No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars are a must-make family favorite! A delicious recipe ready in 15 minutes, plus they're vegan with a gluten-free option!

I told you I was going to jump right into the Christmas season…which means you will be inundated with chocolate, cookies, more chocolate and more cookies! Obviously if you’re reading this you have no problem with copious amounts of sweet treats {because you wouldn’t visit my little corner of the internet if you didn’t love chocolate and peanut butter!}, so lets dish! These No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars are my husband’s favorite Christmas cookie! I tweaked the original recipe to be a touch healthier and vegan (with a gluten-free option) so that we can enjoy these beauties together!

These cookies taste like a peanut butter cup but are SO much easier to make! No cupcake liners or freezing between layers required for this recipe! Just mix & dump then melt and spread. That’s it! These No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars will absolutely be the star of your Christmas cookie tray this year and come together in a measly 15 minutes! Total. Win!

jfs_hh_darkNo-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars are a must-make family favorite! A delicious recipe ready in 15 minutes, plus they're vegan with a gluten-free option!

My husband calls these Turtlenecks. I have zero idea why or where that came from, and neither does he! So I renamed them {to something that makes sense lol} and now here we are! 😉 I make these at least twice during December, but the fun doesn’t stop there!  We love these No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars so much that we make them year-round!

The directions are really simple and very straightforward, and all the work is done on these bars in less than 15 minutes! The hardest part is waiting for the chocolate/peanut butter topping to harden….however this can easily be expedited by tossing the cookies in the fridge or freezer. Note: If you do decide to speed up the hardening process, just be sure to cut the cookies into bars before the chocolate completely hardens!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars are a must-make family favorite! A delicious recipe ready in 15 minutes, plus they're vegan with a gluten-free option!

As always I will give a few tips about the ingredients as well as possible substitutions:

Important tips/substitutions: 

  1. Coconut oil: You can substitute vegan butter (Earth Balance) or regular butter (if you do not need to avoid dairy).
  2. Peanut Butter: Make sure it’s creamy and not too liquidy. I prefer a natural, no-stir variety so that the bars hold up better as they reach room temperature. If you choose to use a more runny peanut butter you will need to serve these No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars cold.
  3. Powdered sugar: if you avoid refined sugar, make this crazy easy Paleo Powdered Sugar and use it as a substitution.
  4. Graham Cracker Crumbs: I just toss some grahams in my Vitamix or food processor and blend them up. If you have any dietary restrictions I highly recommend using Schar gluten-free honey grams!
  5. Chocolate Chips: Our favorite chocolate of choice is a semi-sweet variety. However I have used milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and even white chocoalte (only the real stuff made with actual cocoa butter please!) with outstanding results!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars are a must-make family favorite! A delicious recipe ready in 15 minutes, plus they're vegan with a gluten-free option!

Print

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 16 bars

Ingredients

Peanut Butter Base:

Chocolate Topping:

Instructions

  1. Lightly grease or line a 9x9” baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together powder sugar, graham cracker crumbs and salt, set aside.
  3. In a mixer, beat butter and peanut butter together until creamy. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
  4. Add dry ingredients and beat until combined.
  5. Pour into your prepared baking pan and spread evenly with a greased spatula or your hands.
  6. Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter together in the microwave or on the stovetop, stir until completely combined and smooth.
  7. Pour chocolate mixture over peanut butter base and spread until it’s evenly distributed.
  8. Cool in fridge for about 20 minutes or until chocolate is slightly hardened. Remove out before chocolate is completely hardened and cut into squares. Return to fridge until completely cooled.
  9. Serve cold or at room temperature!

Recipe Notes

*This recipe is easily doubled to fit a 9x13" baking pan. **You can make these into balls and dip them in chocolate. Just chill the PB filling, roll into balls, freeze, dip into chocolate, set on wax paper to harden. You may need more chocolate if you choose to do this.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars are a must-make family favorite! A delicious recipe ready in 15 minutes, plus they're vegan with a gluten-free option!

Are you running to your kitchen to make these No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars yet?! 😉 Another great thing about these guys…you can easily double the recipe and make it in a 9×13″ pan to feed a bigger crowd!

Another fun adaptation to this recipe is to make them into peanut butter truffles! I just roll the filling into balls and toss them in the freezer for 10 minutes. Then they get dipped in chocolate, set on wax paper, sprinkle with some sea salt or sprinkles and popped back in the freezer to harden! Super easy and fun to serve at holiday parties! 😉

I have to know, what’s your favorite Christmas cookie recipe? Leave a link in the comments if you have one! 

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No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars are a must-make family favorite! A delicious recipe ready in 15 minutes, plus they're vegan with a gluten-free option!

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No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars are a must-make family favorite! A delicious recipe ready in 15 minutes, plus they're vegan with a gluten-free option!