RoadTrip America

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Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars

by Dennis Weaver

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars
Build some for the road: Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars

This cookie was designed to be a road warrior. We wanted a fairly tough, chewy cookie so we added lots of oats to make it non-gooey. The oats also makes it hearty and wholesome. With a lower glycemic index, the kids won't go through the roof with a sugar burst and if you're hiking up a trail, these bars will stick with you. Without high sugar content, they rely on the chocolate for part of the sweetness. The peanut butter adds protein and taste.

With engineering like this, you might expect a bland, boring cookie; it's not. It's really quite good.

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup real peanut butter (without added hydrogenated oil)
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 2/3 cup quick cooking oats
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease or grease and line with parchment paper an 8½ x 13-inch baking pan.

1. Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.

2. Cream the peanut butter and sugars together. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat until light and fluffy.

3. Add the flour mixture and then the buttermilk, beating after each addition. Add the oats and combine. Add the chocolate chips. Spread the batter in the pan.

4. Bake for 35 minutes or until done. Cool for about ten minutes in the pan. While still warm, cut the cake into bars.

If you use parchment paper, when you are ready to cut the cake into bars, grab the edges of the paper and lift the cake from the pan and set it on a large cutting board. Use a ruler and a sharp, serrated knife to cut uniformly-sized bars.

Bar cookies usually travel best when individually wrapped in plastic wrap. You can even make them ahead of time and freeze them. Wrap them in plastic and then store them in a heavy zipper-type plastic bag.

Dennis WeaverDennis Weaver -- having burnt food from Miami, Florida to Point Barrow, Alaska -- is RTA's road food expert. He has logged thousands of hours on the roads, trails, and waterways of America including many of Alaska's wilderness rivers and has consistently been elected the trips' "chief cook and bottle washer." Dennis is currently general manager at The Prepared Pantry, a company in Rigby, Idaho, that produces ready-to-eat meals and baking mixes packaged in Mylar. Weatherproof, bug-proof, and critter resistant, they're ideal for both roadtrips and back woods camping. Dennis may be reached at
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