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These No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars Are A Timeless Treasure

peanut butter bars

In my humble opinion, the person who first decided to bring chocolate and peanut butter together deserves recognition for making such a important contribution to humanity. It’s one of my favorite flavor combinations for sweet treats, and has been since I was a very little girl!

Related: Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups

One particular peanut butter and chocolate treat that takes me back to my freshman year of college is no-bake peanut butter bars. I had a little electric hot pot in my dorm room, which my roommate Diana and I would use to melt the butter and chocolate chips.

After assembling the bars, we would put them on the window ledge to cool (one of the more convenient aspects of spending the winter in Utah!) If someone living in a dorm room armed only with small hot pot can make these, anyone can!

How To Make No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

peanut butter bars

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
peanut butter bars

Directions:

In a mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, crushed graham crackers (whether pre-crushed or crushed by hand), and powdered sugar, then stir in the peanut butter.

Bonus Tip: A Danish dough whisk is the ideal tool for combining thick mixtures like this one!

peanut butter bars

Transfer the mixture to a 9×13″ baking dish and press it down firmly into an even layer. (For thicker bars, use a 9×9″ or 8×8″ pan.)

peanut butter bars

Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals until melted and smooth. Spread the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter layer, then chill until completely firm, around 3 hours.

peanut butter bars

Then cut them into bars and enjoy — I know I always do. (Perhaps a bit too much when I was a freshman, which I’m sure contributed to me learning that the “freshman fifteen” was a very real thing!)

What is your favorite peanut butter and chocolate dessert? 

peanut butter bars

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Jill Nystul
No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars are one of my all-time favorite homemade treats and I’ve been making them since I was a girl. If a college student living in a dorm with only a small hot pot can make these, I guarantee you can too.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Cooling 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 340 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 1 cup graham crackers crushed
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips

Instructions
 

  • Combine the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl, then stir in peanut butter.
  • Spread the peanut butter mixture into a 9×13" baking dish and press firmly into an even layer.
  • Microwave the chocolate chips until melted and smooth.
  • Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the peanut butter layer.
  • Chill until completely firm, about 3 hours.

Nutrition

Calories: 340kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 6gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 225mgPotassium: 176mgFiber: 2gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 270IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 35mgIron: 1mg

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • Tip Tuesday: Make a Treat to Last the Week (‘Zert) | Full Happy Muffin and Mama: The Blog says:

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  • Oh my chocolate! I made these…well…my husband and resident graham cracker crusher helped…waited impatiently for the 4 hours (ate for dessert after dinner). They have the consistency of Reese’s peanut butter cup filling topped by the chocolate layer. Sooooo good! I ended up using a whole bag of milk chocolate chips because I couldn’t get it to spread to cover. I might try adding a tablespoon of cream or so to get them to be easier to cut. This is my treat of the week! Thanks for posting such a great recipe!

  • I want to apologize to anyone that has had some nasty things pop-up when clicking on my links! I’ve talked to my IT guys and they haven’t found any malicious code on the site since we were hacked a few weeks ago. It is possible that some of you have outside viruses on your computers that are causing this to happen. So that’s something that you might want to look into.

  • Jilly, for years, I have searched for a particular recipe that our lunch ladies used to serve when I was in elementary school. I’ve tried many recipes, but this one you posted is IT. I never dreamed it had graham crackers in it – I always thought it was cereal. But one taste, and I knew the search was over. I made these last night, and they are sooo good, in addition to taking me back to my childhood! Thank you!

  • These sound great – especially with graham crackers. If a person doesn’t like peanut butter, try Nutella. Just returned from a 2 week trip in Italy and they use Nutella in pastries and EVERYTHING. Love it!! Just can’t get enough

  • I can’t imagine that 1 cup of crushed graham crackers can make that big of batch.
    Is there cereal in it that was not in the ingredients? I make what I call special K bars but it takes 6 cups of Special K. Just wondering.

    Thanks.

  • I make these a lot and also use the same recipe for making Reese’s peanut butter cups. It works better with two people. You roll the filling into balls and put them on a cookie sheet (you can freeze them for a few minutes – optional) while you are melting the chocolate. Then drip some chocolate into a muffin paper, then the peanut butter ball, then more chocolate. Or you can dip the balls halfway into the chocolate to make buckeyes. For the last two, I think you could increase the powdered sugar a bit to make them smoother.

