Be patient with your desserts

Posted by Katie Lane

Sometimes I get bored with the names of baked goods. Chocolate chip cookies. Vanilla cake. Apple pie — you get the point. C'mon fellow bakers, let's get creative here!

I wanted to rename this week's recipe something awesome. My housemate Elaine and I were staring (drooling) down at the pan of uncut gooey goodness and, for lack of creativity, decided to put the responsibility on Betsy, one of our other housemates. I declared that the first words out of her mouth upon tasting one of the bars would be the official title of these bars.

See, I imagined Betsy exclaiming, "How delightful!" or gushing, "Ohmygosh, YUM!" Nope. Betsy doesn't exclaim or gush. I should have known better. Elaine and I danced around giggling impatiently while Betsy (completely unaware of our plans, yet highly suspicious of our behavior) sampled a bite.

"What the heck are in these?" she demanded.

Well, a deal's a deal. I bring you WHATTHEHECKAREINTHESE Bars, also known in a previous life as Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dream Bars.

Okay, so maybe I don't have a future in bringing creative and refreshing new names to the baking world. Man, this brings back bitter memories of losing that Name-The-Mystery-Color Crayola crayon contest when I was seven…

Betsy, let me tell you just what exactly is in these: oats, peanut butter, sweetened condensed milk and lots and lots of butter, all topped with a healthy dose of oh-so-sweet milk chocolate chips and chopped up Reeses.

I guess the original title got it right…these are pretty dreamy.

Let's get real for a moment though. One problem I had with these bars was all that chocolate goodness on top. Yes, I did just use chocolate and problem in the same sentence.

Although I pulled the pan out of the oven marveling over the glistening chocolate, when I popped them in the freezer to speed up the cooling process, all the topping hardened and just fell off when I tried to cut it.

My advice? Be patient (unlike me) and let them cool nice and slow as nature intended. Otherwise, just sprinkle them on under that top layer of crumble so the chocolate-y goodness is trapped forever!

You can call these what ever you want; what's in a name anyway? Let's EAT!

If you try this recipe, please let me know at



• 1 cup melted butter

• 1 cup brown sugar

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• 2 1/4 cups rolled oats (not instant oatmeal)

• 1 1/2 cups flour

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 cup peanut butter

• 1 can sweetened condensed milk

• 3 packages of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, chopped

• 1 cup milk Chocolate Chips


Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9" x 13" pan.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together melted butter, sugar, soda, oatmeal, flour and salt until crumbly. Set aside about 1 cup or a little more.

Press the rest of the crust into prepared pan. Bake crust for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir together the peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk.

Once crust has baked, evenly pour and spread peanut butter filling over the baked crust. Be gentle so you don't pull up the warm crust while you spread the filling.

Evenly sprinkle the reserved crumbs on top of the peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk mixture. Bake at 350° for about 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle the chopped candy bars and chocolate chips evenly over the top.

Return to oven to bake for another 5-10 minutes or until topping is light golden brown and candy bars/chips are melting.

Allow to cool slowly but completely to make cutting and serving easier.

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