Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars taste even better when they’re swirled with creamy peanut butter! These Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars are a must try for anyone who can’t get enough chocolate and peanut butter treats.

Two things have never been more loved than chocolate and peanut butter. While we LOVE peanut butter cookies, the addition of chocolate is just perfect. For example, there is a reason readers are obsessed with Peanut Butter Blossoms!

Chocolate chip peanut butter swirled cookie bars on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
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Chocolate Chip Bars Swirled with Peanut Butter

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from years of making and writing about desserts it’s this: people are nuts about chocolate and peanut butter together.

It shouldn’t be any surprise that some of the most loved desserts I’ve shared over the years, like Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cake and Peanut Butter Cookie Cups are based on this beloved combo of rich chocolate and creamy peanut butter.

Today’s recipe features a classic Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar base with the simple addition of peanut butter swirled between the layers. That creamy peanut flavor couples with the chewy cookie bars makes these extra special!

If you’re a true peanut butter lover, be sure to try this decadent Peanut Butter Sheet Cake. It’s topped with a dreamy peanut butter frosting and will remind you of a classic texas sheet cake!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make peanut butter swirled chocolate chip cookie bars.
  • Salted Butter – Typically, I use unsalted butter when I bake to control the saltiness of the finished dessert. This is one instance where I find salted butter adds the ideal touch of saltiness to complement the peanut flavor and sweet chocolate. (I also use salted butter in my Chocolate Chunk Cookie recipe).
  • Peanut Butter – Make sure to use a traditional creamy peanut butter like Jif or Skippy for this recipe. Natural unsweetened peanut butters have a different consistency that won’t work here.
  • Brown sugar – I prefer the flavor of light brown sugar in this chocolate chip dough compared to dark.
  • Chocolate Chips – Semi-sweet morsels are my favorite. Chocolate chunks would work too!
  • Vanilla Extract- pure vanilla is always better than imitation. You could even make my homemade vanilla extract!

Easy Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make peanut butter swirled chocolate chip cookie bars.

Make the Dough. To make the peanut butter chocolate cookie bars, you’ll start by beating together the ingredients for the dough, then folding in chocolate chips.

Add the Peanut Butter. Press half the dough into a baking pan, then dollop the peanut butter over the layer of cookie dough. Do NOT spread with your fingers.

More Cookie Dough. Add the remaining dough over the peanut butter, using your fingers to slightly crumble the dough over the peanut butter.

Bake. Place pan in preheat oven and bake for 22 – 24 minutes. They will be slightly jiggly, but will firm up once cooled. Let the bars cool in the pan before slicing and serving.

Tips and Tricks

  • Use a tablespoon, teaspoon or cookie scoop to dollop the peanut butter. Do NOT spread it out after adding it to the dough. As the bars bake the peanut butter will natural melt and “swirl” into the chocolate chip dough.
  • Make sure to let these cool completely in the pan before you try to cut them, otherwise they will fall apart. Use patience– I promise it’s worth it when you bite into one of these chewy bars and taste the swirl of peanut butter!
  • Love chocolate and peanut butter? Try these rich and fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies for a tasty twist! Or give our chocolate peanut butter pie recipe a try next.
Slice of peanut butter chocolate chip bars being lifted on a spatula.

Recipe FAQs

Can you freeze Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars?

Store chocolate chip peanut butter bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Or freeze for up to 3 months.

What size baking pan should I use for cookie bars?

I tested the cookie bar recipe in a 9 x 13 baking dish lined with parchment paper. It would work in a square dish as well but the finished bars will be thicker and will need more baking time.

Can I substitute milk or dark chocolate chips in cookie bars?

Sure! I like the classic taste of semi sweet chocolate in cookie bars, but feel free to swap out for milk, white or dark chocolate chips if you prefer.

Why can’t I use natural peanut butter in this recipe?

Natural style peanut butters are not shelf stable and have a different consistency than classic varieties, meaning it’ll stay hard and clumped when the bars bake instead of swirling into the dough.
You also want that little bit of sugar that regular peanut butter has for best taste. This is dessert after all!

