Monday, August 24, 2020

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars + Video

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars are a delicious treat for peanut butter lovers! Make this easy no bake recipe for your next picnic or potluck.

titled image: No Bake Peanut Butter Bars
This simple dessert has a scrumptious crunchy peanut butter base topped with a glorious chocolate ganache that will blow your mind!!

It comes together without turning on the stove and with just 5 ingredients. That is my kind of recipe.

There is nothing I love more than no-bake desserts in the middle of the summer. I don't like to wait in front of a hot oven for dessert, do you?

Have you tried my No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake yet? It's the perfect seasonal dessert to kick off summer.

Lucky Charms Ice Box Cake is unlike anything you've ever had before.

No-Bake Rocky Road Avalanche Bars are a simple recipe with chocolate, peanut butter, and a candy crunch. Everyone raves about them!

ingredients in bowls on counter to make no bake dessert bars

Tips for Making No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

  • Graham cracker crumbs - Graham crackers really have to be crumbs to work properly in this recipe. Process them in your food processor to be sure they are fine enough.
  • Butter - You can use unsalted butter if you like. Just add 1/4 teaspoon of salt with the peanut butter.
  • Peanut butter - If you use natural peanut butter, the bars will need to be refrigerated to stay firm.
  • Chilling - These bars will need to be refrigerated for one to two hours so make sure that you plan ahead when making them.
  • Freezing - These bars freeze great! Just be sure not to stack them or they'll stick together.

peanut butter bar recipe base ingredients in a bowl

Frequently asked questions

Can no bake bars be frozen? 

Whether or not you can freeze desserts like this really depends on the recipe. But this one is very freezer friendly.

Just cut them into individual serving sizes. Then, place the bars (not touching) in a freezer container that's been lined with foil.

Freeze the bars for up to 6 months. Then, just thaw them in the refrigerator when you're ready to eat them.

Can I use creamy peanut butter instead? 

Yes, you can use creamy or crunchy peanut butter.

If you love chopped nuts in your peanut butter bars, then using chunky peanut butter is a great idea.

If you don't have honey roasted peanut butter, you can use plain peanut butter instead as well.

no bake peanut butter bars mixing the base in a bowl 

What types of chocolate chips are best? 

I use milk chocolate chips for this recipe because the final taste really reminds me of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

But, if you want to, you can use semi-sweet chocolate chips or even dark chocolate chips instead. Or, kick it up a notch and try white chocolate chips instead.

What about healthy peanut butter bars? 

If you want to make the no bake peanut butter bars a little bit healthier, you can use a one to one stevia blend instead of the powdered sugar.

That will help cut the sugar content. And, you can use PB2 made into peanut butter to cut the calories and the fat. It's still a delicious treat!

graham cracker crumbs pressed into a glass baking pan

Can I make a bar dessert without graham crackers?

You will need to have some type of cracker or cookie crumb for the base of these bars.

If you prefer not to use graham crackers, you can try any of the following instead:
  • Nilla Wafers
  • Oreo Cookies
  • Gingersnaps
  • Chocolate wafer cookies
  • Nutter Butter cookies (for the REAL peanut butter lover!)

And, you can make gluten free peanut butter bars by using gluten-free graham crackers.

Or, for a slightly different taste, you can try crushed pretzels for a pretzel crust.
The salty and sweet combination is delicious.

bowl of melted chocolate to pour onto no bake peanut butter bars

Equipment to make No Bake Peanut Butter Bars
  • Mixing Bowl- I like a variety of mixing bowls and prep bowls and this set has them all. 
  • Food processor - This is helpful to process the graham cracker crumbs.

Storage

You will want to keep this dessert in the refrigerator. The peanut butter and the chocolate will melt or become soft if they are exposed to warm temperatures.

They can stay out for a few hours while you plate and serve them, but for longer periods, store them in the refrigerator.

chocolate peanut butter bars in a glass pan


Enjoy!

With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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peanut butter bars stacked on a plate



Watch our peanut butter bar recipe video!

If you want to see exactly how to make this recipe, check out the video.



Yield: 12-24
Author: Donna Elick
Print
no bake peanut butter bars

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

A delicious treat for peanut butter lovers! Make this easy no bake recipe for your next picnic or potluck.

Prep time: 10 Minutes Chill time: 2 Hours Total time: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (8 oz) butter
  • 2 1/2 cups honey roasted crunchy peanut butter, divided
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Add butter to a large microwave-safe mixing bowl. Heat in the microwave until the butter is completely melted. Stir in the peanut butter. Once combined add the graham cracker crumbs and powdered sugar. Stir until everything is completely incorporated.
  2. Pour mixture into a 9x13 baking pan and spread evenly. Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the ganache topping.
  3. Heat the chocolate chips and remaining 1/2 cup peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl. Heat 30 seconds at a time and stir between intervals.
  4. Pour the ganache over the peanut butter layer. Smooth into an even layer.
  5. Refrigerate 1-2 hours. Cut and serve. Store bars in the refrigerator.
DONNA'S NOTES
  1. Graham crackers really have to be crumbs to work properly in this recipe.
  2. If you use natural peanut butter, the bars will need to be refrigerated to stay firm.


titled Pinterest image of no bake peanut butter bars 

Originally published October 2017, updated and republished August 2020

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3 comments:

  1. SO GOOD!!!! If you are a peanut butter/chocolate fanatic like me, then you will love this. I followed other reviewers suggestions to make the recipe easier by melting the peanut butter with butter, then mixing with graham crackers and powdered sugar. Also, chill the peanut butter base for 15 minutes before topping with chocolate mixture.
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  2. When I was a kid, my favorite treat was the peanut butter squares we got at lunchtime in elementary school. I've tried this recipe with creamy peanut butter and the graham crackers just didnt do it for me, so I tried it without the Graham crackers and it was much better, more like what I enjoyed as a kid.

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  3. I’m in Australia and a couple of ingredients are foreign to me. The crackers have me scratching my head. The only one I can find here are Oreo’s which I think will make the bars ! too rich. Aha! I’ve just seen that I can use normal peanut butter so that solves that problem.
    Your help will be greatly appreciated.

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