, spread into a thin layer that covers the entire surface. Refrigerate until hardened, at least 15 minutes.

  4. Step 4

    Heat remaining 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter in a small saucepan until runny. Drizzle peanut butter over chilled chocolate. Drizzle melted milk chocolate over peanut butter. Refrigerate until hardened, about 15 minutes.

  5. Step 5

    Use parchment to lift out chilled block of bars. Run a sharp knife under hot water, dry well, and cut into 24 squares, wiping knife between cuts. Let bars stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving. (Sliced bars can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month.)

Source
Martha Stewart Living, August 2008

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Reviews (66)

  • Liz Neely 19 Jun, 2013

    Chocolate Teddy Grams are a great substitute for the choc wafers! Ive used them many times; it takes about 4/5 of the box. Enjoy!

  • Bluebearymom 21 May, 2013

    Was looking for something with peanut butter and chocolate, my family's favorite, and
    came across this recipe. Made it last night and I couldn't keep from taste testing it.......more
    than once (or twice). It was wonderful, can't wait to serve it at a birthday tonight. Everything
    went together very well and stayed that way. I used the 14.1 oz. package of Voortman
    chocolate wafers and only used 20, which was almost exactly two cups. Followed the rest of
    the recipe exact. Turned out AWESOME!

  • Sarah Trudell 15 Apr, 2013

    OMG! these are THE best I have ever tasted in my life! they are like brownies but better! they have a cookie- like crunch so yummy! The oatmeal gives it a crunchy-candy taste, not like oats at all!

  • Sarah Trudell 15 Apr, 2013

    OMG! these are THE best I have ever tasted in my life! they are like brownies but better! they have a cookie- like crunch so yummy! The oatmeal gives it a crunchy-candy taste, not like oats at all!

  • Sarah Trudell 15 Apr, 2013

    OMG! these are THE best I have ever tasted in my life! they are like brownies but better! they have a cookie- like crunch so yummy! The oatmeal gives it a crunchy-candy taste, not like oats at all!

  • dori1 24 Sep, 2011

    Taste is very good...but crumbles into nothingness when you cut into them...don't plan on using them as bars you won't get bars just a crumbled mess.

  • aulait 10 Sep, 2011

    My older Sister made a Stove Top cookie w/Oats when I was a child.Chewey.Full Flavoured Choloate&Peanut Butter.Since She passed from Cancer,wanted "anything" my Beloved cooked/baked.This is Haute Cuisine.Certain A. is smiling from Heaven.Thank You,"Team Martha".

  • CurryAmi 23 Aug, 2011

    This recipe is a hit with the kids, but I only used chocolate wafers the first time. Graham crackers or half graham crackers and half multi-grain crackers (omit the salt) work great.

  • Kaleka 2 Sep, 2010

    these are tasty, but are very hard to cut without cracking the chocolate. hard to present them to look nice. Although I'm sure the kids would love them either way!

  • leeannraf 24 Aug, 2010

    I', going to try using chocolate graham crackers. My grandchildren love these and I think they' will add a nice crispy flavor.

  • rosiegirlie 28 Jul, 2010

    Aimeem26 - I think they might be talking more like Oreo Cookies... These sound good - can't wait to make them!

  • aimeem26 27 Jul, 2010

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think they are referring to the sugar wafers (like suzannarose apparently used). They are talking about thin chocolate wafer cookies, right? Like the ones that Nabisco makes (Famous Chocolate Wafers).

  • suzannarose 20 Jun, 2010

    Put milk chocolate in a microwave for less than a minute. Stir every 30 seconds or so. Cookies were great, but my grocery store did not carry bags of only chocolate wafers. Now I am trying to think of a similar recipe to use up the vanilla and strawberry cookies.

  • teachertrish 19 Jun, 2010

    these turned out great, but i had much trouble getting the chocolate to melt appropriately, so i only had peanut butter drizzled on top --- fam still loved them!

  • Caitlin_Losey 18 Jun, 2010

    Anything that doesn't require heating up my apartment by turning the oven on is worth a try!

  • TiffanyMichaelia 17 Jun, 2010

    I made these when I got home from work and they were delicious and beautiful. I keep thinking that they would make a good gift or perhaps in a Christmas candy basket.

