★★★★★

Peanut Butter Bars

Perfect Peanut Butter Bars: Made with Reese’s and peanut butter fudge on a peanut butter cookie crust! The kids will go nuts for these sweet homemade treats.

Peanut butter cookie bar topped with peanut butter fudge and reese's candies. Cut into triangle shape and served with mason jar of milk.

Calling all fellow peanut butter lovers! You NEED to make these peanut butter bars. Right now. I made this recipe just for you; well mostly for me. But I can’t keep a dessert this good to myself for long.

So here’s the thing. I know many of you LOVE chocolate and peanut butter together. And while I enjoy it, it’s not my FAVORITE combination. If I’m going to have peanut butter…pile on the peanut flavor!

I want peanuts and peanuts and more peanuts. Nothing else to take away or distract from creamy, nutty, sweet peanut butter goodness. (Like this Peanut Lover’s Fudge).

That’s what I did with this recipe. Not only do you have a base made from peanut butter cookie dough, but I topped the cookie with a creamy peanut butter ganache.

There’s still something here for you chocolate peanut butter fans, though: I covered the peanut butter squares with mini Reese’s cups and Reese’s pieces.

You’re welcome.

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These bars put together three of my favorite treats–peanut butter cookies, peanut butter fudge and candy–in one bar.

Why have just one when you can have them all, you know? I like the contrast of the crispier cookie crust with the soft and creamy fudge layer.

While the candy topping is absolutely optional, the bits of Reese’s add a nice finishing touch to the bars.

How to Make Peanut Butter Bars

STEP 1. Make the cookie crust layer.

For the first layer you need:

  • Shortening (I used butter flavor Crisco)
  • Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Brown Sugar
  • Flour (plus salt and baking soda) 

Beat Crisco with peanut butter, milk and brown sugar until creamy. Beat in egg. Add flour, salt and baking soda, mix until thoroughly combined.

Press cookie dough into a lightly greased 15×10 baking sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 18-22 minutes, until browned. Remove.

STEP 2. Make the peanut butter fudge 

For the second layer of these bars, you’ll need:

  • Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Butter
  • Peanut Butter Chips

While the cookie layer is baking, heat condensed milk with butter over low heat until warmed. Remove from heat, whisk in peanut butter morsels and stir until melted.

STEP 3. Assemble the bars

Pour the hot fudge mixture over the warm cookie layer. Immediately press the Reese’s pieces and peanut butter cups onto the tops of the bars.

Let the bars set for 1 hour before slicing and serving, storing or freezing.

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How to Serve

I cut the bars into about 3 inch squares, like brownies or blondies. You could also cut them into mini squares for bite sized treats!

Admittedly, I could happily eat a whole batch of these by myself in just a few days. If there’s one treat I can’t resist (aside from Rice Krispie Treats) it’s a good peanut butter dessert!

Storage

When I do summon the willpower to not devour a whole tray of peanut butter bars right away, I like to freeze these for my kids’ lunches. Pop bars into individual ziploc bags and then store them in the freezer.

Put a frozen bar in your kid’s lunchbox and it’ll be thawed and ready to eat by lunchtime. Bonus: the frozen peanut butter square helps keep everything else in the lunchbox cold!

Recipe Notes:

  • I used plain old shelf stable creamy peanut butter in the cookie crust. While the natural style peanut butter you keep in the fridge would also probably work, I can’t vouch for the results. These varieties can sometimes be too oily and mess with the texture of peanut butter cookies. If you try it, let me know how it works for you!
  • You’re not limited to Reese’s candies here. M&Ms, crushed oreos, chocolate chips and mini Hershey’s kisses would also taste great on the peanut butter bars! Get creative and have fun experimenting with different toppings.
  • If you’re not freezing the bars, they keep well for about a week sealed in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • Be sure to use sweetened condensed milk in the filling NOT evaporated milk!

Peanut butter lovers rejoice! My kids love these bars every time I make them but I might enjoy them even more. These are definitely a staple around here, tucked into lunchboxes or enjoyed with a glass of milk after school.

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Like this Cookie Bar ? You may also enjoy these

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Bars– for those of you who love the combination! Made with Reese’s pieces too!

Banana Reese’s Cookies– made with chocolate, bananas and Reese’s pieces and PB cups! DELISH!

Whip up a batch of these fun Easter Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs for the holidays!

Yield: 48 bars

Peanut Butter Bars

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes

Perfect Peanut Butter Bars: Made with Reese's and peanut butter fudge on a peanut butter cookie crust!

