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Peanut Butter Bars

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!)
Calories 305kcal
Author Chelsea Lords
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

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

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