If you love peanut butter and chocolate, as much as I do, you’re going to love these no-bake peanut butter bars. Perfect for any occasion and guaranteed to please everyone who can’t get enough of that irresistible combination of peanut butter and chocolate!
When you’re craving candy, these peanut butter bars are sure to satisfy you.
There’s a good chance you’ve played around with a peanut butter bars recipe or two in the past. There are no bake peanut butter bars, chocolate peanut butter bars and even peanut butter and jelly bars! You’ll also find peanut butter crunch bars and peanut butter oatmeal bars. Yum!
But this peanut butter cookie bars recipe is hands-down the best. They’re the perfect mix between peanut butter cookies, peanut butter pie, and fudge.
Mmmm… fudge. Okay, so if it’s peanut butter fudge you’re after, be sure to check out my recipe for Easy Peanut Butter Fudge. They’re very simple to make, and you’ll find that they’re not as sickly-sweet as the fudge shop candy.
You can also make a batch of my Easy Fudge, which is a great alternative to serve at a party or sell at the bake sale. Believe it or not, not everyone loves peanut butter. (Incredible, right?!)
But if you’re looking for something in between, I promise you’ll love this recipe for peanut butter chocolate bars. It’s the perfect peanut butter squares school recipe – you know, for that last-minute holiday party. They’re just as easy to make as peanut butter bars without graham crackers, but the grahams add an unexpected twist.
One of my favorite places to travel is a little town in North Carolina called Blowing Rock. This sleepy little mountain town is set in the Appalachian mountain range, not far from Appalachian State University.
There’s a landmark which draws tourists to the area. Not at all coincidentally, it’s called The Blowing Rock. Chickasaw legend has it that what is lost over the edge of the Blowing Rock is one day returned.
In addition to the legends that surround the small town, Blowing Rock is also one of those places travelers seek out for the food. You’ll find seafood restaurants with mountain sunset views. You’ll discover the most fabulous family-owned ice cream shops.
And it was in Blowing Rock that I first fell in love with peanut butter bars candy.
Not long after my first trip to Blowing Rock, I tried to create the perfect replica of the chewy peanut butter bars recipe I first tasted there. I tried peanut butter bars without chocolate and with. I even tried peanut butter bars with oatmeal.
At first, I couldn’t place exactly what it was that set those bars apart from the others I’d tried in the past. Surely it wasn’t just the mountain air?
After a bit of trial and error, I figured it out. Those weren’t baked peanut butter bars at all. In fact, it was just the opposite. They were no-bake peanut butter bars. That gooey goodness I loved wasn’t a result of omitting an egg or adding some flour. It was the simplicity of the confectioners’ sugar and the melted butter.
Anyway, my friends, I know that not everyone can make it out to Blowing Rock, North Carolina for a weekend. So I’m bringing Blowing Rock to you.
I hope you enjoy these peanut butter candy bars just as much as I do. As you take your first bite, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and visualize the mountains of North Carolina in the springtime.
Recipe Notes For Peanut Butter Bars:
A word about double boilers – The double boiler, also called a bain-marie, has been around for a very long time. It works quite simply. In short, water can never exceed a certain temperature, no matter how high the heat beneath it.
In contrast, foods like chocolate can burn if the heat beneath them rises too much.
The double boiler in this recipe will gradually and gently heat your chocolate to a temperature which isn’t high enough to burn it.
Don’t have a double boiler? It’s okay! All you’ll need is a large pot of water and a bowl.
Make sure that your bowl doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot; you can do this by placing a raised baking or cooling rack at the bottom of the pot. Place your chocolate chips into that “internal” bowl. As the water boils, your chips will melt but not burn.
On peanut butter allergies – If you’re preparing this peanut butter bars recipe for a school event, please be sure to check with administration. A rising number of children have peanut and tree-nut allergies, and as a result, many schools have banned the nuts.
You can other butters for peanut butter, but you may find that the texture of your cookie bars isn’t quite what you’d expected. As an example, sun nut butter has a thinner consistency than peanut butter. Therefore, your bars may not be exactly right.
It’s best to experiment ahead of time. You can try:
- Sun-nut butter (from sunflowers)
- Tahini (from sesame seeds)
- Soy nut butter (from soybeans)
- Coconut butter (you guessed it – from coconut)
Feel free to play around, and please let me know what you come up with!
Don’t get stuck – In quite a few of my recipes, I recommend that you line your pan with aluminum foil or with parchment paper.
Usually, it’s because I want to make sure that your cookie bars don’t get stuck. There’s nothing worse than tossing a simple recipe together at the last minute, only to have it ruined when it sticks to the bottom of the pan.
I will tell you that I’ve made these peanut butter bars both with aluminum foil and without. And while the stickiness wasn’t too bad when I tried it without, I still don’t want you to run into any trouble.
Line your dish with aluminum foil, or parchment paper if that’s what you have on hand.
Let the ends of your foil overlap the sides of the pan by a few inches. That way, when your bars are ready, you can just grab onto the ends and lift it out. Easy peasy!
Peanut Butter Bars
If you love peanut butter and chocolate, as much as I do, you’re going to love these no-bake peanut butter bars. Perfect for any occasion and guaranteed to please everyone who can't get enough of that irresistible combination of peanut butter and chocolate!
Peanut Butter Base:
- 1 Cup Butter Melted
- 2 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 2 Cups Confectioner's Sugar
- 1 Cup Peanut Butter
- 1 1/2 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 4 Tablespoons Peanut Butter
Line a 9 X 13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil, allowing 2-3 inches to extend over long sides. Spray generously with non-stick cooking spray.
- Mix together the butter, graham cracker crumbs, confectioner's sugar and 1 cup peanut butter until evenly combined. Cool in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm.
- Meanwhile, melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips and 4 tablespoons peanut butter in a double boiler or in the microwave. Spread over cooled peanut butter base. Refrigerate until firm. 2-4 hours. Cut into bars and enjoy.
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