Peanut Butter Cup Crunch Brownie Bars

So, do you happen to remember the insane brownies that I made quite awhile ago, the Marshmallow Crunch Brownie Bars? They’re a layer of brownies, then ooey gooey marshmallows, and then topped with a combination of melted chocolate, peanut butter and Rice Krispies. Well, those brownies and these brownies could be sexy twin sisters. What’s going on here is a layer of chewy, fudgy brownies, topped with peanuts and chopped peanut butter cups, and then topped off with that same melted chocolate/peanut butter/Rice Krispies mixture. Insanity. In an insanely good way.

I found these brownies on How Sweet It Is, and Jessica called them “Better-Than-Crack Brownies”. Addicting would be an understatement. Also, no surprise that something like this showed up over there – us Pittsburgh girls seem to have very similar tastes in our sweets! :) I also found a version of this recipe over on Babble – it includes a full-on peanut butter layer in the middle instead of the peanuts and peanut butter cups. I may have to give that one a shot too. Oh, who am I kidding? “May?” Of COURSE I am going to make those too!

For the brownie base of these you can use your favorite brownie recipe. They are best with a chewy, fudgy brownie vs. a cakey brownie. I think these Chewy Brownies are perfect for the job, but use whatever you’d like, just make sure it’s a recipe for a 9×13-inch baking dish (not an 8×8 or 9×9).

Don’t say I didn’t warn you about how addicting these are, but your life will certainly be more complete with these babies in it!

One year ago: Secret Ingredient Brownies

Peanut Butter Cup Crunch Brownie Bars

Yield: 24 brownies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


1 batch of your favorite brownie recipe for a 9x13-inch pan (I recommend Chewy Brownies)
½ cup salted peanuts
8 Reese's peanut butter cups, chopped
1½ cups milk chocolate chips
1½ cups creamy peanut butter
½ tablespoon unsalted butter
1½ cups Rice Krispies cereal


1. Prepare the brownies according to the directions and bake for about 5 minutes less than the recipe states. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the top with the peanuts and chopped peanut butter cups. Return to the oven and bake for 5 additional minutes.

2. While they are finishing baking, melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the cereal to evenly coat. Remove the brownies from the oven and evenly pour the chocolate and peanut butter mixture over top. Spread to cover evenly. Refrigerate for 2 hours before cutting and serving. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

(Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is)


103 Responses to “Peanut Butter Cup Crunch Brownie Bars”

Comment Pages 1 2
  1. Tracey on February 17, 2011 at 1:31 am

    Yum!! I simply couldn’t have these around my house, I wouldn’t be able to resist them :)


  2. Kelsi on February 17, 2011 at 3:24 am

    yum! i can’t wait to make these!


  3. Blog is the New Black on February 17, 2011 at 5:32 am

    Dyinggggggggg to make these!


  4. Amanda on February 17, 2011 at 6:21 am

    Awesome idea! I love Reese’s peanut butter cups!


  5. Jil @ Big City, Lil Kitchen on February 17, 2011 at 7:00 am

    Yess – I’ve been dying to make these since I saw Jess do them – need to get on that!


  6. Happy when not hungry on February 17, 2011 at 7:09 am

    Wow these brownies sound amazing! Love the peanut butter cups. Am def trying!!


  7. Lauren at KeepItSweet on February 17, 2011 at 7:10 am

    Every time I see a spin on this I want to make it. Brownies with peanut butter anything are so good but the idea of the rice krispies that add a crunch is just so good!


  8. tinascookings on February 17, 2011 at 7:12 am

    Wow! This looks amazing!
    I will be taking just those three in the first photo, ya know, ’cause I’m totally modest :)


  9. linda on February 17, 2011 at 7:35 am

    OMG…i am going out today …no…running out today…to get all the ingredients to bake these babies!


  10. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) on February 17, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Ahh I’ve had these bookmarked ever since Jessica posted them. Now that you’ve endorsed them too, I simply have to make them!!!


  11. CaSaundra on February 17, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Yum–just when you think a brownie can’t get any better!!

    p.s. Would you take a minute and vote for my Pink Velvet POM cupcake here:
    You can definitely spread the word if you would like–thanks a million!


  12. Lisa on February 17, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Those look so good! Chopping peanut butter cups would be a good use of my nut chopper :-)


  13. Foodies on the Fly on February 17, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Great recipe! Thanks for sharing. I can’t wait to try these out!


