Peanut Butter Bars

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These are the easiest and tastiest Peanut Butter Bars! They start with a thick and sweet peanut butter base and get finished with a smooth chocolate topping! These bars have only seven ingredients and don’t require any baking.

Love no-bake desserts? Then you’ve got to try this three-ingredient Ice Cream Pie, this addictive Cannoli Dip, or these easy Oreo Balls.

QUICK TIP

Looking for frosted Peanut Butter Bars? Try our famous Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Bars instead (also called Lunch Lady Bars)! Or, if you’re looking for a version of Healthy Peanut Butter Bars, try our Peanut Butter Banana Bars which are sweetened with ripe bananas and use blended up oats.

Image of the Peanut Butter Bars stacked on top of each other

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Homemade Peanut Butter Bars are the best! They’re super easy to make, need just a few ingredients, and no oven is needed.

These bars are thick, rich, and taste like peanut butter cups, but they’re even better! They’re creamy and gooey when freshly made, way better than store-bought candy.

Forget Reese’s, these bars are way tastier and only need seven ingredients!

Process shots-- images of the graham cracker based being made and mixed together

Peanut Butter Bars Recipe

Here’s what you need for this recipe, along with some tips and our favorite brands:

  • Peanut butter: Any creamy kind works, but we prefer Skippy® Creamy Peanut Butter. Avoid the natural kind that needs stirring, it can make the bars too greasy.
  • Graham crackers: Crush them up for flavor; I love Honeymaid® honey-flavored ones.
  • Powdered sugar: Granulated or brown sugar won’t work; you need the light texture of powdered sugar.
  • Unsalted butter: Use unsalted so you can control the saltiness.
  • Salt: Even with unsalted butter, a bit of salt balances the sweetness.
  • Chocolate: Use milk chocolate for sweeter bars like Reese’s® or semi-sweet/dark for less sweetness. Mix flavors if you like, such as half milk and half semi-sweet.
  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla offers a nice finishing touch of flavor. It’s optional — these Peanut Butter Bars are still great without it.

QUICK TIP

Use leftover graham crackers in these Graham Cracker Cookies or in a homemade Graham Cracker Crust!

Process shots of peanut butter bars-- images of the chocolate-peanut butter layer being made and melted together and then poured over the graham cracker layer

How To Make Peanut Butter Bars 

This recipe comes together quickly without too much effort, but the tips below will help to ensure perfect Peanut Butter Bars every single time!

  • Let the melted butter cool. Once the butter is melted, it needs to cool back to room temperature. If the butter is hot, it will melt the sugar and crushed graham crackers, which will cause greasy bars. 
  • Blend graham crackers thoroughly. To make sure there aren’t large chunks of graham crackers in the bars, which will affect the texture, blend the graham crackers until they are crumbs. If any large pieces didn’t blend completely, add them back into the blender and blend again.
  • Use good chocolate! High-quality chocolate makes such a difference in the taste of this recipe. My favorite brands are Ghirardelli® and Guittard® (not sponsored).
  • Picking a pan size. For thicker bars, use an 8×8-inch pan. For slightly thinner bars, use a 9×9-inch pan. (Photos in the post show the thickness of the bars using an 8×8-inch pan.)
  • Line the pan. Be sure to line the pan with parchment paper for easy removal of the bars once they’ve set. Leave an overhang of parchment paper so you can pull up on the overhang to remove all the bars — it’s so much easier to cut bars out of the pan rather than in the pan.
  • Picture-perfect bars. To get clean slices of Peanut Butter Bars, run a knife under hot water for a few seconds, wipe to dry, make a slice, and repeat.

QUICK TIP

It’s nice to have a powerful blender or food processor to quickly pulse the graham crackers to crumbs, but if you don’t have one, you can crush them in a bag with the bottom of a frying pan, a meat mallet, or a rolling pin.

