Hello, dear friends of “Life with Jeviko”! Welcome back. Summer in Arizona can feel like living on the surface of the sun, with temperatures soaring up to a scorching 115 degrees. But let me tell you, my sweet tooth doesn’t take a vacation, no matter how much the mercury rises. So, what’s a dessert-lover to do when turning on the oven feels like adding fuel to the fire?
Today, I have the perfect solution for all my fellow heat wave warriors – an indulgent, easy-to-make treat that needs no baking at all. Allow me to introduce you to the No-Bake Chocolate Oat Squares – a scrumptious combo of oats, chocolate, and peanut butter that will have you coming back for seconds.
Imagine biting into a luscious sandwich of oats and creamy, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate, with an extra chocolatey surprise on top. This is what you’ll get with these squares. They’re like a deluxe granola bar – only more decadent, more chocolatey, and oh so satisfying!
Let’s dive into making these chilly treats!
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter
- 3 cups of quick-cooking oats
- 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter
- A handful of chocolate chips for a delightful drizzle
- 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
- 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips
- Ready your equipment. You’ll need a 9×9 inch pan. Lightly grease it to prevent our lovely squares from sticking. This tiny act ensures a smooth exit for your bars when they’re set and ready.
- Time to prepare the oat mixture. In a medium saucepan, melt your butter, stirring in the brown sugar and vanilla once it’s all liquid gold. This buttery, sugary concoction gives our oats a lovely sweet, caramel-like flavor. Next, stir in your oats and let it all simmer together for a few minutes. This is when the oats absorb all the sweet, buttery goodness.
- Transfer half of your oat mixture into your pre-greased pan. Press it down to form a firm base for our chocolate layer. You can use a spatula or even your clean hands. Keep the remaining oat mixture aside, we’ll need it later.
- Now comes the heart of our squares – the chocolate layer! In another saucepan, gently melt your chocolate chips and peanut butter together on low heat. The silky-smooth blend of chocolate and peanut butter makes the middle layer absolutely divine.
- Pour this creamy chocolate-peanut butter mix over the oat layer in the pan. Spread it evenly to ensure every bite has a taste of this rich, gooey center.
- Crumble the remaining oat mixture over the chocolate layer, gently pressing it in. This step creates a perfect crunchy contrast to the creamy layer beneath.
- Melt some more chocolate chips and artistically drizzle over the top. This not only adds an extra dose of chocolatey goodness but also makes the squares a visual delight.
- Patience, my friends! Cover your pan and let it chill in the refrigerator for a few hours. This wait allows the layers to set and the flavors to meld together. Bring the squares to room temperature before you cut into them.
- Quality of Ingredients: Use high-quality chocolate chips for a rich, deep chocolate flavor. Your peanut butter should be creamy and without any added sweeteners or oils.
- Even Layers: When assembling the layers, ensure they’re even. This creates a balanced flavor profile and makes it easier to cut the squares.
- Gentle Heat: Whether melting butter or chocolate, always use a low heat to prevent scorching and maintain the best flavor.
- Cool Completely: Let the bars cool completely in the refrigerator before cutting to ensure they maintain their shape.
- Sharp Knife: When cutting your squares, use a sharp knife and make clean, confident cuts. This will keep the layers intact and your squares looking perfect.
- Storage: Store these squares in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They’re best enjoyed within a week.