  • we call these cornflake bars and make them with cornflakes – but for gluten free, try making them with rice chex. they are yummy! and, any old chocolate bars will do – so after Easter, Christmas, and Halloween, we usually save some of the cheaper chocolate bars to use – those hollow Easter bunnies work fine.
    jd in st louis

    • that’s what our lunch ladies did at the school where I taught. And, they made a bottom crust with shortbread cookies, sugar and butter, but I think you can use just about any smooshed up cookie for the base. I have a hankerin’ to try Biscotti…

  • I was confused on the amount of graham crackers I was supposed to use. I crushed up a whole box of graham crackers (which I assumed that you meant but PACKAGE) and it seems to work. I hope this was right…we will be eating this tonight watching The Walking Dead. :D

  • Just made this with homemade peanut butter and it’s truly amazing….however, I used a loaf pan. Using a 13 x 9 x 2 would make them just a little layer about 1/16 x 1/8″ thick. The picture above, if done in a 13 x 9 x 2 is either a tripled up recipe or that size pan wasn’t used.

  • I found a similar recipe on the back of a Kroger brand chocolate graham crackers (now I realize these are not gluten-free) and it was delicious! Like having twice the amount of chocolate!! :)

  • I know exactly why you used a pot, Jillee. You melted the butter in it on the stovetop and then mixed everything in the pot with the melted butter. The only way you can use fewer dishes is to heat the butter in the baking dish in the microwave, then mix it in the baking dish. You’ll still need that pot to melt the chocolate though :)

  • I’ve made this for years – found the recipe in a church cookbook I picked up at a yard sale. My recipe calls for Ritz crackers, but I’m going to try this with graham crackers! Yum!!!

  • For what ever reason I seem to be the only one on the planet that believes that peanut butter has no business with anything–except jelly.
    I will be making these though for the rest of the family–today.
    Thanks!

  • I always try to sneak in nutritional yeast and flax seeds into everything. This recipe, which I will make without delay having a houseful of kids next door now, would be the perfect vehicle for that hidden nutrition. Also, sprinkle the top with a little plain non-Dutched cocoa for extra antioxidants. Thank you for posting this classic from your past.

  • Jillee, these look Amazing!!! Now if you want a yummy twist add half choc chips and half butterscotch chips for the frosting. You’ll love it! I want to share my favorite which is similar to yours. My best friend since the first grade (and I am 49 yrs young) made these bars for my family back when we were about 10 yrs old. Now I am the youngest of 12 — so my brothers and sisters loved them and literally craved them. The dubbed them “Tiemann Bars” because her last name was Tiemann. Her first name was the same as my sisters so my family called her by her last name so they knew who was being spoken too etc. You get it. Long story short – 40 yrs later they are still called “Tiemann Bars” in our part – family, friends & their friends and most people now just think that was always their name and don’t really know the story behind it. lol So, now you do…don’t you feel lucky?? teeheehee (oh and just so you get the name right, they are pronounced “Teaman Bars” Not Tie – man. k? K…now that we’ve cleared that important fact up…onto the recipe.

    Tiemann Bars

    1c sugar
    1c light karo syurp

    bring to boil in dutch oven. Stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved (about a minute) not too long or the bars will be hard like a rock….from experience – still good but hard as hard candy. So about a minute at a boil. Turn heat off and add:

    1c peanut butter

    stir in until nice and smooth. Add:

    5 cups rice krispies

    Mix them in well to coat – pour into buttered 9×13 pan. Pat down with the back of a buttered spoon.

    Melt 6 oz choc chips & 6oz of butterscotch chops in microwave. Mix until smooth – spread on bars. cool or eat warm and gooey to enjoy the fruits of your labor!!! ;-)

    • Jean, This is the recipe I use, too. A neighbor brought some over once and I asked why hers were better than mine. She said she uses the Walmart brand of rice krispies. She also uses some white chocolate chips with the regular chocolate chips for the top. We also like corn flakes instead of rice krispies. I can’t wait to try the graham crackers!

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