These Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars are a delicious treat, combining chewy texture with rich peanut butter flavor. Packed with chocolate chips and Reese's cups, these will be your new go-to sweet treat!
They come together easily and have the classic flavor combination of peanut butter and chocolate, making them perfect for any occasion!
If you love peanut butter, you must try these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars! They're my favorite when I need a quick, delicious dessert fix. They’re perfectly dense and chewy and loaded with chocolate and peanut butter- who doesn’t love that flavor combination?
When I make these peanut butter bars, my secret is to save a little bit of the dough for sprinkling over the top of the Reese’s. That gives the bars a nice layered look.
The Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are technically optional, but seriously, why would you skip them? The drizzle of sweetened condensed milk over the top brings them all together with a moist finish.
The smell is incredible while they’re baking and if you serve them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream they are absolute perfection.
See the printable recipe card below for all ingredients, specific measurements, and complete instructions.
- Flour: Provides the structure for the bars.
- Baking Soda: Helps the bars rise and become fluffy.
- Salt: Enhances the other flavors.
- Butter: Adds richness to the peanut butter bars.
- Peanut Butter: The star of the show!
- Brown Sugar: Brings sweetness and a slight caramel flavor to the bars.
- Granulated Sugar: Adds sweetness.
- Egg: Binds the ingredients together.
- Vanilla: Adds a hint of extra flavor.
- Chocolate Chips: Creates pockets of gooey chocolate throughout.
- Reese's Cups (optional): Offers extra flavor of peanut butter and chocolate.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: Creates a sweet and gooey consistency to finish the bars.
How To Make Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars
First, preheat the oven to 350º F. While it's warming up, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and a pinch of salt) in a medium mixing bowl.
Next, grab a saucepan, melt the butter, and stir in the peanut butter until it's all smooth.
In another bowl, beat together the melted mixture with brown sugar, granulated sugar, an egg, and a splash of vanilla.
Now, slowly stir in the dry ingredients until everything is well incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips.
For the pan, grease it up or use parchment paper. Press about two-thirds of your peanut butter dough into the pan, saving the rest for the topping. If you're using them, toss in some chopped Reese's cups.
Now, the finishing touch – drizzle sweetened condensed milk then top with remaining peanut butter chocolate chip dough.
Pop that pan in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the edges start to become golden brown.
Once they're out, let them cool a bit before cutting into bars. Then, serve them warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the win!
Cookie Bar Variations
- Add coconut. Incorporate shredded coconut into the dough for a tropical twist. You can also sprinkle toasted coconut on top for added flavor and texture.
- Add caramel. Replace the peanut butter cups with a caramel filled candy like Rolo’s or chopped Milky Ways to add caramel to the bars.
- Add a chocolate finish. Drizzle the finished bars with melted milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or even white chocolate for a fun finish.
Storing, Freezing, and Make-Ahead
- Make-Ahead: To prepare these cookie bars in advance, I recommend completing the baking process and allowing the bars to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, carefully cut them into bars and store them in an airtight container. This can be done up to 24 hours before the event to ensure freshness.
- Store: Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. To maintain the bars' texture, consider placing a piece of parchment paper between layers to prevent sticking.
- Freeze: For longer storage, these peanut butter cookie bars freeze well. Wrap individual bars or the entire batch tightly in plastic wrap and then place them in a freezer-safe container or a sealed plastic bag. They can be stored in the freezer for up to two months. When ready to enjoy, allow them to thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
- Allow butter, egg, and peanut butter to reach room temperature before using. This ensures even mixing and better incorporation of ingredients.
- When combining wet and dry ingredients, stir until just combined. Overmixing can lead to denser bars. Use a gentle hand.
- Allow the bars to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. This prevents them from breaking apart.
- If making ahead, freeze the bars individually for easy thawing
Do I have to use both brown and granulated sugar?
The combination of both sugars contributes to the texture and flavor. However, if necessary, you can use only brown sugar. Keep in mind it might alter the texture and sweetness slightly.
What's the best way to cut the bars without them crumbling?
Use a sharp knife, and if possible, warm it in hot water before cutting. Also, ensure the bars have cooled for about 15 minutes in the pan before attempting to cut them. This helps them set.
If you need more easy bar desserts here are a few of our favorites.
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
- Brookie Bars
- Cherry Bars
- Banana Nut Bars
- Easy Salted Caramel Pecan Bars
I love bringing these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars to gatherings. They're a hit every time and no one has to know how easy they are!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars Recipe
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup butter
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ⅓ cup chocolate chips
- 4 Reese’s chopped
- 6 ounces sweetened condensed milk (½ can)
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease an 8x8 inch baking pan or line with parchment paper.
- Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
- Melt the butter and peanut butter together. Using an electric mixer, beat the granulated sugar and brown sugar until combined.
- Whisk in the egg and vanilla.
- Stir in the flour, baking soda and salt until fully combined.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Press ⅔ of the cookie dough mixture into the prepared 8x8-inch baking pan. Set the remaining cookie dough aside.
- Then add the chopped Reese’s.
- Drizzle with sweetened condensed milk.
- Top with remaining cookie dough. It’s okay if it doesn't cover. Drop by hand or spoonful and gently press to smooth.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until it begins to brown around the edges.
- Remove from oven and let cool.