  • Anarie 17 Jun, 2010

    Diannej,

    Why not try it and see? It will probably work, but the sugar might be a bit of a binder, so they might be crumbly or a little soft without it. You can report back here with the results! You could divide the recipe in half or quarters if you don't want to spend too much on ingredients for an experiment.

  • Diannej 17 Jun, 2010

    Has anyone tried to make these with half or less of the sugar? Between the sweet cookies and the sweet chocolate it seems like1.25 cups of confectioners sugar is a bit excessive. I don't ever use sugar substitues so that is not an option.

  • Julietp 17 Jun, 2010

    Often you can find the chocolate wafers near the ice cream cones or ice cream topping section in your grocery store.

  • globugg48 17 Jun, 2010

    this looks so easy and yummy. i hope to make a batch for my son's high school graduation party. Thanks everyone for the cookie suggestions. I was wondering what kind of chocolate is used. Do I use candy bars, chips, the kind for making candy, or baking?

  • PeacefulChef 2 May, 2010

    Super easy. Works well with chocolate graham crackers if you can't find wafers. To serve more, cut into smaller squares and place in mini muffin cups for a nice tray presentation. Great for a buffet dessert offering.

  • laurelsue 12 Sep, 2008

    you can also get chocolate graham crackers, right next to the regular ones in most grocery stores.

  • Yorkie7 11 Sep, 2008

    Nabisco makes chocolate wafer cookies, sometimes hard to find in stores but holiday time they show up. Look for yellow box with long sleeve, clear package. I have used Newman's Own product...they make a chocolate wafer cookie in addition to the alphabet ones. They work fine too!

  • MAM2 3 Sep, 2008

    The grocery stores in my small town don't carry the Nabisco wafers. I have substituted Oreos from the 100-calorie packs for a certain frozen dessert; perhaps they would work in this recipe also. There is no filling so they are easier to use than regular Oreos.

  • mrscurrie 25 Aug, 2008

    There are a fair number of questions about chocolate wafers. I used 9 oz. of chocolate wafer cumbs. I get my wafer crumbs where you get your graham wafers. The stores sell graham wafer crumbs and chocolate wafer crumbs in that area. I find it cheaper and much more convient!

  • louelliott 23 Aug, 2008

    If you cannot find chocolate wafers, I'd recommend using the Giant Chocolate Sugar Cookies recipe Martha has at the site. Those things are great. They make great cheesecake/pie crusts too. I made these bar cookies and they are rich.

  • KKmom 21 Aug, 2008

    My mistake, I was reading the 5 oz as 5 TBS. Anyway, they turned out fabulous with 1 stick plus 2 TBS butter. I am looking forward to trying some of the variations mentioned here.

  • amyschlotty 20 Aug, 2008

    i made these and they were delicious - they are my husband's new favorite! we used some organic peanut butter and they turned out fine

  • KKmom 20 Aug, 2008

    The Famous wafers can be found with the icecream topping and cones, I think because they are often used for "icebox" desserts. Did anyone notice the decrepancy in the butter amount? 5 oz is not one stick plus 2 TBS, it is 10 oz. I haven't made them yet and was hoping someone had who could tell me which amount they used. Since a couple people have said thier cookies were too crumbly, perhaps they used the smaller amount. I'll give it a try with the larger amount.

  • birde 19 Aug, 2008

    Has anyone tried this with organic peanut butter. The kind you have to mix in the oil. Once I mix it in it pretty much stays mixed in. Or do you have to use the peanut butter that won't separate???

  • birde 19 Aug, 2008

    Does anyone know if you can use organic peanut butter for this. It is the kind that you have to stir to mix in the oil that separates. Or do you have to use peanut butter that won't separate?

  • michelebogren 17 Aug, 2008

    These are yummy. I used Pepperidge Farm Chessmen chocolate cookies and they turned out great !

  • michelebogren 17 Aug, 2008

    These are yummy. I used Pepperidge Farm Chessmen chocolate cookies. They turned out great.

