OMG these ooey-gooey salted chocolate chunk peanut butter oatmeal cookie bars. A mouthful, yes, but an absolutely delicious mouthful.
These babies are like a combo of your favorite peanut butter and oatmeal cookie baked into a gooey, delicious blondie. That, plus puddles of dark chocolate in every bite.
What more could you want?!
I tested this recipe countless times to get the perfect texture and ratio of peanut butter to oats to chocolate, etc etc. Trust me when I say these peanut butter cookie bars are perfection. Enjoy as-is or with a side of ice cream for the best dessert to share with friends.
What you’ll need to make these peanut butter cookie bars
These epic, gluten free peanut butter cookie bars have golden, crisp, cookie-like edges and gooey centers that make that irresistible. You won’t believe they’re both gluten and dairy free! Here’s everything you’ll need to make them:
- Eggs: you’ll just need two eggs in these peanut butter oatmeal cookie bars.
- Coconut sugar: we’re naturally sweetening them with coconut sugar, but you can use brown sugar if you’d like.
- Peanut butter: be sure to use a natural, creamy peanut butter for the perfect texture. Use the code ‘AMBITIOUS15’ to get 15% off my favorite brand, Wild Friends!
- Coconut oil: some coconut oil ensures that they have an ooey-gooey center.
- Almond flour: you’ll also need fine, blanched almond flour to keep them gluten free and give them the right texture.
- Oats: we’re using rolled oats in these bars because oatmeal cookies = love.
- Baking staples: you’ll also need vanilla extract, baking soda & salt.
- Chocolate: gotta have those dark chocolate puddles in every bite! Feel free to use a chocolate bar, chocolate chunks or chips. Special note on this below!
- For topping: I love sprinkling a little fancy sea salt on top (who doesn’t?!)
How to easily keep them gluten free & dairy free
To keep these peanut butter chocolate chunk cookie bars gluten & dairy free simply use gluten free rolled oats and dairy free chocolate!
The key to melty dark chocolate
I recommend chopping up a dark chocolate bar into chocolate chunks because they will melt even better than regular chocolate chips or chunks.
Ingredient substitution FAQ
As with all recipes I know many of you will have questions about substituting ingredients in these peanut butter oatmeal cookie bars. I always recommend sticking with the recipe as closely as possible for the best results, but here are some swaps I can recommend (and some that I do not recommend):
- Can I make them vegan? I haven’t tested these peanut butter cookie bars using flax eggs, but I do think they will work well. Let me know if you try it!
- Can I use a different nut butter? The peanut butter really gives these cookie bars an amazing flavor, but I think an almond or cashew butter would also work.
- Is there a swap for the coconut oil? Feel free to use melted and cooled butter or vegan butter.
- Can I use regular flour? Unfortunately, no, I would not recommend using regular, all purpose flour and cannot recommend a substitute for the almond flour.
- What about steel cut oats? I also cannot recommend using steel cut oats as the texture will be much different. Always feel free to use gluten free rolled oats though.
Want thicker cookie bars?
If you like your peanut butter oatmeal cookie bars more “oat-y” and thicker, feel free to use 3/4 cup of rolled oats instead of 1/2 cup. I personally prefer using 1/2 cup.
Ooey-gooey peanut butter oatmeal cookie bars in one bowl
- Prep your pan & oven. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
- Mix the wet. Add all of the wet ingredients to a large bowl and mix everything until it’s super smooth.
- Add the dry. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until well combined. Then fold in the chocolate chunks (reserving some for the top).
- Bake ’em up. Top your cookie bars with more chocolate chunks and bake!
- Cool & serve. Sprinkle the bars with some fancy sea salt right out of the oven, then cool them completely, slice and serve them up.
Don’t forget these tips for perfect peanut butter cookie bars
- Pack the almond flour. Be sure to pack the almond flour just like you would with brown sugar. No need to pack the coconut sugar.
- Use room temp ingredients. Make sure your coconut oil is completely cooled and your eggs are room temperature before using them so that they don’t coagulate.
- Mix the wet ingredients well. You should mix the wet ingredients for at least 30 seconds so that the oil combines well with the other ingredients. Otherwise, you may have some oil separation (which we don’t want).
- Underbake them *slightly*. The key to keeping these peanut butter cookie bars gooey and delicious is to slightly underbake them. Take them out as soon as the edges are getting barely golden brown. They’ll set more as you let them cool.
- Cool before cutting. Be sure to let the bars cool for at least 15-20 minutes before cutting into them so that they stay together well.
Storing & freezing tips
- To store: I’d recommend leaving them on the counter for no more than a day or two, and then storing the peanut butter oatmeal cookie bars covered in the refrigerator. They’re delicious straight from the fridge!
- To freeze: allow the peanut butter cookie bars to cool completely, then cut them as directed. Wrap individual cookie bars in plastic wrap, then in foil or a reusable bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, simply thaw them at room temperature.
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More gluten free treats
Get all of our gluten free dessert recipes here!
I hope you love these ooey-gooey peanut butter cookie bars! If you make them be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked them. Enjoy, xo!
Ooey-Gooey Salted Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Bars
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Amazing, ooey gooey peanut butter cookie bars made with a mix of almond flour and rolled oats for the perfect texture. These gluten free peanut butter oatmeal cookie bars are naturally sweetened with coconut sugar and have puddles of dark chocolate in every bite!
- Wet ingredients:
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup coconut sugar (or sub brown sugar)
- 3/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup melted and cooled coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Dry Ingredients:
- 1 cup packed fine almond flour
- ½ cup rolled oats (if you want them thicker/more oat-y you can do ¾ cup but I prefer ½ cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dark chocolate chunks or chocolate chips (dairy free if desired), divided
- Fancy Maldon Salt, for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together eggs, coconut sugar and peanut butter until smooth and creamy. Next add in the melted and cooled coconut oil and vanilla and mix together again until it is very smooth and well combined. This should take at least 30 seconds to mix until smooth, you do not want any oil separation.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until well combined: almond flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Finally fold in ¾ cup of the chocolate chunks/chips, you’ll reserve ¼ cup for sprinkling on top.
Add the batter to the prepared pan and evenly spread out with a spatula towards the edges. Sprinkle the top with remaining ¼ cup chocolate chunks. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the edges are BARELY golden brown. The trick with these blondies is to slightly underbaked them so they stay nice and fudgy and gooey. Once done baking, sprinkle with sea salt. Allow blondies to cool for 15-20 minutes before cutting into so they don’t fall apart. Cut into 16 squares.
To make vegan: I haven’t tested these with 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons flaxseed meal + 6 tablespoons water) but I think they could work well.
I recommend using a chocolate bar to cut your own chocolate chunks, they melt amazingly into each bite of the bar.
To store: I’d recommend leaving them on the counter for no more than a day or two, and then storing the cookie bars covered in the refrigerator. They’re delicious straight from the fridge!
To freeze: allow the cookie bars to cool completely, then cut them as directed. Wrap individual cookie bars in plastic wrap, then in foil or a reusable bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, simply thaw them at room temperature.
Servings: 16 servings
Serving size: 1 bar
Saturated fat: 7.1g
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats