If you love chocolate-covered peanut butter cups, you have to try these No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars! These rich, thick peanut butter bars are an easy dessert recipe for when you’re craving something sweet.
No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
Some days it’s just too hot to turn on the oven, even though I absolutely need a sugary dessert to calm my sweet tooth! In times like those, I turn to no bake desserts.
No bake desserts are always easy and don’t heat up my kitchen, that’s a win-win in my house. That is exactly why these Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars end up on my counter often, they’re so easy!
These bars only take 10 minutes and 5 ingredients to make – that’s it. There is nothing like a cold, chewy peanut butter bar, layered with rich chocolate, straight from the fridge. I mean look at that picture! Need I say more?
Ready to dig into this chocolate and peanut butter perfection? Here’s what you’ll need:
- Unsalted Butter
- Creamy Peanut Butter: smooth peanut butter works the best.
- Graham Cracker Crumbs: use approximately 10-12 whole graham crackers.
- Powdered Sugar
- Chocolate Chips: you can use semi-sweet or milk chocolate.
Vanilla-based cookies could be substituted for graham crackers if you would rather use those instead.
What Kind of Peanut Butter to Use
For these peanut butter bars, and really all baking recipes, emulsified peanut butter (peanut butter without a layer of oil on top) works best — think classic creamy jif or skippy style peanut butter!
All-natural peanut butter and other unblended peanut butters tend to separate when it comes time to mix them in with other ingredients. It’s best to stick to commercial brand, smooth peanut butters if you can.
Can I use a different kind of nut butter?
Have a peanut allergy or just prefer a different flavor of nut? Sure, you can absolutely use a different type of nut butter.
Just make sure that whatever nut butter you pick has a similar consistency to the classic creamy peanut butter. You do not want to use any type of nut butter that has a layer of oil sitting on top that needs to be stirred in.
How to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
Prep: Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking pan. Set aside.
Stir: In a medium bowl, stir together melted butter, peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Press mixture into prepared pan.
Heat: In a microwave safe bowl, combine peanut butter and chocolate chips and heat for 30 seconds, stir and continue heating 10 seconds at a time until the chips are melted. Stir until completely smooth.
Chill: Spread chocolate mixture evenly over peanut butter bars. Chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours or until firm.
Cut: Remove from refrigerator and allow bars to come to room temperature before cutting (otherwise they can be very difficult to slice).
Serve: Serve room temperature or chilled, I prefer them best chilled!
Refrigerate: Store any leftover bars in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for up to 1 week.
Tips for the Best Peanut Butter Bars
- Planning Ahead: these bars are easy to put together, but they take some time to chill. It might be a good idea to make them the day before you need them if you’re going to bring them to an event.
- Do Not Use Natural Peanut Butter: You will need to use a classic creamy Jif/Skippy style peanut butter for this recipe. If you use a natural peanut butter, the bars will not be the correct consistency.
- Cutting the Squares: make sure you let these peanut butter bars thaw for 10-15 minutes so they will be easier to cut.
- Gluten-Free Bars: you can easily convert this to a gluten-free dessert if you use gluten-free graham crackers.
- Parchment Paper: using parchment paper or aluminum foil to line the pan can make removing the bars easier.
- Serving Sizes: these bars can be kind of rich, so slicing them into smaller squares is a good idea!
How to Store this No Bake Dessert
To preserve these chocolate peanut butter bars, store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
However, before you slice them, make sure to let them come to room temperature – your life will be much easier this way. After you slice them, you can serve them immediately or store them back in the fridge for about 1 week, but I doubt they’ll need that long!
I usually store them in a ziplock bag with all the air sucked out of it! You want to make sure whatever you store them in is airtight!
Can Peanut Butter Bars Be Frozen?
Yes, for six months if they are stored in an air tight container!
Just slice them into squares, freeze them on a cookie sheet, and then wrap the individual bars in saran wrap and store them all in a large ziploc bag or other freezer safe container!
To thaw, move however many Peanut Butter Bars you would like from the freezer back into the fridge a day ahead. However, some people even enjoy eating them frozen like a frozen treat! So try a bite of one frozen to see if you like them served that way too!
These No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars are one of our favorite easy treats for the holidays or really any time of year. I just happen to always make a big batch around Christmas to share whenever we have guests or family drop by.
I am excited for you to try these and let me know what you think of the recipe! In case you didn’t know, you can now load a photo below in the comments to share how your recipes come out. I’d love to see your creations!
Peanut Butter Layer:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (approximately 10-12 whole graham crackers)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ⅔ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk chocolate)
- Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x13 baking pan. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together melted butter, peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Press mixture into prepared pan.
- In a microwave safe bowl, combine peanut butter and chocolate chips and heat for 30 seconds, stir and continue heating 10 seconds at a time until the chips are melted. Stir until completely smooth.
- Spread chocolate mixture evenly over peanut butter bars. Chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours or until firm.
- Remove from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before cutting (otherwise they can be very difficult to slice).
- Serve room temperature or chilled, I prefer them best chilled!
- Store bars in the refrigerator, in airtight container, for up to 1 week.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 302Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 185mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 2gSugar: 20gProtein: 7g
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