Christmas was a bit weird this year…no snow, no decorations, no school Christmas concerts. No build up of any kind really.
We finished school on the 14th of December and December 25th crept up and all the sudden it was Christmas.
I was lying on a beach on Christmas Eve….
Being away from family and friends, we knew, would mean a very different Christmas for us, and we were ok with that. What we didn’t expect was to meet people who have become our family abroad. People who we share so many experiences with and who we can celebrate holidays with and have that little taste of home.
What I have enjoyed even more is seeing how those who are not from Canada/USA process some of our traditions. For example, when you want to watch A Muppet’s Christmas Carol with your Middle Eastern and French friends and they stare at your blankly and say “What is a…muppet?” You realize that not everyone celebrates the same way.
Our wonderful friends Darren and Leanne offered to host Christmas dinner a few days after we all arrived home from traveling. We had all the traditional things- turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, veggies. It was great!
I was in charge of dessert- our friend Hassan calls me “the sweet woman” because I make good sweets. Thanks Hassan- I like to think I do a pretty good job.
I wanted something easy to make and serve (since we all have only 6 sets of dishes in our school issued houses) and something that could use up the boat load of oatmeal that I bought for a recipe that only required 1 cup. (Got to free up space in my micro-kitchen you know)
I found this recipe on Pinterest and immediately knew it was the one.
Chocolate- good, Peanut butter-good, butter- good, oats- really good!
Its a no bake recipe, but you will still need your stove to cook the base. Really this recipe could not have been easier!
I measured out 2 cups of butter and 1 cup of brown sugar and put it in a pot on my stove.
Now let’s just take a moment and talk about the amount of butter I have bought since I moved to the UAE. I can’t even count the number of sticks…I buy multiples of butter every time I go to the grocery store. What am I making? I never bought butter at home….
But I digress.
I let the butter and sugar melt together and then added in 2 tsp of vanilla and 6 cups of rolled oats and mixed and cooked it for 2-3 minutes. I read that the longer you cook it, the harder the base will get. So if you want a soft, chewy base, undercook it. If you want a crisp base, cook it maybe a minute or two longer.
I spread half the oat layer into a parchment paper lined 9×13 pan and pressed it firmly down.
Next, I measured 2 cups of chocolate chips and 1 cup of peanut butter into a microwave safe bowl and melted that together in short 10 second bursts stirring in between so that I didn’t scald or seize the chocolate.
When that is all deliciously gooey, pour it over the first layer and spread evenly.
Take the rest of the oat layer and spread it on top of the chocolate layer. I did not leave enough oat layer to totally cover the top so mine looked a little more like a crumble topping rather than a oatmeal bar top.
I let this sit in my fridge for a few hours to firm up before I cut into squares.
The Verdict- These are delicious and chocolaty and buttery. In fact, the next time I make these I think I would cut back the butter to 1.5 cups rather than the full 2 because they were REALLY buttery….but all in all they were a hit and I would totally make them again if I needed a quick, easy to serve dessert.