Craving chocolate chip cookies, but don’t want to deal with scooping dough? Then you’ll love these peanut butter chocolate chip bars! They’re warm and gooey cookie bars that are packed with peanut butter flavor and melty chocolate chips.
They’re basically classic chocolate chip cookies, elevated to bar form and with salty, peanut-buttery goodness. So simple to make, with basic ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
You don’t need an electric mixer, either. Heck yes to quicker clean-up!
Peanut Butter Cookie Bars with Chocolate Chips
Cookie bars are one of my favorite desserts to make. Not only are they super easy, but they turn out deliciously gooey, with crisp, chewy edges. And those melty chocolate chips? Pure bliss.
It’s almost impossible to wait for these to cool down before slicing them and digging in. But I just have to remind myself: good things come to those who wait. 🙂 (They can totally be eaten sooner, but slicing them while warm can get messy!)
The peanut butter and chocolate combo here is to die for, and the texture is everything you’d want in a chocolate chip cookie – without all the fuss of scooping anything. My only question is: why aren’t you making these yet?!
Here are a few notes on the ingredients in these peanut butter cookie bars:
- This recipe calls for light brown sugar, for added moistness and a fudgy texture. You can also use a combination of white and brown sugar.
- Creamy peanut butter gives these bars that delicious, peanut-buttery flavor. I wouldn’t recommend using natural peanut butter, as it would change the texture.
- I used semisweet chocolate chips here, because I love the balance of rich chocolate flavor and sweetness that they add. But dark chocolate or milk chocolate would work just as well! You can also use a chopped chocolate bar/chocolate chunks.
- If you want to get extra fancy, sprinkle some flaky salt on top of the bars before baking.
For a slightly different (but just as delicious) version of this recipe, try these chocolate chip almond butter cookie bars!
How to Make Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars
To make these bars, start by melting butter in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Whisk in the brown sugar until the mixture forms a paste.
Then, add peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla extract, and whisk until combined.
Sift in the dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). Gently stir with a spatula until just combined. It’s ok if there are a few flour streaks left at this point – it’s best to not over-mix the dough.
Then, gently fold in the chocolate chips. Use the spatula to press the dough into a 9×13 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper. (This will make removing the bars so much easier later on.)
I like to sprinkle more chocolate chips on top before baking (not only because it looks pretty, but because I can never get enough chocolate)!
Bake the bars for 18-20 minutes, until they’re set in the middle and the edges are lightly brown.
Let cool completely, then remove from the pan and use a large knife to slice into bars.
Grab a glass of milk and enjoy!
Cookie Bar Baking Tips
- Line your baking pan with parchment paper for easier removal
- Whisk the hot melted butter and sugar together vigorously until it forms a paste-like mixture (that’s how you get the crackly top!)
- Use room temperature eggs (cold eggs won’t mix with the other ingredients as well)
- Once you add the flour, be careful not to over-mix the dough
- Avoid over-baking, especially if you want bars with a super fudgy texture!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars Recipe Variations
Just like with regular chocolate chip cookies, there are so many different mix-ins you can use in these peanut butter bars! Here are some ideas for inspiration:
- nuts (pecans, walnuts, pistachios, etc.)
- chopped candy bar
- crushed pretzels
- chopped Oreos
- dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, etc.)
How to Store
Once these bars are cooled and sliced, store them in an airtight container on the counter (at room temperature).
They have the best texture the first day they’re baked, but will still be delicious (and safe to eat) for up to 3-4 days.
Can I freeze these chocolate chip cookie bars?
Yes! These cookie bars can be individually wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen in an airtight container (or freezer bag) for up to 3-4 months.
Can I use natural peanut butter in these bars?
Unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend using natural peanut butter here. It tends to be more oily, which would affect the texture and consistency of these bars.
What type of pan should I use?
A 9×13 inch metal nonstick baking pan (the dark color metal pans) is best for baking these bars.
You can also use a glass baking pan, but keep in mind the bake time may differ. Just keep a close eye on it!
If you make these peanut butter chocolate chip bars, I’d love if you shared your thoughts with a rating and comment below!
More cookies and dessert bars to try:
- Iced Lemon Mascarpone Cookies
- Blueberry Walnut Blondie Bars
- Oatmeal Chai Cookies with Pecans
- Raspberry Almond Blondies
- Oatmeal White Chocolate Raspberry Cookies
- Pecan Sweet Potato Blondie Bars
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars
- 1¾ cup all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled to measure)
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted (½ cup, or 1 stick)
- 1¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ¾ cup creamy peanut butter*
- 1 large egg (room temperature)
- 1 egg yolk (room temperature)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ cups chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit (176° Celsius). Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk melted butter and brown sugar until a paste forms. Add the egg, egg yolk, peanut butter, and vanilla extract. Whisk until combined.
- Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stir with a spatula until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
- Press the dough into the baking pan. (Smooth out on top with the spatula.) Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned and it's just set in the center.
- Let cool completely, then slice into bars and enjoy!