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Thick, chewy dessert bars are studded with peanut butter and chocolate chips and are way easier to make than individual cookies. Make them for holidays and special occasions or any day to indulge your sweet tooth!
Are you in the mood for an indulgent treat that’s super easy to make? You can’t go wrong with these peanut butter chocolate chip cookie bars. They’re perfect for peanut butter lovers and chocoholics alike! These delicious bars are soft and chewy like your favorite cookie but in a more convenient bar form.
The recipe is so easy, too. You can bake up a batch in just 40 minutes, making them ideal for a quick dessert to take along on picnics, reunions, holidays, or a bake sale.
And if you love the convenience of chewy cookie bars, take a look around. Our sugar cookie bars are delicious around the holidays, and you can easily adapt them to any occasion by switching out the color of frosting and sprinkles. These lemon bars are sweet and tart — the quintessential dessert for spring and summer. Add these peanut butter and jelly cookie bars to your lunches during the week for a nice little midday treat. If you’re obsessed with Twix, try these millionaire bars with a thick, gooey caramel center.
I don’t think you can ever have too many peanut butter dessert recipes, so if peanut butter is your love language, check out the PB flavored sweets at the end of the post. You’ll find loads to choose from!
For now, let’s get to the easy recipe for these chewy peanut butter cookie bars.
Ingredients for chocolate chip cookie bars with peanut butter
This section includes ingredient notes and substitution options. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
- All-Purpose Flour— These chewy cookie bars were tested and made with all-purpose flour. However, if you use self-rising flour, omit the baking powder in this recipe.
- Baking Powder— This is the leavening agent for the cookies.
- Fine Sea Salt— Salt helps activate the baking powder. Kosher salt may be used in place of sea salt, if you prefer.
- Butter— Use unsalted butter since the recipe already calls for salt. Let it soften at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.
- Peanut Butter— I prefer creamy peanut butter for this recipe, but you can use crunchy peanut butter in the same amounts if you prefer a crunchier cookie bar. I do not recommend using natural peanut butter since the consistency makes it difficult to mix into cookie dough.
- Sugar— Regular granulated sugar
- Brown Sugar— I use and prefer light brown sugar for these peanut butter cookie bars with chocolate chips, but you can use brown sugar if that’s what you have on hand. Dark brown sugar has a deeper molasses flavor to it.
- Eggs— Eggs help bind the ingredients together and help with the rising of the cookie dough.
- Vanilla— Pure vanilla extract is more flavorful, but imitation vanilla will work in a pinch.
- Peanut Butter Chips— For even more delicious peanut butter flavor.
- Chocolate Chips— Semi-sweet chocolate chips are so yummy and are sweet without being too sweet. Milk chocolate chips or chocolate chunks work, too.
Equipment You’ll Need
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing bowls
- 9×13 baking pan
- Parchment paper
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
How to Make This Peanut Butter Cookie Bars Recipe
This section shows you how to make the recipe with step-by-step photos and instructions. For the full printable recipe, see the recipe card below.
Step 1: Preheat the oven and line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper.
Step 2: Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl, and set aside.
Step 3: Use a stand mixer (with paddle attachment) or an electric hand mixer and large bowl to cream the peanut butter and butter together until smooth.
Step 4: Add the two sugars to the peanut butter mixture and stir until combined.
Step 5: Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until combined, and then mix in the vanilla.
Step 6: Add the flour mixture a little at a time, stirring until it’s completely mixed in.
Step 7: Add the peanut butter chips and chocolate chips, stirring until just combined.
Step 8: Press the cookie dough into the baking pan. Put it in the oven, and bake it for 25-30 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Step 9: Let cool completely. Lift the bars out using the parchment paper. Cut them into bars and serve.
Serve these peanut butter chocolate chip cookie bars with a tall glass of milk, a warm cup of coffee, or a mug of hot chocolate.
