These easy peanut butter bars combine a sweet peanut butter crust with a thin layer of chocolate! Only 5 ingredients and ready in under 30 minutes!
I have been reaching for recipes and desserts that take me down memory lane. Easy ideas that bring up all of the feelings of nostalgia. These are the recipes I want to share with my child. I want him to get all of these classics into his memories with mom so he can share them with his kids one day.
Peanut butter bars, lunch lady bars, or school bars… Whatever you call these, they are INCREDIBLE. Minimal ingredients and the taste of Reese’s. All of the magic starts with a no-bake peanut butter crust pressed gently into a pan and then spread with a peanut butter chocolate topping.
No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
School Peanut Butter Bars Ingredients:
- Butter – Butter is what holds the crust together. It is the binding agent that works with the peanut butter to give you a good solid base. It also adds the most incredible buttery flavor that is hard to resist.
- Peanut Butter- The star ingredient! We have made these about a dozen times. I recommend using creamy, and not crunchy, peanut butter for this recipe. We have also tried it with natural peanut butter. It worked ok, but had a slightly different texture.
- Powdered Sugar- Just a tad to sweeten things up. This is also known as confectioners sugar and typically used in frostings.
- Graham Crackers- I used grahams, BUT *surprise twist* you can also use Ritz crackers! My husband is a purist and says this craziness, but I love the buttery salt flavor that’s added by the crackers.
- Chocolate Chips- Semi sweet is preferred if you would like something close to a Reese’s flavor.
Semi sweet chocolate chips vs milk chocolate chips
If you ask my Instagram followers, they are firmly divided on which is better. And people will fight to the death to defend their precious chocolate picks. So what is the difference and which one is best for this recipe?
- Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips- Semi sweet has a high cocoa content which makes it taste closer to a dark chocolate. It is slightly bitter which makes it ideal pairing for desserts that are already plenty sweet (think chocolate chip cookies).
- Milk Chocolate Chips- Milk chocolate has a sweeter flavor that is less rich than its counterpart. It tends to be a little more creamy and loved by many.
For me, I prefer semi sweet for all of my recipes. I’m a dark chocolate fan and feel it compliments everything. That being said, milk chocolate pairs wonderfully with bold flavors, like peanut butter. So you cannot go wrong with either variety.
How to Make No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
- Prepare a 9×13 pan by misting with cooking spray, butter, or lining with parchment.
- Add the butter and 1 cup of peanut butter into a microwave safe bowl. Heat for one minute, stir, and heat and additional 30 seconds or until fully melted.
- Stir in the graham cracker crumbs and powdered sugar. Transfer to your prepared dish and gently press down until even.
- Chill the crust for 15 minutes.
- Combine the chocolate chips and 1/4 cup peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl. Heat until melted, being sure to stir at every 15-30 second interval.
- Pour the melted chocolate over the prepared crust. Use a spatula or spoon to spread over your bars.
- Allow the chocolate to firm, cut, and enjoy!
Peanut Butter Bar Tips:
- Use parchment paper to line your pan to help easily pull the bars out when ready to slice.
- Creamy peanut butter tends to work better than crunchy for this recipe.
- Use a high powered blender (affiliate) or food processor (affiliate) to get a fine crumb texture. This will give you the best crust.
- A handheld mixer (affiliate) will make your crust come together quickly and easily!
- Keep your bars stored in an air tight container (affiliate) to help them keep their freshness.
- Try substituting Ritz crackers for the grahams in this recipe for an entirely new flavor!
More Peanut Butter and Chocolate Recipes:
- Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
- Best Peanut Butter Chocolate Breakfast Smoothie
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
- Two Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
- Easy Buckeye Cookies
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
More Dessert Recipes Under 5 Ingredients:
- Rice Krispie Treats
- Two Ingredient Fudge
- Nutelle Mug Cake
- Two Ingredient Microwave Brownie
- Five Minute Strawberry Cake
- 1 cup butter
- 1-1/4 cup creamy peanut butter, divided
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1-1/2 cups chocolate chips, semi sweet or milk chocolate
1. Prepare a 9x13 pan by misting with cooking spray, butter, or lining with parchment.
2. Add the butter and 1 cup of peanut butter into a microwave safe bowl. Heat for one minute, stir, and heat and additional 30 seconds or until fully melted.
3. Stir in the graham cracker crumbs and powdered sugar. Transfer to your prepared dish and gently press down until even.
4. Chill the crust for 15 minutes.
5. Combine the chocolate chips and 1/4 cup peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl. Heat until melted, being sure to stir at every 15-30 second interval.
6. Pour the melted chocolate over the prepared crust. Use a spatula or spoon to spread over your bars.
7. Allow the chocolate to firm, cut, and enjoy!
Try substituting Ritz crackers for the grahams for an entirely new flavor.