These Peanut Butter Bars are a classic recipe that your whole family will love. This melt in your mouth no bake dessert is easy to make, six ingredients, and melt in your mouth good!
My family loves to have what we call a “cookie making day” around the holidays. We whip up a ton of great treats and then give them out to our friends and neighbors.
No bake treats are one of my favorites to make around the holidays because you can make so many. This makes them perfect for our cookie making day. Additionally, no bake treats tend to be really easy for kids to make. These Peanut Butter Bars check all of those boxes, plus they are incredibly delicious.
How to Make Peanut Butter Bars
This is a brief overview of how to make this amazing no bake treat. For the full recipe with all of the measurements see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Make graham cracker crumbs. Use a food processor to crush the graham crackers. Another suggestion would be to put them in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them.
- Make the peanut butter layer. In a large bowl, combine the graham crackers, powdered sugar, butter, peanut butter, and vanilla. Stir until fully combined and then press into a 9 by 13 inch pan.
- Make the chocolate topping. Melt the remaining butter and chocolate together in a small bowl on half power.
- Allow to set. Pour the chocolate over the bars and allow to set, at least an hour in the refrigerator.
You’ll notice we are using powdered sugar and not granulated sugar. This is the best call because it incorporates so perfectly. With granulated sugar you’re more likely to get a gritty texture.
Substitutions and Variations
- Swap out the crackers. These would be great with Ritz crackers instead of graham crackers. Make certain you use unsalted butter.
- Change out the top layer. You could swap out the topping for some chocolate frosting. Make sure your bars are chilled for easy spreading.
Best Pan for Bars
Because these are no bake peanut butter bars, we don’t have to worry too much about what pan we use. On the other hand, in baking recipes, I like to recommend an aluminum pan because of how well it conducts heat. This pan also happens to come with straight edges, so I think it is perfect for any bar recipe, whether we are baking it or not.
Storing and Freezing
After they set, the bars can be taken out of the pan and cut. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
Alternatively, this is a recipe that freezes great! I recommend freezing the bars in a single layer after cutting. You can freeze them for a few hours and then transfer the flash frozen bars to an air tight container where they can be stack. When ready to eat, let them thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Peanut Butter Bars
- 3 cups graham cracker crumbs (300 grams)
- 1 cup unsalted butter (226 grams) melted
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (283.75 grams)
- 1 cup peanut butter (170 grams)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips (170 grams)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (113 grams)
- Using a food processor, grind the graham crackers to a fine crumb. (If you don't have a food processor, you could put the crackers in a sealable plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them.)
- In a large bowl stir together the crumbs, 1 cup melted butter, sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla. It may be difficult to mix at first but will come together to be a thick dough.
- Press the dough into a 9 by 13 inch pan that has been sprayed with non stick spray.
- In a microwave safe bowl, combine the remaining 8 tablespoons butter and chocolate. Cook for 1 minute, at half power, stir very well. Microwave in 15 second intervals stirring very well in between until smooth. Pour over bars. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before cutting.