Peanut Butter Cup Bars

Exactly 9 days post-New Year’s my aforementioned aversion to sweets disappeared like a puff of smoke. The holiday sugar cloud has lifted and I am ready to dive into butter, chocolate, sugar and, of course… peanut butter! These peanut butter cup bars are nothing new to the blogosphere, but I am thrilled to finally have them back in my kitchen. I had my first encounter with these bars waaaaaay back in college. I was at a cookout/bonfire and a girl brought a pan of these. I’ve been a peanut butter fanatic pretty much since I uttered my first words, so needless to say I fell in love with these immediately. As soon as I wiped the peanut butter and chocolate crumbs off my mouth, I asked for the recipe. I got it, and then promptly lost it before I ever got a chance to make them. I have lived without these for way too many years, so I must make amends. And share with you of course.

I was the kid on Halloween that dug through the candy to get to the Reese’s peanut butter cups. They were gold. On Easter, I was always thrilled when the bunny left a Reese’s peanut butter egg or, as I got older and more appreciative of good sweets, a Sarris peanut butter meltaway egg. So imagine how insanely excited I am that these taste just like a giant peanut butter cup. I could get even more authentic with a thicker layer of chocolate, or actually encasing a cup-shaped version in chocolate, but this recipe is super easy and darn-near perfect. If it ain’t broke…

Three years ago: Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte

Peanut Butter Cup Bars

Yield: 16 bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes (active), 30 minutes (inactive)

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter
1¾ cups powdered sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup unsalted butter
½ cup milk chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)

Directions:

1. Line an 8x8-inch square pan with foil, leaving enough to hang over the sides, then butter the foil. Set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, melt the ½ cup of butter over low heat. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in the powdered sugar until smooth. Stir in the peanut butter and graham cracker crumbs until completely combined and smooth. Spread the peanut butter mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

3. In the now-empty saucepan, melt the ¼ cup unsalted butter. Add the chocolate and stir until almost completely melted. Remove from heat and continue stirring until completely melted. Pour the melted chocolate over the peanut butter layer and smooth into an even layer.

4. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to set. Remove from the pan using the foil overhangs and place on a cutting board. Use a pizza cutter to slice into 16 bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

(Recipe adapted from Stylish Cuisine)

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154 Responses to “Peanut Butter Cup Bars”

  1. Minni on January 12, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Thanks for recipe. I’ll recommend you another recipe for dessert,
    Chipotle-Coriander Grilled Peaches, a bit different than what we usually have, cakes or ice cream. Try it out, recipe is found at http://www.fourgreensteps.com/community/recipes/desserts-a-goodies-/chipotle-coriander-grilled-peaches, if you don’t like it, try the other desserts like the Strawberry Tofu, amazing taste!

    Reply

  2. Peggy on January 12, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Oh my goodness these look amazing! I actually love the thinner layer of chocolate on them… the more peanut butter to chocolate ratio, the better!

    Reply

  3. Kim-Liv Life on January 12, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Ahhhh! Now you are back on track!! ;) Isn’t it funny how something from so long ago sticks out in our memories? Excellent bars!

    Reply

  4. Tracy on January 12, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    I bet my husband would love these!

    Reply

  5. Liz on January 12, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    I make a similar bar…they are FABULOUS! Your photos are lovely!!!

    Reply

  6. Katrina on January 12, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Yum! I have a similar recipe on my blog and LOVE these. Mmm.

    Reply

  7. Serene on January 12, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    This looks great! Can’t wait to try it! =D

    I don’t have a 8 x 8 tin, only a 9 x 9 tin, do you think I should increase the amount of the recipe or just leave it? would it be too thin?

    Reply

  8. Kristen on January 12, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    I have a group of friends coming over tomorrow night and I think I just found what I’m going to make them!

    Reply

  9. Michelle on January 12, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Have you tried the new Reese’s minis??? They are a peanut butter cup perfected. The peanut butter in them is so smooth and creamy. I may or may not be addicted to them :)

    Reply

  10. Jen on January 12, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Chocolate + peanut butter = heaven

    Reply

  11. Dori on January 12, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Omg, peanut butter lovers unite! <33 These look and sound simply amazing!!
    Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to dig myself out of this snow so I can buy some more pb!! :D

    Reply

  12. Corrine on January 12, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Those look heavenly!

    Reply

  13. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. on January 12, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    This is right up my alley! Looks great! I am making these for sure!

