Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

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No-bake chocolate peanut butter bars are easy to make with 7 ingredients. They’re like a peanut butter cup, but in bar form and are the first to disappear from our holiday cookie trays!

front view of a stack of five No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars, the top one has a bite taken out of it


These No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars are my husband’s favorite Christmas cookie, and rank pretty high up there for me too (along with these soft peanut butter cookies and cut-out sugar cookies)!

They taste like a peanut butter cup but are much easier to make.Chocolate peanut butter bars will be the star of your Christmas Cookie tray, and they only require 15 minutes & less than 10 minutes to make.

Front view of No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars, the one in front has a bite taken out of it

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars: Ingredients & Substitutions

overhead photo of the ingredients in this peanut butter bars recipe
  • Salted Butter:  unsalted butter or vegan butter are good substitutes.
  • 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 bars cold or add more powdered sugar or graham cracker crumbs to get them to hold up well at room temperature.
  • Graham Cracker Crumbs: use store-bought or make your own.
  • Chocolate Chips: Our favorite chocolate of choice is a semi-sweet variety. However I have used milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and even white chocolate with good results!
Front view of nine No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars arranged on a surface

How to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

We’ll walk through the recipe step-by-step, and don’t forget to watch the video.

Make the Peanut Butter Layer

To make the peanut butter bar layer, start with creamy peanut butter and softened butter.

how to make chocolate peanut butter bars - combining butter and peanut butter

Using a mixer, cream the butter and peanut butter together until smooth.

how to make chocolate peanut butter bars - combining butter and peanut butter

Next, add the vanilla and sea salt.

how to make chocolate peanut butter bars - adding vanilla and salt

Beat again with your mixer, starting on low speed and increasing to medium-high until the ingredients are just combined.

Next add the powdered sugar. If you want a refined-sugar free option, make your own homemade powdered sugar by following this recipe.

how to make chocolate peanut butter bars - adding powdered sugar

Next, add the graham cracker crumbs.

How to Make Graham Cracker Crumbs

To make your own graham cracker crumbs, place the desired number of graham crackers (this recipe uses 10) in the container of your food processor fitted with an “S” blade.

Then, process until the graham crackers reach a fine, flour-like consistency.

This recipe calls for 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs, which equals about 8 full graham crackers. A full graham cracker is one “sheet” with four crackers scored into it.

how to make chocolate peanut butter bars - adding graham cracker crumbs

Once you’ve added the dry ingredients, beat the mixture again starting on the lowest speed possible.

Once the mixture isn’t powdery, increase the speed and beat until the ingredients are combined.

how to make chocolate peanut butter bars - making the peanut butter layer

The peanut butter bar mixture will look crumbly, but will stick together when squeezed or pressed, as pictured below.

NOTE: If the peanut butter mixture is too wet, add up to ¼ cup more graham cracker crumbs and/or powdered sugar until it reaches the correct consistency. This happens if you use natural peanut butter.

how to make chocolate peanut butter bars - making the peanut butter layer

Press the peanut butter bar layer into a prepared pan.

To line the pan with parchment paper, trace the bottom of the pan onto the parchment paper, adding “handles” to opposite sides (like this =▢=).

how to make chocolate peanut butter bars - making the peanut butter layer and putting it in the pan

Once the mixture is in the pan, press it down with your hands or a greased spatula.

how to make chocolate peanut butter bars - making the peanut butter layer and putting it in the pan

Make sure there aren’t any holes/cracks in the peanut butter layer so that the chocolate topping doesn’t leak through

Set the pan aside while you move on to the next step, but keep the bars at room temperature.

how to make chocolate peanut butter bars - making the peanut butter layer and putting it in the pan

Make the Chocolate Topping

The next step in making this No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars recipe is to make the chocolate peanut butter topping.

Melt the chocolate and peanut butter together either in the microwave, or on the stovetop over low heat, until smooth and glossy.

overhead view of a bowl of melted chocolate and peanut butter being mixed together to make the topping for these No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Next, pour the melted chocolate and peanut butter mixture on top of the peanut butter bar base.

front view of the melted chocolate peanut butter mixture being poured on top of the pan with the peanut butter base layer in the making of these No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Smooth the topping with a spatula. Then, chill the chocolate peanut butter bars in the refrigerator until the chocolate is set.

