Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars

4.15

Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars stacked on a wooden board

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars are soft peanut butter bars that are absolutely packed with peanut butter cups. This is an easy dessert recipe that can be made a day or two ahead and will disappear almost as fast as you can put them on the table. 

mixing peanut butter cups into batter

I’ve been testing these peanut butter bars all summer long. And there was a stretch of time during which every time I made a batch, I went back and added even more peanut butter cups. Because “too many peanut butter cups” is a phrase uttered by no one. ever.

These bars are tender with a slightly crisp top and a soft center. The peanut butter flavor really comes through, giving them a great balance of salty and sweet.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars on a wooden board

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bar Ingredients

  • Unsalted Butter, room temperature – It’s always a good idea to use unsalted butter so you get consistent results (some brands of salted butter are more salty than others). Make sure the butter is softened before you bake with it. (I like to set it on a plate on top of or near the stove as the oven heats up to speed the softening process along.)
  • Creamy Peanut Butter – I only tested this using commercial creamy peanut butter (JIF). It would probably be great with crunchy peanut butter if you prefer some added texture. 
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups – While I tried these with a few different types of peanut butter cups, including Reese’s cups in two sizes, I kept coming back to the Aldi version (shown below). These have a thick chocolate exterior and a super creamy peanut butter filling. Any type of chocolate peanut butter cup will be great. Refrigerate the peanut butter cups for 10 minutes to make them much easier to chop. 
  • Other baking ingredients like eggs, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking soda, and pure vanilla extract.

Peanut Butter Cups spilling out on a white table

Other Desserts that Combine Peanut Butter and Chocolate

I have a serious soft spot for this combination. Here are a few of my favorite peanut butter and chocolate recipes:

Peanut Butter Cups on a wooden board

How to Freeze Brownies, Blondies, and Cookie Bars

Brownies, blondies, and cookie bars freeze well, making it easy to portion out a serving or two for a small treat or to pack into lunch boxes. For best results, slice them into squares and wrap them individually in plastic wrap. Store all of the individually portioned bars in a freezer-safe plastic bag. Defrost at room temperature or enjoy straight out of the freezer.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars on a wooden board

Favorite Tools

  • KitchenAid Stand Mixer – It’s a classic, but a KitchenAid Stand Mixer makes any baking recipes so easy. For these bars, it’s especially nice for beating the butter and sugars together – a task which takes a lot of elbow grease to do by hand.
  • 9×9 Baking Dish – These bars call for an 9×9 baking dish. I love this one that comes with a lid for easy storage. You can also bake slightly thicker bars in an 8×8 baker.

 

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars stacked on a white table

 

Pin this now to save it for later

Pin It Now
Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars stacked on a wooden board
4.15 from 61 votes

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars are soft peanut butter bars that are absolutely packed with peanut butter cups. This is an easy dessert recipe that can be made a day or two ahead and will disappear almost as fast as you can put them on the table. I like to slice a few into smaller squares and freeze them to add to lunch boxes in the coming weeks.
This recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9x13 pan.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 24 minutes
Total: 44 minutes
Servings: 9

Equipment

  • 9"x9" baking pan (or use an 8"x8" for thicker bars)
  • standing mixer

Ingredients 

  • 1 and 3/4 cup (220g) All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 8 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (110g) Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup (100g) Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter (see note)
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 12 oz Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, chopped (see note)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 325° Spray a 9"x9" baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. (You can use an 8"x8" baking pan for thicker bars if you prefer.)
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt until evenly combined. Set aside.
  • In a standing mixer, beat together butter, both sugars, and peanut butter until light and creamy, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add eggs one at a time, mixing on low between each addition. Add vanilla and mix on low until fully blended, about 1 minute.
  • Add dry ingredients and mix on low just until combined.
  • Stir in peanut butter cups.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Bake until the middle is just set, 26 to 28 minutes (note: add 4 t0 6 minutes if using an 8"x8" pan).
  • Allow bars to cool completely in pan.
  • Slice and serve. Bars can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Notes

Refrigerate the peanut butter cups for about 10 minutes to make them easier to chop. You can also use mini peanut butter cups which don’t need to be chopped first (Trader Joe’s makes mini peanut butter cups in both dark and milk chocolate - these are great in the recipe!).
I have not tested these bars with natural peanut butter. I use Jif Creamy Peanut Butter to make this recipe.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Keyword: easy dessert recipe, peanut butter dessert
Like this? Leave a comment below!Jump to Comments

*This post contains affiliate links*

Want to save this recipe?
Get it emailed to you directly! Enter your email below.

About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at InquiringChef.com. She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

11 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    These are a favorite in our house. I bake them in a 7×11 pan because I prefer them a bit thinner than the 8×8 pan. They can be a slight bit greasy/oily but I have not experimented with reducing the butter because the flavor is great!

    1. I would double the recipe to bake them in a 9×13 pan and then just start with the cook time listed in the recipe. It will probably take a bit longer to bake, so just check it every few minutes and pull it out when moist crumbs cling to a knife inserted in the center. I agree though – these are not nearly as good if they’re overcooked – so definitely keep an eye on it!

  2. I made these last night! They’re so wonderful — and even better the next day. We just love them. I may have hid them from our two year old son, or he would devour them all.

    1. Yay! So glad you liked them Joy!! I’ve been keeping a few small squares stashed in the fridge for a treat or lunches for the kids (or me)!

  3. These look incredibly delicious! I must make them soon!! I’ve been anxiously awaiting this recipe, and it does not disappoint.

  4. 5 stars
    Thank god I am not allergic to peanut butter like others, At least I can have them and try them for sure. Thank you for sharing this.