Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Bars

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We promised you some cookie recipes in December, and we intend to keep that promise!

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For those of us in higher ed, most of the holiday season is a mad end-of-the-semester blur of papers, conferences, and meetings. I have a stack of portfolios and projects to grade in the next few days, and I still haven’t purchased a single Christmas gift. (I’ve thought about them – does that count for anything?) It is imperative to have a stash of cookies to get through the end of the semester, but there just isn’t time to make anything that requires more than 20 minutes.

Enter the bar cookie.

This recipe,¬†adapted from Love and Olive Oil, is a time-crunched peanut butter-lover’s dream. And it uses wheat flour and oats, so it’s downright healthy. If you decorate the top with green and red peanut butter M&Ms, then it’s also downright festive. At the end of the semester, what more could you ask for?

Back to those grading those portfolios…

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars


  • 1 1/4 cups regular flour
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup peanut butter M&Ms


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, mix together the flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, stir the butter, brown sugar, and peanut butter until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla, and stir again until combined.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the peanut butter mixture, and stir until combined. The dough will be very stiff.
  4. Grease a 9x13 pan, and press the dough into the pan. Scatter the M&Ms across the top of the dough, and then lightly press them into the dough.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle of the pan comes out clean.

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