    Reply

  14. kitchenarian on January 12, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Peanut butter and chocolate – there is no better combination. These look like a dessert I had a long time ago and always wanted the recipe for. Thank you for starting my new year off right with this recipe!

    Reply

  15. Kate @ Diethood.com on January 12, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    I didn’t like Reese’s when I was little…my love began when I got to college! :)

    Reply

  16. Jenny Flake on January 12, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Mmmm, these have my name written all over them!

    Reply

  17. Becky on January 13, 2011 at 6:57 am

    I love peanut butter, so these are really up my alley, and they look so yummy!
    I’m bookmarking these!

    Reply

  18. Alyssa on January 13, 2011 at 7:16 am

    I love peanut butter AND chocolate and believe there is no better combination. I’m glad you are back into sweets :) Although your savory recipes werent too shabby either ;)

    Reply

  19. CaSaundra on January 13, 2011 at 8:34 am

    I am not too much of a chocolate fan with chocolate just by itself, but when paired with peanut butter–heaven!

    Reply

  20. Lynn Brown on January 13, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Ok, I made these and just have to say “Thanks!” I am going to have to give you a big shout out on my blog tomorrow!!! (and Thanks from two other little fans too!!!) Don’t just think about making these, YOU SO MUST MAKE THESE!

    Reply

    • Lynn Brown on January 13th, 2011 at 2:19 pm

      oops, I meant on Saturday I will be sharing along with two little fans!!! I am already thinking it is Friday!

      Reply

  21. Vidya on January 13, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    These look delicious.. if only there was a way I could eat right off the internet!
    I feel the same way about peanut butter. My kids are still wondering who ate all the Reeses from their Halloween candy stack:)

    Reply

  22. Maggie @ Vittles and Bits on January 13, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    WOW these look amazing!!! I too am a peanut butter cup fanatic, thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  23. Terra on January 13, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Holy WOW!!! And YUM!!!! These really do look amazing. I better hide this recipe from my hubby and quickly;)
    Take care,
    Terra

    Reply

  24. Cyndi on January 13, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    So delicious! Made them today for the kids…so easy and yummy! I am thinking next time of adding a layer of pretzels and caramel (okay so homemade caramel blows the whole easy part, but I think it may be worth it). Thank you for sharing!!

    Reply

  25. Cajun Chef Ryan on January 14, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Congratulations on making it to the Top 9 on Foodbuzz!

    These Peanut Butter Cup Bars look to die for!

    Reply

  26. The Chocolate Priestess on January 14, 2011 at 10:21 am

    My mother taught me how to make these at least 35 years ago.

    Reply

  27. Tiffiny Felix on January 14, 2011 at 10:38 am

    My daughter is in love with peanut butter cups (or any other form). She will *love* these! :)

    Reply

  28. jvp2011 on January 14, 2011 at 11:36 am

    I am a peanut butter addict and we are TRYING these.

    Reply

  29. Judy on January 14, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Congratulations on your Top 9 today!

    Reply

  30. Heather @ Sweet Sins 2 Share on January 14, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    These look amazing! I cannot wait to try and make these, my husband is going to love it!

    Reply

  31. Holly @ Recipes from a normal mum on January 14, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Yum, yum and yum! I NEED to make these this weekend.

    Reply

  32. The Farmers Wife on January 14, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    WOW!!!! How on earth have I not heard of these before?!?!?! I feel as if my whole life has been a lie and I’ve been deprived, and I didn’t even know it til just now!!! ;-) I am so making these ASAP!!! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  33. A little bit of everything on January 15, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    I thought I’m the only one that throw the resolution our of the window :))
    Love peanut-butter and chocolate combo and love your bars. They look so good.
    Thanks for sharing Michelle.

    I’ve sent you a friend request on FoodBuzz, hope you’ll accept it.

    Have a wonderful weekend,
    Roxana

    Reply

  34. Trish @I_am_Succeeding on January 16, 2011 at 9:13 am

    This is my all time fave dessert!!!

    Reply

  35. Rachel on January 18, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Made these for a church pot-luck. Needless to say, there were no leftovers and people were stalking me to find out how I made them. Great recipe, thanks for sharing!!!

    Reply

  36. Kristin on January 18, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    I think these require an NC-17 rating. I just made them and I don’t know how I’m going to have them in the house without some kind of adult supervision . . .

    Reply

  37. Fresh and Foodie on January 20, 2011 at 10:10 am

    These aren’t even fair! It’s only 9am but now I’m craving chocolate and peanut butter. Yum.

