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Peanut Butter Bars

9 Reviews

Sometimes two things just belong together, like chips and salsa, cookies and milk, pancakes and syrup, or bacon and eggs. Peanut butter and chocolate are another pair that is a match made in heaven! Like seriously…HEAVEN!! These Peanut Butter Bars are the ultimate combo of chocolate and peanut butter!

You all know how much we love peanut butter with a love that goes deeper than that little jar of creamy or crunchy nut bliss. If you haven’t heard our peanut butter story, you can read it here. We really do believe that peanut butter makes almost everything better.

Combine it with chocolate and the world is a happier and sweeter place!

I got this recipe from my dear friend, Kara. She made them for a baby shower that I attended and I knew immediately that the recipe had to be mine. They are devoured every time I take them anywhere now. SO. GOOD!!

Whenever I am at a party or gathering of some kind where there are desserts, I am drawn to dessert bars especially when they appear to include peanut butter and/or chocolate in any form. I’m like a moth to a flame. The new term should be like a Carrian to a dessert bar…seriously!

The Bar

There are two ingredients in these bars that make them different than most peanut bars out there. First, we use margarine. I know all you baking purists out there are going to start getting hives when you read this recipe and want to swap the margarine for butter or shortening. Trust me on this one! Margarine is just the only way to go here!

Second, the oatmeal gives these bars the best texture and deep full flavor. Plus, oatmeal is nothing but good for you! It helps with weight loss, reduces the risk of heart disease, lowers blood sugar levels, and is full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. These bars are practically healthy with all that oatmeal in it. Okay, not really at all, but a girl can dream!

A photo of a single peanut butter bar topped with chocolate frosting sitting on a wooden table.

The Frosting

Margarine makes another appearance in the frosting, so you’re going to have to trust me again on this one. It just works! This is a creamy and rich chocolate frosting that you will just want to lather all over everything. You will definitely be licking the spatula on this one!

The frosting calls for 1/4 cup of scant cocoa. In baking a scant cup means that you don’t pack it in the cup and you don’t even fill the cup completely to the top.

A photo of a single peanut butter bar topped with chocolate frosting sitting on a piece of parchment paper.

What is Margarine?

Margarine is a substitute for butter that is made from vegetable oils or animal fats. It is a spread that can be used for flavoring, baking and cooking. It was first created in 1869 in France by Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès who had been challenged by Emperor Napoleon III to create a substitute for butter out of beef tallow for the armed forces and lower classes. We don’t use it often in our house, but certain recipes just need margarine! Like our famous caramel brownies from scratch!

A photo of a single peanut butter bar topped with chocolate frosting sitting on a white plate.

Best Spatula Ever

See that little spatula in the picture below? It is one of my favorite kitchen tools because it is the perfect size. It cuts the dessert bars or lasagna or casseroles that are just the right size for a serving. I just love it! We have a phenomenal kitchen store here in Utah called Orson Gygi. I could spend days and thousands of dollars there easily. That is where I got my perfect little spatula. Here is a very similar one. It should be in every kitchen!

A photo of a 9x13 pan with baked uncut peanut butter bars in it topped with chocolate frosting.

If you want to be the most popular person at your next neighborhood gathering or family potluck, make these peanut butter bars! They are just what peanut butter and chocolate should be!

Bar Dessert RECIPES

Looking for more bar dessert recipes? Try our Flourless Monster Cookie Bars, Maple Pecan Pie Bars, Peach Oatmeal Bars, Raspberry Lemon Bars, Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars, Classic Lemon Bars, Nutella Swirled Pumpkin Bars, Sugar Cookie Bars, or our No Bake S’mores Bars!

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A photo of a single peanut butter bar topped with chocolate frosting sitting on a wooden table.

Peanut Butter Bars

4.23 from 9 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 24 13x9" baking dish
Sometimes two things just belong together, like chips and salsa, cookies and milk, pancakes and syrup, or bacon and eggs. Peanut butter and chocolate are another pair that is a match made in heaven! Like seriously...HEAVEN!! These Peanut Butter Bars are the ultimate combo of chocolate and peanut butter!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 Cup white sugar
  • 3/4 Cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 Cups Margarine *see note
  • 3/4 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1/2 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups Oats
  • 3/4 Cups Margarine
  • 1/4 Cup Scant Cocoa
  • 1 1/2 Cups plus 1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1/4 Cup Milk

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9x13 pan by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Cream sugar, margarine, and eggs until well blended
  • Add vanilla peanut butter, mix well.
  • Stir in dry ingredients, including oats.
  • Spread into the prepared 9x13 pan and bake for 22 minutes.
  • Cool for 30 minutes then spread with chocolate frosting. (recipe below)

For the Frosting

  • Mix powdered sugar, cocoa and margarine in a mixer.
  • Add vanilla and milk, mix until creamy.

