Creamy, no-bake peanut butter bars! With just a handful of simple ingredients, this easy no-bake recipe takes only a matter of minutes to make and is a classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate!
No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars
Smooth and creamy, chocolate/peanut butter heaven.
I literally can’t think of a better way to get your peanut butter/chocolate fix right now. And how perfect and easy are these for Christmas? They may not be cookies but I want a few on my cookie tray (right next to the peanut butter blossoms, please).
These no-bake bars remind me of a cold, creamy chocolate covered (no-thermometer-required) version of my peanut butter fudge. But so much easier!
What You Need
- Creamy peanut butter. I don’t recommend using a natural peanut butter (the kind where the oil separates) as the bars may not firm up properly.
- Butter. I use salted for these peanut butter bars.
- Powdered sugar.
- Brown Sugar. This adds a nice depth of flavor. Some people have noted that they can taste a slight grittiness from the brown sugar but I have never experienced this. Feel free to leave it out if your brown sugar is particularly coarse.
- Vanilla extract.
- Semisweet chocolate. You can use a bar of chocolate or chocolate chips. If using chocolate chips I recommend using a bit of shortening as well to thin the chocolate.
What You Don’t Need
Graham cracker crumbs! I’ve had peanut butter bars in the past made with graham cracker crumbs and honestly was never a fan. Too much grit, maybe? When I tried a few versions with crumbs added even Zach complained about the “sandy” texture that they had.
Peanut butter bars should be creamy and luxuriously smooth, and these are. Save the crumbs for your graham cracker crusts!
Now, since there are no crumbly graham cracker bits in here, we are going to need to chill the bars a bit longer in the fridge for them to firm up properly. They’ll need a few hours in the fridge to set completely and you’ll have a super smooth and creamy, melt-in-your-mouth, peanut butter explosion beneath a snappy semisweet chocolate shell.
However, I definitely won’t judge you if you break down after 30 minutes (or without refrigerating at all) and go to town with a spoon. We’ve all been there.
More Peanut Butter & Chocolate Recipes to Try!
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Peanut Butter Bars
- 2 cups creamy peanut butter (475g)
- 10 Tablespoons salted butter softened (140g)
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar tightly packed (25g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5ml)
- 3 ¼ cups powdered sugar (405g)
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into small pieces (or ⅔ cup semisweet chocolate chips) (115g)
- 1 teaspoon shortening
- Prepare a 9"x9" baking pan by lining with aluminum foil. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat together peanut butter, and butter until smooth and creamy.
- Add brown sugar and vanilla extract, stir well.
- Gradually add powdered sugar, stirring until completely combined.
- Spread peanut butter filling into prepared pan. To make the surface smooth and even, I like to first spread with the a spoon or spatula, and then lay a piece of wax paper over the filling and use my hands to smooth it out (see video for visual).
- Place pan in refrigerator while you prepare your chocolate topping.
- To prepare chocolate topping, combine chocolate pieces or chocolate chips and shortening in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds, stir well, and continue to heat on 15-second increments (stirring well between) until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
- Remove bars from refrigerator and spread chocolate evenly over the surface.
- Return to refrigerator and chill at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- Cut and serve. Keep uneaten bars refrigerated for firmness.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
This recipe was originally published 08/03/2017. Photos and recipe updated and a video has been added to (hopefully!) be more helpful. Some of the original photos can be seen above.