peanut butter oatmeal bars

My appetite has been that of a professional athlete, a male professional athlete, the last couple weeks.  See, I ran a half marathon 2 weeks ago.  Totally on a whim.  I didn’t train.  I just woke up one morning and ran it.  Since then I think my appetite is under the impression this is going to become a regular thing, so it’s packing on the cals.  Hey appetite, this most certainly isn’t a regular thing, so you can go ahead and calm down now, k?!?!

About that half marathon.  So, my sister-in-law called me a few weeks ago and said, “want to run a half marathon with me in 2 weeks?”  Me,”Sure, I mean, what’s the worst that an happen?!?!”  She and a friend were planning on running it together, but her friend had to bail because she got a new job and the timing wasn’t going to work out.  So I took her friends spot.  Now, even though I hadn’t technically trained, I sort of had.  I run about 5 miles everyday, pushing a double jogger.  Then add on all the snacks, toys, and other crap I have to bring to keep them entertained enough so they don’t try to jump ship mid run.  That’s at least another 829 pounds.  At least.  After my morning run, I spend the rest of the day chasing around 2 children who don’t sit still or shut up, ever.  So ya, my daily life is training enough.  At least that’s what I told myself when I agreed to run the half marathon.  The good news is, my idea of ‘training’ actually works!  I ran that race and didn’t do too bad.  Actually, I completely shocked myself.  I’ve only run 1 other half marathon, and it was 4 years ago, pre-kids.  I ran it in around 2:30, and that was after a lot of long training runs.  I did this half marathon in 1:52, with no ‘technical’ training.  Ya, I’m super proud of myself.

I’ve always known running is a big mental game.  I watched my mom run almost 60 marathons during my childhood, so I saw that it is absolutely possible to complete a race, no matter what kind of training and circumstances led up to it.  Assuming you don’t have any injuries preventing you from running, you gotta keep your head in the game and you can do it!  I also chanted a little mantra to myself during the entire race: “the faster you go, the sooner you’ll be done.  Then you get coffee and chocolate.  NOW RUN!!”  At the finish line they had dumb bananas, not coffee.  I mean really, a banana?  I want a freaking cheeseburger and COFFEE!!!!!!  Not a banana and coconut water.  Ok ok, a banana was a far better post run choice.  But still.  So that week after the race I rewarded myself and made these bars and I ate my fair share.  Peanut butter.  Oats.  It’s gotta be good for me somehow.  Right????  Rhetorical.

peanut butter oatmeal bars

Disclaimer: These are not health food.  They are not race food.  But they are delicious food. Make them and enjoy them.

peanut butter oatmeal bars


Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Bars

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Bars


  • 2 1/4 cups 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, room temperature
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter, room temperature (creamy or chunky will work)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups mini chocolate chips (use any mix ins you want)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

In a bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a stand mixer (or large bowl with a hand mixer) combine butter, brown sugar and peanut butter and mix until smooth.

Beat in eggs and vanilla.

Mix in dry ingredients, then stir in1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips (saving the 1/2 cup to sprinkle on top).

Press dough into prepared pan and sprinkle remaining mini chips on top and press down on them slightly.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and center is just set. Do not overbake. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature before lifting the parchment paper out of the pan.

Slice into squares, rectangles, or triangles.

Bars will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

*Let them cool COMPLETELY before slicing to get a nice clean slice.


Recipe adapted from Love & Olive Oil