    Reply

  38. Holly on January 24, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Made these last night, yum! I was looking for a recipe similar to one they used to give out in public schools when I was a kid (I’m 28 now), I’ve been searching for years and this ain’t it, the flavor just isn’t the same. Must’ve been the government peanut butter they used :)

    I think also next time I’ll omit the butter in the chocolate portion, it made it kind of fudgy, and the ones I remember had a hard chocolate topping on them. Very yummy otherwise!

    Reply

  39. Alex on January 29, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    I’m making these for the second time in two weeks today, as they were such a hit last time. I’m going to try starting with a layer of chocolate to make them even more like peanut butter cups (my boyfriend’s favorite). I’ll let you know how it goes! :)

    Reply

    • Shelly on March 22nd, 2011 at 2:07 pm

      My husband also suggested adding a layer of chocolate on the bottom. How did this work out?

      Reply

  40. Melanie on February 2, 2011 at 12:07 am

    These were amazing! Even my husband, who usually doesn’t like sweets, ate ‘em up. I added colored sprinkles to the top to make them cuter, and brought them to work. I think they lasted about 5 minutes. Thanks for the great, easy recipe!

    Reply

  41. Zuzia on February 2, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Yum I can already imagine how rich this is!

    Reply

  42. wendyb964 on February 6, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    love all your recipes. These are awesome: i barely snatched one before they were gone. This time I’ll try it with crushed vanilla wafer or chocolate wafer cookies as the texture is something I’m not overly fond of (yes, heresy….) This afternoon I’m making a hybrid of the espresso cupcakes and dark choc cupcakes with peanut butter icing. Those plus jalapeno popper dip will be my contribution to SB Sunday.

    Reply

  43. Jen on February 8, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    ok I just made a batch of these and they are EVIL!
    so tasty!
    Thanks for the amazing idea!

    Reply

  44. RisaG on February 14, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    I finally made these today. They were very easy to put together. I used half Valrhona 40% Milk Chocolate and half Ghiradelli 70% Cacao. I also used Kirkland Organic Smooth Peanut Butter.

    I am giving them as a gift to hubby tonight with some brownies. I am sure he will love them as he is a big PB fan.

    Thanks for the marvelous recipe.

    Reply

  45. Jen on February 22, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    I made these over the weekend and they were delish! I wish I took pictures but my camera wasn’t charged and also, these went fast :)

    Reply

  46. Christine on February 26, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    I made these today with a few changes based on what I had on hand. I used vanilla wafers (leftover from last weekend’s baking project) instead of graham crackers. I also used semi-sweet chocolate instead. They’re chillin’ in the fridge, but I’m sure they will be delicious even with my slight modifications.

    Reply

  47. Shelly on March 22, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    I used Whole Food’s brand of smooth PB. I love, love, love them so much that I need to give them all away before I eat them! However, the pb part is a bit buttery for my taste, and not salty enough. Next time I might try either less butter, or use salted butter. I came back to see if this was because I used natural PB, but it sounds like a lot of people did.

    Reply

  48. Rebecca on March 26, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I finally made these this morning after thinking about them non-stop ever since I read them on your blog. They’re delicious, and so easy to whip up. I love your blog and recipes, and whenever I feel like I need a sweet treat, I always come here.

    Reply

  49. Elizabeth on March 28, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    In your professional opinion, how spreadable is the peanut butter mixture? I want to make a cheesecake that incorporates this, with the bottom layer being something like the base of this: http://www.bakerella.com/cheesecake-bars/ for my best friend’s bridal shower.
    I am trying to decide whether to do layers of cheesecake peanutbutter ganache (which would be easier as the cheesecake has to be baked and the peanutbutter/ganache do not), or peanutbutter cheesecake ganache, which could be tricky as I don’t know how the peanut butter would respond to it.
    Thank you so much!

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 1st, 2011 at 3:30 pm

      Hi Elizabeth, it’s spreadable, but not smooth like a ganache. It’s much thicker and coarser.

      Reply

      • Elizabeth on July 19th, 2013 at 4:25 am

        It worked out perfectly, I ended up baking the cheesecake and then melting the peanut butter a bit to make it more spreadable. Put it on right out of the oven, and then let it cool. It was perfect!

        Reply

  50. twentyeight on April 8, 2011 at 7:31 am

    Ummm… amazing! I’ve recently been kind of obsessed with peanut butter and I think I’m going to need to try this recipe out. Might swap out the milk chocolate for dark chocolate – that’ll make it healthy right?!

    Reply

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