  14. CookiePie on February 17, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Are you KIDDING me? It’s 9:30 a.m. and I want these NOW.


  15. RavieNomNoms on February 17, 2011 at 9:57 am

    ::drools:: those look amazing!


  16. The Blue-Eyed Bakers on February 17, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Goodness…these look divine! And they’re the second recipe we’ve seen today using pb cups so CLEARLY it’s a sign from above we need to get to the store asap and stock up.


  17. Jessica @ How Sweet It Is on February 17, 2011 at 9:59 am

    These are the most requested brownies everywhere we go! They are so, so delicious!


  18. Lora on February 17, 2011 at 10:08 am

    These are amazing. I am powerless over anything peanut butter cup.


  19. natalie on February 17, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I’m a little terrified to make these; I can already tell they’ll be addicting, even without your warning. Not sure my waistline can take it. :)


  20. Cat on February 17, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Michelle, I’ve made a very similar recipe (the brownie recipe is slightly different.) These are awesome!! Wanted to tell you about a variation I have made, which might appeal to others. My son loves chocolate, but isn’t a marshmallow fan. I have replaced the marshmallow with a bag of caramels, melted with 1/4 cup half-and-half. I may even like that better. But hey, I wouldn’t turn down either!

    As for spreading the chocolate/peanut butter topping, as someone mentioned having difficulty with, I find it easiest to wait about 5 minutes, then put small dabs of it (maybe about 1 tsp to 1 TB – not necessary to be precise) over the entire surface, not being too particular – just dropping it all over quickly) and, using the offset spatula like you mentioned, then spread the stuff. When you only have to spread a tiny area to meet up with the next, it’s much easier to do.


    • Cat on February 17th, 2011 at 4:19 pm

      Sorry, Michelle. My post about the caramel was meant to go under the Marshmallow Crunch Brownies. Duh…


  21. Joy on February 17, 2011 at 10:49 am

    This looks lovely. I would be in chocoalte heaven.


  22. jen @ the baked life on February 17, 2011 at 11:02 am

    omigod. My friend and I , MB we call her, are having a peanut butter bake day and I think these need to be added.

    You sold me at better than crack.


  23. Hannah at FleurDeLicious on February 17, 2011 at 11:11 am

    so, the boyfriend, his co-workers, and my family already declared the marshmallow crunch version to be better than crack. i think these would put them at a loss for words!


  24. Delishhh on February 17, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Michelle – as always you have outdone yourself! This is my typ of dessert! Very dangerous!


  25. Adam on February 17, 2011 at 11:27 am

    This might be sudden… but… will you marry me? :)

    Honestly, that brownie is insanely awesome. I have an unhealthy relationship with peanut butter and anything peanut butter and chocolate (or peanut butter and anything :)). I built what I dubbed the “ “Epic Brownie” for Christmas which was 4 layers of different chocolates and chocolate textures. However, I now realize my error and wish it had occured to me at the time to add a layer of peanut butter or peanut butter cups :). Simply brilliant ! :).


  26. Cheryl and Adam on February 17, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Creamy, crunchy, chocolate, peanut butter… who could ask for anything more!


  27. Lyndsey on February 17, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Wow!! Amazing – I definitely wouldn’t say no to these!


  28. Tiffany on February 17, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Peanut butter brownies = Oh my; Peanut butter CRUNCH brownies = OMG! I can totally see how these would be addicting! :)


  29. Mary @ Delightful Bitefuls on February 17, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I made these before and they are all sorts of wonderful! You’re tempting me to make them again!!

    Mary xx
    Delightful Bitefuls


  30. Anzelle @ Scrambledpancakes on February 17, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    These look lovely. But we don’t get peanut butter cups here. Can anyone recommend a substitute that will work?


  31. Cat on February 17, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Sorry, Michelle! My comment about the caramel was meant to be posted under the Marshmallow Crunch Brownie recipe. Duh…


  32. Leanna @ on February 17, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    I keep complaining because everyone keeps making all of these amazing peanut butter related recipes. This, Looks, INCREDIBLE. I’m tempted to grab some peanut butter cups on the way home.. I have the other ingredients. But I DO have a batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies waiting to be baked in the fridge. All these peanut butter posts drove me crazy, so I made the dough at 10pm last night 😛


  33. Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen on February 17, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    So evil with all of those peanut butter cups in there! I can imagine eating the entire pan! Great recipe, thanks for passing it along!