Ingredients

For the Cookie Layer:

  • 1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda

For the Middle Layer:

  • 1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 bag (10oz) peanut butter morsels

For the Topping:

  • 1 bag (14oz) Reese's pieces
  • 1 bag (8oz) Reese's MINI peanut butter cups

Instructions

  1. For the cookie, beat Crisco with peanut butter, milk and brown sugar until creamy. Beat in egg. Add flour, salt and baking soda, mix until thoroughly combined.
  2. Press cookie dough into a lightly greased 15x10 baking sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 18-22 minutes, until browned. Remove.
  3. While baking, heat condensed milk with butter over low heat until warmed. Remove from heat, whisk in peanut butter morsels and stir until melted. Pour over warm cookie layer.
  4. Immediately press candies into top layer. Allow to set, about one hour. Slice and serve!!
  5. **I store cut cookie bars in a ziploc freezer bag for my kid's lunches. The color of the candies may change slightly, but they taste delicious!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

48

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 86Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 85mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 2g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Peanut Butter Cookie Bars- triple layer #peanutbutter bars with Reese's cups and pieces!

Recipe originally published October 30, 2012.

Perfect Peanut Butter Bars: Made with Reese’s and peanut butter fudge on a peanut butter cookie crust! The kids will go nuts for these sweet homemade treats.

Aimee

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on March 22, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. Hi, I just ran across your recipe 🙂 It looks absolutely wonderful, but I had questions about the Crisco. Does it have to be used, of could I substitute with butter? Would using butter/margarine change the cookie layer completely?

    1. You can use unsalted butter in place of the Crisco. the texture of the cookie may change, but it will still taste delicious!!!

  2. Oh my gosh! You’re amazing. Love how much peanut butter there is in this. My problem with peanut butter goodies sometimes is that the flavor isn’t strong enough. When I want peanut butter, I want peanut butter flavor and not just a subtle hint. This looks like the perfect solution!

  3. That is an *insane* amount of PB there, girl! I’m loving every second of it, too. Anyone with a nut allergy within a 10-mile radius of me needs to head for the hills, because those jars of peanut butter are going DOWN in this household!

  4. It seems like no peanut butter treats can be complete without a little Reese’s. Thanks for sharing the recipe for these cookie bars

  5. Such a perfect treat!
    I would love to have you share this (or any other recipes of yours) at Wednesday Extravaganza – my Foodie link party, and maybe win a lifetime feature on my Wall of Fame! Here is the link:
    http://www.hungrylittlegirl.com/1/post/2012/10/october-31st-2012.html

    I can’t wait to see you there!

  6. Yummy! Did you take that first picture using a Macro Lens? I am just learning about those. I hope you will share these at my Holiday Cookie Exchange: http://www.tumbleweedcontessa.com/blog/2012-cookie-exchange-cookies-and-memories/

  7. I am swearing to myself that my kidlet has a peanut allergy. I miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiisssssssssssssssss my peanut butter!!!!!!!

  8. Oh my goodness!! I didn’t even know there was such thing as peanut butter ganache! Mind = Blown. Thanks for sharing! It looks so yummy!

    1. Yeah I’m not sure if it’s truly a “ganache” but I can’t think of any other term for it! Thanks for stopping by Danielle!

  9. three insanely peanut buttery layers to LOVE LOVE LOVE. I’m in h eaven here Aimee. Serious heaven! You know how much I love peanut butter. And baking bars is what I rely on – so much easier than cookies any day. A pb overload and I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂

  10. Holy cow, these look amazing! There is no way that I would have any self control over that middle layer. PB chips are a huge weakness for me!

  11. Another winner of a recipe for THIS family!!! We also love that peanut butter-chocolate combination, and these puppies look delish! Thanks for sharing….I just need kids or something to share all this goodness with. (not with my hips! lol)
    Blessings,
    Leslie

  12. Yes please! Usually, I find the chocolate gets in the way of my peanut butter cravings, so like you, I say more pb!! These bars definitely could squelch any pb craving I have–look at ’em! Delish 🙂

  13. You still showed up in my google friend connect!?! I thought that wasn’t going to work since you’re on WordPress now.

  14. All the Yummy desserts always makes me so amazing … love to share all these desserts with my loving partner .. love him a lot and missing him now 🙁

  15. My drop is dropping right now!!! You just said you don’t really like chocolate and peanut butter?? It’s a good thing we are such good friends, because I will just have to overlook that admission:-) I like peanut butter, but pile on that chocolate goodness! Eeeiiikk Halloween is tomorrow and I have no candy left either! I guess I will just find the kids bag from Sunday and use that. They will never know since they will get more tomorrow night;-)

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