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.
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
- 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
- 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
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!
More Cookie Recipes
- Banana Cookies
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs
- Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars
- Revel Bars
- Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
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.