  34. In Katrina's Kitchen on February 17, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Are you trying to kill me? You are!!! These look insane and I just may be forced to make them. And soon!


  35. Evan Thomas on February 17, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Mmmm, everything you could possibly want in a brownie recipe is here.


  36. Laura on February 17, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Those brownies look deliciously decadent. On a side note inspired by your cookie topped borwnie link at the bottom of the post… I’m playing with an idea for a brownie bar that has a chocolate chip cookie dough bottom with a brownie layer on top. All the recipes I’ve seen for any type of layered bar put the brownie batter on the bottom. Any one know why??


    • Adam on February 17th, 2011 at 7:21 pm

      The brownie requires a longer bake time to bake through. The cookie layer on the bottom will stifle the heat coming from below and the potential for the cookie bottom to burn before the brownie is baked will increase. I did something similar with a layered brownie, where I put a crumb crust and a layer of fudge before the brownie layer and it added another 15 minutes to my bake time. To counter this you’d probably want to chill the cookie dough before adding the brownie batter and putting it in the oven.


      • Laura on February 17th, 2011 at 7:30 pm

        Thanks, Adam. I’ve done brownies on a shortbread crust (pre-baked) and didn’t have any problems. For my current idea, my plan was to make individual “bars” in a lined muffin pan that has chocolate chip cookie dough on the bottom, brownie on top, and then frost them with chocolate chip cookie dough frosting (or eggless raw cookie dough) and decorate hem with a cookie wedge. Do you think that making them in a muffin pan might eliminate the problem of over baking the cookie dough?


        • Adam on February 17th, 2011 at 7:38 pm

          I’d say that if you load the pan with cookie dough and chill, and perhaps lower the oven temperature (if its 350F) I’m sure you’d be okay. It’s not something I’ve done before, but I’m curious to hear the results. I’m actually thinking of doing something similar but in a pie form :).
          Oh and by the way: That sounds awesome :) Good luck :).


          • Laura on February 17th, 2011 at 9:06 pm

            Again, thanks! I remembered that I’d baked both brownies (as a base for an ice cream cake) and cookie dough (as a “Cookie cake”) in my 4 1/2″ mini-springform pans. Ironically the cookie dough baked longer, 15 min @ 350 and then 15-18 at 325. The brownie base only took ~18 at 325. I think that the cookie dough was slightly chilled, and probably thicker than the brownie batter, but it gives me hope that my idea will work. :) Your pie idea is intriguing.


  37. Aanya on February 17, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Oh my gosh. I’m drooling. I have to make these! Thanks for sharing.


  38. Kathleen @ Kat's Health Corner on February 17, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Those are absolutely STUNNING! 😀


  39. Laurel on February 17, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Mmmm, these look amazing. My husband would love if I made these for him! I’d love for you to submit this over at the M&T Spotlight:


  40. Katrina on February 17, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    I’ve made these before and they made my life! Yum!


  41. Arlene on February 17, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Holy peanut butter; these look incredible!


  42. Ashleigh on February 17, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    these look so good! i will definitely be bookmarking and making in the future!


  43. Kat @ Cupcake Kat on February 17, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    This looks so good. Anything made with peanut butter is delicious!
    I think I may make these but (slightly) healthier by using bean brownies for the bronwnie layer.


  44. Felice on February 18, 2011 at 2:41 am

    I am all for completion and these look great!


  45. Marie@Chocolate & Wine on February 18, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Brownies and peanut butter? The most perfect combo ever. This recipe looks awesome. Love your site =)


  46. Kelly on February 18, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    I made these last night and they were fabulous! My husband is a huge fan of brownies and peanut butter cups. Everyone is raving about them today at work.
    Thank you for sharing!


  47. Stephanie @ okie dokie artichokie on February 18, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    I’ve died and gone to heaven. My goodness!! I need to make these pronto! :-p


  48. A little bit of everything on February 18, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Oh my, I LOVE these. the absolutely look stunning. love the peanut butter cups and adding more chocolate to them in the form of brownie will haunt me until i try them. thanks for sharing Michelle
    hope you’ll have a wonderful weekend


  49. Sandi on February 18, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    I saw these yesterday, and made them today! They are AWESOME! It’s like eating a nutter butter and a brownie at the same time! YUM! Thanks for posting!


  50. on February 19, 2011 at 3:01 am

    my favorite is the undisputed


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