  • puppyraiser 16 Aug, 2008

    these sound great what kind of cookies are a choclate wafer

  • vegas_ladybug 14 Aug, 2008

    AMAZING BARS! I highly suggest you try these. I will also add a little caramel over the top of them in the future to add another flavor. Mrshog: The cookies I used were "Newman's Own" organic alphabet chocolate cookies. Not exactly wafer cookies, but they ground well and were wonderful in this recipe! I couldn't find any other sort of chocolate wafer at my market. And, I like to think that since the ones I used were organic, that makes these cookies a health food. ;)

  • dovecanyon 12 Aug, 2008

    To greenknitcat: good for you! you just created an original recipe that you can claim as your own! To cindysue1 and cookiesaplenty: you go girls! I am in complete agreement! If you are looking for "nutritious" recipes, why are you even reading these desserts? Have a salad. By the way, this recipe is delicious no matter what cookie you use for the crust, and any nut-butter works in place of the peanut-butter.

  • sccrjess 12 Aug, 2008

    I made these for work and received so many request for the recipe. This is a simple and summer friendly recipe, that I recommend to everyone. I also substituted white chocolate for milk chocolate to add a little more depth in the color.

  • greenknitcat 12 Aug, 2008

    I made a colossal mistake and used 9 ounces of dark chocolate CANDY making wafers instead of chocolate cookie wafers. I followed the recipe and ground the candy wafers in the food processor, etc. Cot them into more than 24 pieces, took them to church and everyone liked them and wanted the recipe for the chocolate peanut butter truffles.
    It wasn't until I reread the recipe which someone asked for that I found my "mistake."

  • mjlady1 8 Aug, 2008

    I also need glutten free products. So for the wafers I used chocolate cookies and you can use the oats from canada. No difference in taste

  • cheryls06 8 Aug, 2008

    This recipe is amazing! I added a drizzle of melted butterscotch chips (in addition to the peanut butter and milk chocolate) - looked great and enhanced the flavor! The base crumbled a bit when cutting...next time I will add a little more butter to the base. Perfect dessert for entertaining in the summer.

  • MWetzel 8 Aug, 2008

    I have used Pepperidge Farms Chessmen chocolate cookies. I keep a package in the freezer,just like keeping graham crackers on hand for a GC crust.

  • quiltheart 8 Aug, 2008

    I am interested in the chocolate peanut butter combination (sounds yummy), but need a gluten free alternative for the wafers. I am also allergic to the oats. Does anyone have an idea for alternatives?

  • mrshog 8 Aug, 2008

    Does anyone have a suggestion on wich cho wafer's are the best for this recipie?

  • cookiesaplenty 7 Aug, 2008

    These sound really good. Can't wait to try them. If you use Oreo cookies use the filling and omit the confectionres sugar. As for the nutritional value, if you have to wory about that,don't make this recipe.. These are for indulging in something that's just downright delicious.

  • sweetindulgence 7 Aug, 2008

    Hi,

    Two of you have mentioned gluten free products and while this is not pertinent to this particular receipe I will ask anyway. Can you please suggest a good gluten free cake receipe? Gluten free brownies were mentioned also - receipe anyone?

    thanks for your help

  • bkm421 7 Aug, 2008

    The chocolate wafers are most likely the ones made by Nabisco called "Famous" wafers. They are very thin and have a very crumbly texture, but are not all that sweet. You could probably use Oreos with the filling removed.

    Also for those who follow a gluten free diet, my friend used Rice Krispies instead of oatmeal and gluten free chocolate cookies instead of wafers and her kids loved it.

  • theinnonfirst 7 Aug, 2008

    You can use gluten-free brownies to replace the chocolate wafers. Crumb the brownies and then roast the crumbs in the oven (250 degrees) for about 20-25 minutes to dry them out.

  • PeytonsGramma 7 Aug, 2008

    These bars are ABSOLUTELY DEEEEEELICIOUS!! My husband can not get enough! VERY SIMPLE to make and not messy at all!! Tastes a lot like a reeses peanut butter cup!! I LOVE 'em, too!! Give 'em a try....you WON'T be disappointed!!

  • suzaquilter 7 Aug, 2008

    To the person whose husband has celiac disease. Gluten free oatmeal is available. I know because I eat it. It is available at the health food store. You might also find it at your grocery store. You'll also need to find a replacement for the chocolate wafers. I can't help you with that. Good luck!

  • 1Toffy 7 Aug, 2008

    I would certainly try the recipe with the Almond Butter instead and give it a try, you might be surprised. Give it a try if shouldn't be that much different.

