Peanut butter chocolate bars are made with layers of shortbread crust, peanut butter filling and chocolate ganache topping. A sprinkle of sea salt adds to the salty sweet combo in this dessert bar!

side of peanut butter chocolate bar showing layers of shortbread crust, peanut butter filling and chocolate topping

Peanut butter chocolate bars have a shortbread base topped with peanut butter filling and a chocolate coating. They are incredibly easy to make and satisfy that salty sweet craving. The smooth texture of chocolate and peanut butter is simply irresistible!

Why this recipe works: There is a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread crust that is sturdy enough to hold a thick layer of peanut butter and chocolate. The peanut butter is sweetened with confectioners sugar while the chocolate is softened with heavy cream. This makes each bite the perfect consistency of texture and flavors!

peanut butter chocolate bars ingredients in bowls labeled with text

Overview: How to make peanut butter chocolate bars

  1. Make the shortbread crust: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper. Beat butter and confectioners’ sugar together until light and creamy. Add vanilla, flour and salt and mix until combined. Spread mixture into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes. Cool crust completely.
  2. Make the peanut butter filling: Beat peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread over shortbread crust.
  3. Make the chocolate topping: Melt chocolate and heavy cream in the microwave on 50% power level until smooth. Spread over peanut butter layer.
  4. Chill the bars for 10 minutes in the refrigerator or until set. Cut and serve.
photo collage demonstrating how to make layers for peanut butter chocolate bars

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best peanut butter to use? Creamy, no-stir peanut butter. I like Skippy Natural Peanut Butter. You don’t want a peanut butter that separates and there is oil at the top. I have not tried this recipe with crunchy peanut butter.

Do I need an electric mixer? In short, no, but it will make the recipe easier. If you are making this by hand, make sure the ingredients are mixed well (use some elbow grease!) .

How to store peanut butter chocolate bars: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days or in the refrigerator for one week.

Can you freeze peanut butter chocolate bars? Yes. Remove the bar from the pan. Wrap the entire uncut bar in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe bag or individually wrap the cut bars and place in an airtight container. Bars will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. Defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature and serving.

stack of three peanut butter chocolate bars surrounded by more bars on parchment paper

More peanut butter chocolate desserts

One of the best combos there are! Other recipes featuring the dynamic duo include peanut butter blossoms and stuffed peanut butter chocolate cookies. Another recipe I love are these peanut butter chocolate cupcakes from The Loopy Whisk blog.

My favorite no-bake recipe are these chocolate-covered peanut butter balls. They have rice crispies in the mix for an extra crunch! If you really like the salty sweet combo, then you will love my no-bake peanut butter pretzel bars.

peanut butter chocolate bars with sea salt on parchment paper with spoon of peanut butter

Peanut butter chocolate bars are an easy dessert to make when you are craving something salty sweet. It also is a great housewarming gift or birthday treat! If you try this recipe tag @ifyougiveablondeakitchen on social media so I can see your creation!

peanut butter chocolate bar on its side showing layers of shortbread crust, peanut butter and chocolate

Peanut Butter Bars

Peanut butter chocolate bars are made with layers of shortbread crust, peanut butter filling and chocolate ganache topping.
5 (3 ratings)

Ingredients

Shortbread Crust

  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter,, room temperature
  • ¾ cup (90 g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250 g) all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Peanut Butter Filling

  • 2 cups (480 g) creamy peanut butter, (no-stir peanut butter is a must)
  • 1 cup (120 g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Topping

  • 1 ½ cups (255 g) semisweet or dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup heavy cream

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 13×9 pan with nonstick spray, set aside.
  • To make crust, cream butter and confectioners' sugar for 1 to 2 minutes with mixer until light and creamy. Turn mixer to low and add in 1 teaspoon vanilla, flour and salt. Mix just until flour is incorporated. Press evenly into prepared pan and bake 20 minutes or until golden. Cool completely.
  • To make filling, beat peanut butter, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla together until smooth.* Spread filling over cooled crust. Smooth top with offset spatula. Chill for about 30 minutes.
  • Microwave chocolate chips and cream on 50% power level, stopping and stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. (See tips for melting chocolate). Spread chocolate over peanut butter layer. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired.
  • Chill bars for 10 minutes or until set. Cut 4 rows vertically and 6 rows horizontally to form 24 bars.

Notes

*If the filling does not seem very spreadable, add a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil.
Store peanut butter chocolate bars in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days or in the refrigerator for 1 week.
Freeze peanut butter chocolate bars with parchment paper between layers in an airtight container for up to 3 months (for best flavor, individually wrap the bars). Defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature and serving.
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Serving: 1square, Calories: 339kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Sodium: 150mg, Potassium: 217mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin A: 270IU, Calcium: 21mg, Iron: 2mg

Recipe adapted from That Skinny Chick Can Bake.

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