Image of the Peanut Butter Bars stacked on top of each other ready to be enjoyed

STORAGE

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars Storage

  • These bars are great for making ahead of time. Just follow the instructions, cover them up, and let them chill in the fridge overnight.
  • When stored right, these bars stay good for 5-7 days after you make them. If they’ve been in the fridge for a while, give them about 10-15 minutes at room temperature before cutting.
  • You can freeze these bars easily. Wrap each one in plastic wrap, then put them all in a big plastic bag or a container that’s safe for the freezer. To thaw, just leave them in the fridge overnight. They’ll stay good in the freezer for up to 3 months.

More Peanut Butter Bar Recipes

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Peanut Butter Bars

5 from 2 votes
These are the easiest and tastiest Peanut Butter Bars! They start with a thick and sweet peanut butter base and get finished with a smooth chocolate topping! These bars have only seven ingredients and don't require any baking.
Print Recipe

Peanut Butter Bars

5 from 2 votes
These are the easiest and tastiest Peanut Butter Bars! They start with a thick and sweet peanut butter base and get finished with a smooth chocolate topping! These bars have only seven ingredients and don't require any baking.
Course Dessert, treat
Cuisine American
Keyword peanut butter bars
Prep Time 20 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 16 bars (these are rich -- a little goes a long way!)
Chelsea Lords
Calories 305kcal
Cost $5.32

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 8 full sheets graham cracker crumbs (~1 cup (118g))
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (+ 2 tablespoons) (Note 1)
  • 1 cup milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips (Note 2)

Instructions

  • PREP: Line an 8×8-inch pan (for thicker bars) or 9×9-inch pan (thinner bars) with parchment paper or foil. Set aside. Melt butter in the microwave and then set it aside to cool to room temperature. (Hot butter melts the sugar and makes these bars greasy.) Crumble graham crackers into a blender or food processor and blend to get crumbs. Alternatively, add crackers to a gallon plastic bag, seal it without air, and crush crackers to crumbs with a frying pan, rolling pin, or meat mallet. (Note 3)
  • MIX: Add melted (and cooled) butter, salt, graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 cup peanut butter to a large bowl. Use a hand mixer or a wooden spoon to mix until you have a thick dough. Press this dough into an even layer in the base of the prepared pan. Place in the fridge while preparing the topping.
  • TOPPING: Meanwhile, add the chocolate chips and the remaining 2 tablespoons of peanut butter to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in bursts of 15 seconds, stirring in between each burst for 10 seconds until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour the melted chocolate over the peanut butter layer and tap the pan on the table a few times to get the chocolate in an even layer.
  • LET SET: Chill in the fridge until bars are firm, about 1-1/2 hours. Allow to sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before cutting. Cut into the bars with a hot sharp knife. Run the knife under hot water, dry it off, and then immediately cut the bars.
  • STORAGE: Cover leftover bars tightly and refrigerate for 5-7 days. To freeze: wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap and then store the wrapped bars in a large plastic bag or freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw bars overnight in the fridge.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Peanut butter: Any creamy and thick peanut butter will work; we love Skippy® Creamy Peanut Butter best. We don't recommend a natural peanut butter that needs stirring-- it will make the bars greasy.
Note 2: Chocolate: If you like sweet desserts and enjoy sweet chocolate-peanut butter candy (like Reese's), use milk chocolate as the topping. Otherwise, use semi-sweet or dark chocolate for a less-sweet treat. Stick to whatever flavor of chocolate you like best or a combination of a couple of kinds. We like milk and semi-sweet chocolate mixed (half and half) or plain milk chocolate best! The better the quality of chocolate chips, the better the flavor of these bars will be.
Note 3: Crushing graham crackers: To ensure there aren’t large chunks of graham crackers in the bars, which will affect the texture, blend the graham crackers until they are crumbs. Add any large pieces that didn’t blend completely back into the blender and blend again. 

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 305kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.4g | Protein: 5.1g | Fat: 18.5g | Cholesterol: 15.3mg | Sodium: 116.2mg | Fiber: 2.2g | Sugar: 26.1g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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