  • carolelw 7 Aug, 2008

    My daughter used to be allergic to peanuts, thankfully she has out grown the allergy. However, we still don't use peanut products in our house (old bad memories) . We use almond butter, do you think that I could replace the p.b with almond butter. Carole

  • lfmkem 7 Aug, 2008

    I couldn't find chocolate wafers at the store.. they were out that day.. so I used chocolate graham crackers. I also ommitted the confectionary sugar and salt and they came out delicious.. not crumbly... I'd say they are a favorite around here. Thank you!

  • cooper45 7 Aug, 2008

    What can you use in place of the oats? My husband has Celiac Disease and can not eat any oats, wheat, or barley. Must be gluten free. These look so good and he loves peanut butter. Maybe you can find some good recipes that are truly gluten free.
    bearblossoms

  • ezmammy 7 Aug, 2008

    These are delicious. Our grandson is DEATHLY allergic to peanuts/peanut products, so I amended the recipe using sun butter (a peanut butter like ingredient, but it is made from sunflower seeds) and it was perfect! I was out of chocolate wafers, substituted graham cracker crumbs, and that worked out great too, it was a nice combination and not too much chocolate.

  • cindysue1 7 Aug, 2008

    geez--look on the packages of the ingredients for nutritional value yourself! it's a cookie! not a meal!

  • cindysue1 7 Aug, 2008

    geez--look on the packages of the ingredients for nutritional value yourself! it's a cookie! not a meal!

  • AME1941 7 Aug, 2008

    Recipes frequently list chocolate wafers and I'm never sure what that means. Do chocolate Oreos with creme filling (the most familiar chocolate cookies in the Midwest) work? With or without the filling included? A little clarification would be helpful. Thanks!

  • ryepye 7 Aug, 2008

    These were yummy and easy to make. I use Oreos (discard the middles) because the wafers are usually hard to find. Perfect results. Thank you!

  • pasta77 2 Aug, 2008

    @ Lynnerd - we can't get chocolate wafers in the UK either! It took a long time to work out, but I now use bourbon biscuits instead - they are 2 chocolate biscuits sandwiched with a chocolate cream filling. I tend to reduce any sugar in that part of the recipe by a bit to account for the sweetness of the cream filling, but other than that, it works out fine (I haven't tried this recipe yet, but others have come out well) Any plain chocolate biscuit (no chips!) should work, I think. Good luck!

  • pasta77 2 Aug, 2008

    @ Lynnerd - we can't get chocolate wafers in the UK either! It took a long time to work out, but I now use bourbon biscuits instead - they are 2 chocolate biscuits sandwiched with a chocolate cream filling. I tend to reduce any sugar in that part of the recipe by a bit to account for the sweetness of the cream filling, but other than that, it works out fine (I haven't tried this recipe yet, but others have come out well) Any plain chocolate biscuit (no chips!) should work, I think. Good luck!

  • pasta77 2 Aug, 2008

    To Lynnerd - we can't get chocolate wafers here in the UK either -it took me a long time to work out the best alternative! I tend to use bourbon biscuits instead (two chocolate biscuits sandwiched together with chocolate cream filling) and then reduce any sugar quantities a bit to account for the chocolate filling. Haven't tried it with this particular recipe, but generally it's fine. HTH

  • jreflet 31 Jul, 2008

    To LM Cotter - the first time we made these we only used half trhe required wafers (because that is all we had) - they came out perfect and looked just like the photograph - so we made more. The second time they were crumbly and some of the base stayed in the dish. I am amending my recipe to use only halfthe amount of wafers.

  • mimi_mai 31 Jul, 2008

    hi this recipe is so delicious thank you

  • saradars 28 Jul, 2008

    chocolate wafers are really thin chocolate cookies. nabisco makes a brand called "Famous Chocolate Wafers". They are found in the cookie section of your grocery store. my mom said you could use oreo crumbs. hth.

  • LMCotter 27 Jul, 2008

    Mine came out crumbly. I followed the directions exactly. However, when I went to cut them, the bottom separated from the chocolate topping and the bottom broke apart. Any suggestions?

  • lynnerd 27 Jul, 2008

    what are chocolate wafers? Are they pure chocolate or some kind of chocolate cookie?
    I live in Canada so we may not have the same name brand as the U.S but I've never used these in baking so not sure what to buy.