Notes

This is HALF of Kara's recipe, but it should be doubled to go in a jelly roll pan. No, really, it's margarine. I know, butter or shortening are what you may be tempted to use, but I agree with my friend, Kara, it just works!
Nutrition Facts
Peanut Butter Bars
Amount Per Serving (1 1 square)
Calories 198 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 190mg8%
Potassium 94mg3%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 258IU5%
Calcium 18mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

A stack of delicious chocolate peanut butter bars with chocolate frosting

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About the authors

Cheney Family

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

Leave a comment

18 comments

  • Does it matter what kind of oats to use – quickcooking or old fashioned? Thank you!

    • Reply
  • I’m so excited to try these peanuts butter bars!  Do you know how long to bake in a jelly roll pan.   Thanks!

    • Reply
    • Hi Wendy! It shouldn’t take much longer. I would start with the 22 minutes and then check it. It might just need another 3-5 minutes if it isn’t already done.

      • Reply
  • You are so right, chocolate and peanut butter do go together so well! I am going to make these in the coming weekend and report back, I hope they taste as good as yours look.

    • Reply
    • They are a match made in heaven!! Enjoy!

      • Reply
  • Funny thing is, this is the recipe I’ve used for years… except I DO use butter, and trust me, it’s delicious! The other difference is that I use this very amount in a jelly roll pan (not doubled), but I  only bake it for about 15 minutes.  So it’s a thinner bar, but an excellent frosting-to-cookie ratio!

    • Reply
  • No need to publish this…
    These look amazing, but I am actually writing about an email I got a couple days ago from you guys, with a tease for “How to make the BEST French Toast”, but when I eagerly followed the link, it came up with a 404 Error – page not found. I did a search for “Best French Toast” – zippo. Are you planning to post that recipe?
    Thanks!

    • Reply
    • Hi Laura! Yes, I’m so sorry about that! The newsletter accidentally got sent out before we were ready to post the recipe. It is scheduled to go live on the blog in a few weeks. Stay tuned! And thank you for your support!

      • Reply
  • I have literally scrolled up and down this page about a dozen times. Why can’t I see the actual recipe??

    • Reply
    • Oops! We are in the middle of updating all our recipes to a new format so this one must have gotten lost in the shuffle. We will get that fixed ASAP! In the meantime, here are the details:

      Ingredients
      3/4 Cup white sugar
      3/4 Cup brown sugar
      3/4 Cups Margarine *see note
      3/4 Cup Peanut Butter
      1 Large Egg
      1/2 Teaspoon vanilla
      3/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
      1/2 Teaspoon Salt
      1 1/2 Cups Flour
      1 1/2 Cups Oats

      For the Frosting
      3/4 Cups Margarine
      1/4 Cup Scant Cocoa
      1 1/2 Cups plus
      1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
      1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
      1/4 Cup Milk

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9×13 pan by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray.
      Cream sugar, margarine, and eggs until well blended
      Add vanilla peanut butter, mix well.
      Stir in dry ingredients, including oats.
      Spread into the prepared 9×13 pan and bake for 22 minutes.
      Cool for 30 minutes then spread with chocolate frosting.

      For the Frosting

      Mix powdered sugar, cocoa and margarine in a mixer.
      Add vanilla and milk, mix until creamy.

      Notes
      This is HALF of Kara’s recipe, but it should be doubled to go in a jelly roll pan.

      No, really, it’s margarine. I know, butter or shortening are what you may be tempted to use, but I agree with my friend, Kara, it just works!

      • Reply
  • *loved*

    • Reply
  • These were SO GOOD! I think I’ll only use 1 tsp of baking soda next time.That would be my only tweak, my family lived them;)

    • Reply
    • Thanks so much Jen!

      • Reply
  • I have a question about the frosting for these bars. Assuming the lower case letter “t” means teaspoon, we should add only two teaspoons of cocoa, butter and milk? My instincts tell me the amounts for those ingredients should be Tablespoons. Please clarify. Looking forward to making these on Sunday. Thank you.

    • Reply
    • Thanks for writing Irene! I’ve updated the recipe so it reflects the proper measurements using the whole word. 🙂

      • Reply
  • Thanks for the shout out Carrian! Glad you liked the cookies.

    • Reply
  • why are you always trying to make me fat?

    • Reply
  • These look delicious- definitely my type of dessert! I love pb & chocolate.

    • Reply

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