Sunday, March 6, 2011

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars Recipe (So Easy!)

easy peanut butter cups in a stack
These no bake peanut butter bars are topped with a delicious chocolate layer. 
Peanut butter bars: Incredibly easy to make and so delicious that you might need a timelock on your refrigerator to make them last. Why not give them a try? Plus, this recipe has a secret ingredient that makes it better than other peanut butter bar recipes.

Many chocolate peanut butter bars suffer from a common ailment: They are too gooey, oily, and don't hold together. These peanut butter squares attack the problem head on: a healthy dose of graham cracker crumbs in the peanut butter give them a stable body and a bit of crunch. It's a truly tasty combination.

Another problem common to homemade peanut butter bars is the chocolate topping: it cracks when you cut into it. This recipe, again, has a great solution: a few tablespoons of peanut butter mixed into the chocolate coating make it softer and more pliable at serving time.

Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars Recipe (No-Bake)

2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs* see notes
1 cup peanut butter** see notes
1 cup butter, melted
2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons peanut butter

  1. Stir together peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar.
  2. Press into a 9x13 inch pan.
  3. Melt chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons peanut butter in a double boiler or microwave, stirring occasionally. (Peanut butter helps keep the chocolate from becoming too brittle later.)
  4. Once the chocolate is melted, pour it over the peanut butter base. Smooth if needed.
  5. Chill for a few minutes, then cut into bars before the chocolate is completely set. Refrigerate until chocolate is fully set. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve!
*You can either buy graham crackers in crumb-form (usually found in the baking aisle), or buy the crackers and put them through a food processor yourself.  If you decide to process whole graham crackers, you'll need about 16 full rectangular crackers to make 2.5 cups of crumbs.
**I've made this recipe with both smooth and chunky peanut butter in the past. Both work wonderfully. Chunky peanut butter lends a homemade appeal to the dessert. I haven't tried making this with "natural" peanut butter yet, and am not sure how that would affect the final product.
no bake peanut butter bars in a stack
This easy peanut butter squares recipe uses graham cracker crumbs to provide structure and crunch.
I originally found this recipe on when I was looking for something to meet my peanut butter cup cravings. It was the best! Several years have passed, and I've tried a few other peanut butter squares. I still haven't found a quicker, tastier, easier homemade peanut butter bars recipe.

If you have parchment paper on hand, you can make life easier by lining the 9x13 inch pan with it before adding the peanut butter graham cracker mixture. When you're ready to cut into your slab of peanut butter squares, just lift the whole thing out of the pan and onto your cutting board.
delicious chocolate peanut butter bars
It's hard to find an easy peanut butter cup recipe that tastes this good!
I don't endorse eating four chocolate peanut butter bars at once as depicted (unless, like Charlie Sheen, you have tiger which case, grab five).  I do, however, fully endorse enjoying this tasty no bake dessert with a tall glass of milk/soymilk/water.