Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

Perfect Peanut Butter Cookie 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.

If you’re a big fan of peanut butter, readers love our peanut butter cake! Or give our delicious peanut butter brownies a try next.

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

Why this Recipe Works

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.

That’s what I did with this recipe.

  • Base made from peanut butter cookie dough
  • Topped with a creamy peanut butter ganache (similar to a peanut butter fudge).
  • 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.

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

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) 

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.

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.

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!


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!

Tips and Tricks

  • 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!
Yield: 48 bars

Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 37 minutes

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


For the Cookie Layer:

  • ½ cup butter flavored Crisco
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda

For the Middle Layer:

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

For the Topping:

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


  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 15-18 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!!


  • I store cut cookie bars in a ziploc freezer bag on the counter. You can also freeze these for up to 3 months. The color of the candies may change slightly, but they taste delicious!
  • See blog post for more recipe tips and tricks.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


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?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

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.

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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:

    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. These are AWESOME
    Look sooooooooooooooo delicious
    I really wish i could eat one or two (or three) of these right now !:)

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