I was in a pumpkin-y sort of mood so I made these pumpkin peanut butter oatmeal bars from Averie Cooks.
What's great about these bars is they are Gluten and Vegan Free. Yes! Fear not, activists, they are NOT made from any Vegans. Well, I suppose you could use Vegans if you really wanted to, but I find they are too crunchy, even in milk, cow or otherwise.
Here is a finished photo of the yummy pumpkin peanut bars, right out of the oven.
Sure, I could have stopped there, but Averie from Averie Cooks, started talking about frosting at the end of her recipe and I was totally sold on that idea. What dessert isn't made better by frosting? She even gave three suggestions: Cream cheese, Dark Rum Caramel and peanut butter chocolate.
Well, I didn't have any cream cheese, so that one was out. I was also lacking the cream and dark rum needed for the caramel frosting. So Peanut butter chocolate it was.
Let me wax poetic for a bit about this frosting...it was, I kid you not, the shiznat.
I stored the bars in the fridge, so the frosting stayed nice and firm. It was like a medium soft fudge. Oh my stars and whiskers. I'm drooling right now just thinking about it.
In fact, I liked the frosting so much that I'd turn the bar on its side, eat the pumpkin oatmeal part first, just so I could eat the frosting by itself.
I don't know if it was the frosting that put these bars over the top, but they are super rich. Originally, I cut the bars into 5 rows and then divided those rows in half, for a total of 10 bars. After one bar that size, I felt kinda sick from all the sugar. So, I cut the rows into thirds. That seemed like a perfect size. No one complained about the decreased size, or asked for seconds.
Next time I make these I will probably reduce the amount of sugar in the bars and the frosting. Although, that change will most likely result in me needing to slice the bars larger. Guess it's a trade off!
Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars with Chocolate Frosting from Averie Cooks
1/2 c peanut butter
1 c pumpkin puree
2 c oats (whole rolled, not quick cook)
1 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 c white sugar
1 T pumpkin pie spice
1 heaping t cinnamon
2t-1 T vanilla
Optional: raisins, nuts, chocolate/white/peanut butter chips (I used a scant cup each of white and semi sweet chips)
Combine all ingredients. Spread
batter (will be moist) into a foil-lined and spayed 8 x 8 (or 9x9) pan. Bake at 350F for 22-25 min or until toothpick inserted in
center comes out clean. The bars may still look underdone. They will continue to set up as they cool. Let bars sit while preparing the frosting.
choco PB frosting from Averie Cooks
1 c chocolate chips
1/4 c butter/margarine
1/4 c peanut butter
2 T milk/cream (add more/less depending on desired consistency of frosting)
1 t vanilla extract
1 c sifted powdered sugar
Nuke chips for 30 sec. Stir. Repeat. Add soft butter. Stir until combined. The heat from the melted chocolate will melt the butter. Add the peanut butter. Stir until fully blended. Add milk and vanilla. Stir. Finally, add sifted powdered sugar. Mix it up one final time until you can't see any white specks from the powdered sugar.
Once the bars have cooled slightly, spread on that delicious frosting. Store bars in the fridge to speed up the cooling process. Do not slice bars until they have cooled completely.
Bars may be stored on counter, fridge or freezer.