Baked peanut butter swirled chocolate chip cookie bars in a parchment paper lined 13x9 baking dish.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

4.74 from 136 votes
By: Aimee
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars taste even better when they're swirled with creamy peanut butter! These Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars are a must try for anyone who can't get enough chocolate and peanut butter treats.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 24 minutes
Total Time: 34 minutes
Servings: 24 bars

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup salted butter softened
  • cup light brown sugar packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
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Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper, set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl beat butter and sugars until creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in eggs and vanilla extract and beat until blended. Add in flour and baking soda.
  • Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Spread half of the dough (using fingertips) in the bottom of the baking dish. Dollop the peanut butter onto the dough. I used a 1 Tbsp cookie scoop to do this. Do not spread the peanut butter, drop by teaspoon or tablespoon instead.
  • Top with remaining cookie dough (it’s okay if some of the peanut butter shows).
  • Bake in preheated oven for 22-24 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely in pan.
  • Cut into bars and enjoy.

Notes

  • Choose a traditional peanut butter, like Jif or Skippy, not a natural version.
  • Don’t spread the peanut butter, you’ll thank me later when you take a bite with a creamy swirl of peanut butter.
  • Cool completely before cutting into bars. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 305kcal, Carbohydrates: 34g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 36mg, Sodium: 162mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 22g
Course: Brownies and Bars
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

With the perfect balance of chocolate chips to cookie dough to nutty peanut taste, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars are hard to top.

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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 January 8, 2021

Comments & Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    These were a hit! However, even after completely cooling they were too gooey for my liking so I baked another 15 minutes. I prefer more of a crunchy bar. I may try adding cornstarch the next time.

  2. I substituted the 3 cups of chocolate chips for one cup of salty trail mix, one cup total of chocolate, semi sweet and white chocolate chips (all
    Mixed together), and one cup total of walnuts and pecans all mixed together. I added a tsp of kosher salt and I did mix in the peanut butter instead of leaving it in chunks. It came out great!! Next time I’m going to try it with dried apples and chocolate chips and nuts.

    1. I made these last night and you really do have do wait until they are completely cool to cut them. I took some to work today and left some home and everyone loved them. Will definately make these again.

  3. Misread Don’t spread the peanut butter! Batter was a bit to sticky to use fingers so I did one layer. Hoping the peanut butter sets up. Smells delicious

  4. I only had the natural peanut butter and it can out more like fudge, almost like it’s not cooked enough. Is this ok to serve?

  5. I found this recipe about 2 months ago and have made it about 10 times since lol. They are a hit. I have even revamped them in different ways like layering in Oreos on the bottom; I even turned them into s’mores cookie bars by omitting the pb and layering graham cracker, marshmallows, and Hershey chocolate. Tldr: I love this recipe, thank you 🙂 <3

  6. i cut the recipie in half because i bake for myself and couldn’t eat a whole pan. Super good. As you can see from the pictures it’s SUPER chocolatety so i think i will cut down on the chocolate a bit the next time i make it. But the blobs of peanut butter swirl definitely satisfied my major peanut butter craving. Definitely try this.

  7. I’ve made this recipe a few times now, and there are some changes I find make it better overall. Firstly I added an extra 1/4 cup of flour because with the amount of wet ingredients I found the dough far too sticky to work with and pressing it into the pan was a nightmare. Secondly I went up to a full cup of peanut butter. Not necessarily needed but I love peanut butter and found it worked. Otherwise one of my favorite treats.

  8. This looks delicious! Though I’m confused what you mean by don’t spread since you spread the peanut butter with a spatula in the video?

      1. I thought these peanut butter chocolate chip bars were very enjoyable. I followed the recipe with no problems at all. Thank you for this recipe! I love the peanut butter in them.

  9. I just made a batch of these. Baked for about 25 minutes at 175 C. I let them fully cool (but ate a couple while warm), then put them in the fridge to firm up before cutting. Super happy with the result. Not mixing the peanut butter into the batter creates some really distinct layers of flavor.

  10. It was jiggly in the center at 25 minutes but I took it out of the oven anyway because the edges were definitely done, you said it will firm up when cool. And, sure enough, it did! And it is amazing! Lots of chocolate chips really makes it. I threw in a handful of walnuts too! Thank you for a truly delicious recipe!

  11. It was jiggly at 25 minutes but I took it out of oven anyway because you said it would firm up once cooled. So far, the center of pan looks under baked and It’s killing me not to put it back into the oven! Ha! But I will practice self-control today. They smell just wonderful!

  12. Definitely a 5 star recipe combining peanut butter and chocolate. You wiil love the result. Absolutely delicious.

  13. I really can’t imagine any better combination than this. These are absolutely delicious and so easy to make! Thanks for answering all the questions too.

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