Expedite the chilling process by putting the chocolate peanut butter bars in the freezer. 

Note: If you do decide to speed up the hardening process, be sure to cut the cookies into bars before the chocolate completely hardens and becomes brittle.

Overhead view of a spatula spreading the chocolate peanut butter top onto these No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Cut & Serve

Use a sharp knife to cut these No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars into 9 or 16 squares, depending on how large you want them. For the sake of these photos I cut them into 9 bars, but when I make them for a crowd I always cut them into 16 squares!

To ensure a clean and even cut, dip the knife in boiling hot water and wipe it clean with a paper towel between every cut!

Overhead view of No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars on a cutting board being cut into squares

Store/Freeze

Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to two months. Thaw gradually in the refrigerator – do not microwave.

front view of a stack of four No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Recipe FAQs

Can I double this recipe?

Yes, you can easily double the it and make it in a 9×13″ pan to feed a large crowd!

Can I make chocolate peanut butter balls?

Another fun adaptation to this recipe is to make them into peanut butter chocolate balls! Check out the recipe linked to learn how.

How do you melt peanut butter and chocolate? 

There are two ways to do this.
In the microwave. Place chocolate and peanut butter in a microwave safe dish. Warm for 60 seconds in the microwave, then stir. Stir for a 15 or so seconds to see if you can get all the chocolate chips melted and smooth. If not, return to the microwave for 30 second increments, stirring after each one, until everything is melted and combined.
On the stovetop. Alternately, you can place the chocolate and peanut butter on the stovetop and warm over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth and glossy!

front view of a No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar with a bite taken out of it, and six others around it!

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No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Laura
No-bake chocolate peanut butter bars are easy to make with 7 ingredients. They're like a peanut butter cup, but in bar form and are the first to disappear from our holiday cookie trays!
4.86 from 14 votes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 bars
Calories 192.6
Prep Time10 minutes
Chilling time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Peanut Butter Base:

Chocolate Topping:

Instructions 

  • Lightly grease or line a 9×9” or 8×8″ baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.**
  • In a large bowl, mix together powder sugar, graham cracker crumbs and salt, set aside.
  • In a mixer, beat butter and peanut butter together until creamy. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
  • Add dry ingredients and beat until combined.
  • Pour into your prepared baking pan and spread evenly with a greased spatula or your hands.
  • Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter together in the microwave or on the stovetop, stir until completely combined and smooth. (If using the microwave, start by warming them for 60 seconds and stirring, and then if they still need to melt warm in 30 second increments after that, stirring after each).
  • Pour chocolate peanut butter mixture over peanut butter base and spread until it’s evenly distributed.
  • 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.
  • Serve cold or at room temperature!

Video

Notes

**This recipe is easily doubled to fit a 9×13″ baking pan.
***You can make these into balls and dip them in chocolate – follow this recipe: chocolate peanut butter balls. 
NOTE: If your peanut butter mixture is too wet, add up to 1/4 cup more graham cracker crumbs and/or powdered sugar until it reaches the correct consistency (as seen in the video). This happens to me if I use natural peanut butter.
Ingredient Substitutions
  • Salted Butter:  unsalted butter or vean butter are good substitutes.
  • 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 bars cold or add more powdered sugar or graham cracker crumbs to get them to hold up well at room temperature.
  • Graham Cracker Crumbs: use store-bought or make your own. This recipe needs 10 to 11 full sheet graham crackers.
  • Chocolate Chips: Our favorite chocolate of choice is a semi-sweet variety. However I have used milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and even white chocolate with good results.
Store/Freeze
Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to two months. Thaw gradually in the refrigerator – do not microwave.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 192.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.8g | Protein: 5.4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4.5g | Sodium: 80mg | Potassium: 0.6mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9.5g | Iron: 0.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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41 Comments

  1. Just wondering…… I like sweet and salty. Do you think you could substitute crushed pretzels for the graham crackers?

    1. Hmm… I wouldn’t recommend replacing all of the graham crackers with pretzels. However, I bet you could blend 1/4 or 1/2 cup in there and it would taste great!