Storage and Freezing
Store cookie bars at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Freeze the bars for up to 3 months. Thaw to room temperature, and enjoy. To enjoy one or two at a time, wrap individual cookie bars in plastic wrap or freezer paper before placing them in a freezer bag.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Let the chewy peanut butter cookie bars cool completely in the pan before you remove them and try to cut them. If you cut them while they’re still warm, they’ll fall apart.
- For bars with a gooey center, cut 5 minutes off the cooking time.
- If you don’t want peanut butter in the batter, replace it with an equal amount of butter.
- Although you can use a greased baking pan instead of lining it, the parchment paper makes it easier to lift the bars out of the pan for cutting.
- Did you forget to soften the butter? Just pop it in the microwave in increments of 10-15 seconds until softened. If it melts and gets too hot, let it cool for a while before adding it to the other ingredients.
- Save a small handful of peanut butter chips and chocolate chips (a few tablespoons) to sprinkle on top of the dough right before it goes into the oven.
- You may need to bake the cookie bars a little longer in a glass baking dish or a little less time if you’re using a metal pan.
- It’s okay if the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs on it, but batter should not coat the toothpick. If it does, pop the cookie bars back into the oven for a couple more minutes and test again.
Additions and Variations
Change the chocolate chips. Instead of semi-sweet chocolate chips, you can use milk chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, or white chocolate chips — pretty much any kind of chocolate chip you like.
Use chunky peanut butter. For a nutty texture, use chunky peanut butter instead of the creamy kind. Just replace it with the same amount.
Sprinkle sea salt flakes on top right before baking. Just a little sea salt on top will help bring out the sweetness even more. Believe me, it works!
Add nuts. Replace a small amount of the peanut butter chips or chocolate chips for the same amount of chopped peanuts. It’ll give the chewy peanut butter cookies a lovely crunchy texture.
Double the vanilla. If you love the depth and richness that vanilla extract adds to baked goods, double the amount to two teaspoons instead of one for this easy cookie bar recipe.
Try chopped peanut butter cups. Instead of peanut butter chips and chocolate chips, try making these bars with chopped peanut butter cups instead. Yum!
This recipe has only been tested with creamy peanut butter and crunchy peanut butter. I don’t recommend using natural peanut butter since it doesn’t stir in as easily, but if you do use it, the no-stir kind will probably work best.
Yes, you can bake them in smaller pans such as an 8×8 or 9×9 to get thicker bars. You’ll need to add 3-5 minutes to the cooking time or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
No, you can’t substitute oil for the butter in these peanut butter chocolate chip bars because it will change the texture.
Though we haven’t tested the recipe with different types of butters, another no-stir type nut butter such as almond butter should work just fine, though the taste will be altered.
More Peanut Butter Dessert Recipes
If you loved the peanut buttery goodness of these peanut butter chocolate bars, the delicious recipes below are sure to satisfy the peanut butter aficionado in your life!
- Peanut Butter Balls with Rice Krispies
- Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies – reader favorite!
- Peanut Butter Cornflake Cookies
- Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
- No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars – only 5 ingredients!
- Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
- 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Fudge
- Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies with Peanut Butter Chips
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups peanut butter chips
- 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper, set aside.
- In a large bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the body of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, cream the butter with the peanut butter until smooth.
- Add the granulated and brown sugar to the bowl and stir it in until combined. Add the eggs one at a time until fully mixed in along with the vanilla.
- Add the flour a little at a time until fully mixed in. Add the peanut butter chips and chocolate chips, stir until just combined.
- Press the cookie dough into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let cool completely then lift the bars out using the parchment paper to help. Cut into bars and serve.
- If you like chewier bars with a gooey center, undercook these by about 5 minutes.
- You don't have to use half peanut butter chips and half chocolate chips. You can substitute all of one or the other, if you prefer.
- If you're a fan of crunchy peanut butter, you can use it in place of the creamy peanut butter.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature (not in the fridge) for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 2 months.