Home » No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

I don’t want to whine or complain, but I do want to be real. I’m on an emotional rollercoaster and I’m not the driver. I don’t even know who’s driving, but it isn’t me and I’m dealing with that…poorly. My emotions oscillate day by day, sometimes hour by hour.

I’m in a leadership position at work. In healthcare. When I’m scared and stressed and simply don’t have answers, it sucks. When I’m not redeployed all over the health system screening patients and staff for COVID-19, I’m trying to play IT and HR in one. And doing a crap job of it.

I could write a novel about the past 2 weeks of my life. I’m amazed at how self-centered some people can be while others can bring me to tears with their outpouring of love and support for me, for everyone in a time of crisis. For their willingness, their eagerness to jump right into a pandemic and just do what it takes, no reservations or pause.

I’m not there. I have reservations. I give pause. I see a phone number I don’t know pop up on my phone and I cringe, knowing it’s my next reassignment. Will it be in the emergency department? Nights? Weekends? The butt crack of dawn? It just depends on the day. Will I FINALLY receive a mask as a front line healthcare worker?

My kids are confused and bored. They sense my stress, Mark’s stress, and they take it on. I want to be better for them, but sometimes, it seems impossible.

I’ve played a lot of Uno. I’m charging my phone non-stop with all the reading and work. I’m still trying to do my job – I’m a pro at *67 when calling patients from home. I have intense mom guilt over the iPad as a babysitter. I bought nearly $300 in “sensory bin goods” off Amazon last night. I refresh the John Hopkins COVID site to see the diagnosed cases grow by the 10,000’s in a matter of hours.

Like I said, my emotions are all over the place. Thankfully, I still have exercise, alcohol, and food. I’m being real, people. Hitting the Peloton at some point during the day, settling in with a mama juice (alcoholic beverage du jour) at night, and as of the other day, a No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Bar…until they’re gone. At which point I may need to make more. Do what it takes in times like now, friends. Self care, self love. Strike the balance the best you can, hold on for the ride, and find the daily joys, no matter how small they are (pssst…peanut butter and chocolate are ALWAYS there for you). Virtual elbow taps with 6 feet of distance, friends.

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Bars
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16 bars
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups + 1 Tbsp old fashioned oats, divided
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  1. Line an 8-inch square baking dish (no larger) with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Melt butter and brown sugar in large saucepan over medium heat, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Stir in vanilla. Mix in 3 cups of oats, reserving 1 tablespoon for topping.
  3. Cook over low heat 3 to 4 minutes, or until ingredients are well blended.
  4. Pour half of the oat mixture into the prepared baking dish. Spread out the mixture evenly, pressing down. Reserve the other half for second layer.
  5. To make the filling, melt the peanut butter and chocolate chips together in a small microwave-safe bowl for 60 seconds on high; stir well and continue microwaving 10 seconds at a time until smooth.
  6. Pour half the chocolate mixture over the oats, spreading it evenly over the top. Top with the second half of the oats and gently press until a single layer. Top with remaining chocolate mixture and sprinkle with the reserved oats.
  7. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or overnight. Lift bars out the pan using the edges of the parchment paper and cut into squares.
Recipe from Sugar Apron
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bar (1/16th recipe) Calories: 307 Fat: 20.3 Carbohydrates: 27.9 Sugar: 15.2 Sodium: 134 Fiber: 1.9 Protein: 4.6 Cholesterol: 30
Be well,

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  1. Kathleen
    March 24, 2020 / 6:46 pm

    I’ve read your blog for many, many years and haven’t yet commented, but I just wanted to say THANK YOU for the incredible work you’re doing, the sacrifices you’re making to keep people healthy, safe, and alive. You and your colleagues are heroes. I hope you can be gentle with yourself during this difficult time and just know how much of a difference you’re making in the world.

    • Nicole Morrissey
      March 25, 2020 / 12:12 pm

      Kathleen, that means so much (your readership, too!)! So many are going through so much – I’ve got to keep positive! The writing is my outlet 🙂 Thanks so much for your sweet note and reading along!!

  2. Annie Wilson
    March 24, 2020 / 9:02 pm

    I know exactly how you feel, I bet the majority of your readers are going through similar emotions. I closed my business and laid off most of my employees ten days ago. I sit at home trying to comfort myself and find little comfort anywhere.
    Rest and take care of yourself. Hopefully masks are headed your direction soon. This will be over one day, we will be grateful and relieved, and we will work hard to never have to live through something like this again.

    • Nicole Morrissey
      March 25, 2020 / 12:11 pm

      Oh, Annie. I cannot imagine. I am so sorry to hear that. Like you said, the majority of people are going through these tough times and it’s hard not to get sucked in at a personal level. Hugs to you! Thanks for your sweet comment <3

  3. JL
    March 25, 2020 / 7:34 am

    I’m working in a nursing home these days. Definitely a roller coaster. Scary times we’re in, especially when my head spins around how we’re going to continue to keep these residents safe with so many employees coming in and out of the building? Scary. We tried to make a list of non-essential employees the other day…but…we are all pretty essential in a small building. Sometimes, the fear can be paralyzing and sometimes, we’re not doing anything different because nobody in the building is sick. So, it’s weird. You are right, though – never can go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter. 😉 Hang in there – and I hope you get a mask!!

    • Nicole Morrissey
      March 25, 2020 / 12:10 pm

      Hugs to you, Julie. That sounds incredibly stressful. Thinking of you and your coworkers <3

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