Irresistible is right! These no-bake peanut butter bars are like homemade peanut butter cups, with rich chocolate and thick peanut butter layers.
This time of year, candy is everywhere, and my personal kryptonite is peanut butter cups. It’s hard to imagine anything tasting better than a Reese’s but these are BETTER. Yes, I mean it. A generous peanut butter layer that’s got that distinct, slightly coarse peanut butter cup texture. On the top, there’s a decadent chocolate layer because who doesn’t love that. You’ll be seeing less of those orange wrappers floating around, with these in the house. Or better yet, leave the Reese’s for the kiddos and hide these, all for yourself!
Why You’ll Love These Peanut Butter Bars
- Like a peanut butter cup, but better!
- Big bars, mini bars, cut them into whatever size you like.
- No bake: PB bars in almost no time!
- Excellent made ahead.
- Freeze them for later.
Ingredients for Peanut Butter Bars
- Chocolate chips – chocolate chips are melted and combined with a little bit of peanut butter to create a delicious chocolate layer. I like semisweet chocolate chips the best but you can also use bittersweet or even milk chocolate.
- Smooth peanut butter – peanut butter is mixed with graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar and butter to create the most irresistible peanut butter layer. The texture and the taste is like a homemade peanut butter cup! You can use regular or natural peanut butter as long as natural peanut butter is mixed well.
- Graham cracker crumbs – graham cracker crumbs create that distinctive, inside-a-peanut-butter-cup texture. I like to buy full graham crackers and crush them myself (they always taste better that way!).
- Confectioner’s (powdered) sugar – powdered sugar lightens up the peanut butter layer so it’s not so sticky.
- Salted butter – butter also lightens up the peanut butter layer, adding a saltiness and softness.
How to Make Peanut Butter Bars
Full instructions in the recipe card; this is just an outline!
Line an 8×8” pan with parchment paper for easy removal of the bars later.
Combine 1 cup peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and melted butter, stirring until combined.
Pour the mixture into the lined pan, smoothing it out in an even layer. Chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.
Melt chocolate chips in 30-second intervals, stirring each time until melted. Add 1 tablespoon peanut butter and mix.
Pour the melted chocolate over the peanut butter mixture, spreading it evenly across the top.
Refrigerate the bars for at least 90 minutes. Once set, lift the bars out of the pan, remove the parchment, and slice with a sharp knife.
- If you use a 9×9” pan, the bars will turn out a little thinner than if you use the 8×8” pan.
- I like to crush my own graham crackers; they just taste better that way! Pop the grahams into a Ziploc bag and use the bottom of a water glass to smash them into fine crumbs, like sand.
- If you’re using natural peanut butter, make sure it’s well-stirred before using.
- Looking for fun toppings? Add some crushed peanut butter cups, chopped peanuts, sea salt flakes, or a drizzle of white chocolate on the top!
Make Ahead and Storage
- Make ahead: peanut butter bars can be made about a week in advance! They store so well. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator, covered, for up to a week.
- Freezing: refrigerate the bars for at least 3 hours, and then freeze the bars in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
More No-Bake Dessert Recipes You’ll Love!
- Edible Cookie Dough Recipe (Easy!)
- BEST Chocolate Eclair Cake
- Easy Microwave Peanut Butter Fudge (Intense Flavor!)
- No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
- 8×8" baking pan
- 1 cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
- 1 cup regular graham cracker crumbs crushed yourself (best method) or store bought
- 1 cup confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
- 1 stick (½ cup) salted butter melted
- Line an 8×8” pan with parchment paper so that you can easily lift the bars out of the pan.
- In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and melted butter until well-combined.
- Pour mixture into the lined pan, smoothing out into an even layer. Let set in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.
- Melt chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl by heating in 30-second increments, stirring every increment, until melted. Add 1 tablespoon peanut butter. Stir.
- Pour chocolate on top of the peanut butter mixture, spreading to create an even layer.
- Chill bars in the fridge for at least 90 minutes. Lift bars out of the pan, peeling back the parchment, and slicing into bars with a sharp knife. Serve at room temperature, chilled, or even slightly warm.
- Store at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to a week!
- You can use a 9×9” pan; the bars will be a bit thinner than the 8×8” pan version.
- I like the crush my own graham crackers; for some reason, they taste better! Place graham crackers in a Ziploc bag. Use the bottom of a water glass to smash the graham crackers until they resemble sand (fine crumbs).