Peach cobbler is a classic summertime dessert. It’s easy to make and a great way to showcase fresh, ripe peaches – even though I will freely admit to making cobblers with frozen peaches during the winter. Cobblers tend to be rustic and honey desserts, something that you make to share with family. Cobblers usually need to be spooned into a bowl for serving, but these Peach Cobbler Oatmeal Bars are a way to make fruit cobbler a little easier to share.
This recipe uses the same mixture for both the base of the bars and the streusel topping. The peaches are sandwiched between the two layers, along with a buttermilk cream that really gives the bars a great texture and plays up the sweetness of the peaches nicely. That creamy addition is a nod to the fact that peach cobblers are typically served with ice cream, and since these are designed to be a bit more portable, they’re a bit more difficult to top with ice cream when serving!
The oatmeal mixture is packed into the bottom of a rectangular baking dish for the bottom “crust,” which is partially baked before the peaches and cream filling are added. The filling is added while the crust is hot, as soon as it comes out of the oven. While the peaches could be tossed into the filling, I recommend simply laying them on the base crust, as it can be hard to spread them evenly when attempting to pour them on – and you don’t want to risk tearing the crust when pushing the peaches around with a spatula! Crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture on top of the peaches and cream, then bake until the fruit is tender.
These smell amazing when baking and are absolutely delicious when they come out of the oven. They can be served at room temperature, but I typically chill them before serving (since I usually am taking them to a picnic or party). The bars taste a bit like oatmeal cookies, with huge chunks of sweet, tender peaches and just enough tanginess from the buttermilk to set them off. They’re a bit sticky when chilled, but can still be eaten out-of-hand and do not require a fork or a bowl to serve them. Give these a try for any summer occasion – and you’ll be the hit of the party.
Peach Cobbler Oatmeal Bars
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
3 tbsp all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
16 oz firm, ripe peaches (approx 3 medium-large peaches, peeled)
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish, lining the base with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, prepare the topping. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt spices, sugar and oatmeal. Pour in butter and stir to combine.
Set aside 1 cup of the mixture for the topping and transfer the remaining oatmeal mixture to the prepared pan. Press it firmly into an even layer on the base of the pan.
Bake for 15 minutes, until just starting to set.
While the base is baking, prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Pour in buttermilk, vanilla extract and egg and whisk until very smooth. Cut peaches into 8-10 slices each.
Once the crust is just set, remove from oven and quickly arrange peach slices in an even layer over the base (it’s ok if base is not completely covered). Pour on buttermilk mixture, making sure to pour it on evenly. Sprinkle remaining oatmeal mixture over the top of the peaches.
Sprinkle remaining oatmeal mixture evenly over the apples, crumbling it in between your fingers to make it streusel-like.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until bars are set and golden brown.
Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate until chilled.
Makes 15 bars.