No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

I’m a big Penzey’s fan and love getting their catalog, but their recipe for No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars just wasn’t for me. Luckily, I made a small batch and didn’t waste much because unfortunately, I had to throw them out.

If you want to try the recipe anyway, below are the ingredients they used. I used only 2 cups of powdered sugar and found the bars to be too sweet even with that. Maybe they used natural peanut butter? They must have. I used Peter Pan.

I liked the shape of the bars, so maybe next time I’ll use this recipe and cut it into bars instead of making balls.

No-Bake Peanut Butter

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars taste like Buckeyes or Reese's cups in bar form. This recipe includes a dash of cinnamon for extra flavor.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 36
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspon cinnamon
  • 2 sticks (8 oz) butter, use regular salted type or add 3/4 tsp. salt to recipe
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter, creamy or chunky
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 12-oz. bag chocolate chips or 12 oz good quality milk chocolate
  1. Line a 9x13 inch pan with foil.
  2. Mix the crumbs with the cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan or in a microwave-safe bowl. Combine melted butter, peanut butter and vanilla and stir until fully blended, then stir in the graham cracker crumbs.
  4. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and taste test at 2 cups. You may not want to use the full 3 1/2 cups, but you'll need to use enough to make a stiff dough. Press mixture into the pan.
  5. Melt the chocolate chips in microwave using 50% power and stirring every 30 seconds or in the top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water. Pour melted chocolate over peanut butter mixture. Chill for one hour. Do not chill too long or the chocolate will get too hard to cut.
  6. When the chocolate is set but not completely hard, lift from the pan and cut into small squares.


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  1. Joanna says

    I didn’t think there was something that could be too sweet! Hmm, I would probably love these bars then.

  2. says

    I have used a similar recipe for bars with the notable exceptions:
    my recipe the butter and PB are in equal amounts (Cup of each I think).
    I have used both natural and normal PB (Jif or generic. I don’t like peter pan because of the sweetness, so I’m not sure if that is also part of the issue.
    The recipe I have is supposed to be a copycat for Reese’s PB cups, so I just thought they were supposed to be super sweet.
    I think my recipe only has 2 Cups of powdered sugar in it, more and they get too crumbly and fall apart.
    A friend of mine has made these with way more crumbs to try and reduce the sugar.
    A little shortening in the chocolate chip melty mixture will help with cutting once they are set.

  3. says

    That does seem pretty heavy handed on the confectioners’ sugar! I made some Peanut Butter Graham Squares last year right before we went through that kitchen remodel in MD (sigh…) that were pretty tasty and I don’t remember them being too sweet.

  4. says

    I’m kind of mad at myself for making this particular recipe when there are so many better versions of peanut butter bars.

    Badger Reader, your bars were probably better than these.

    I like Jif the best, but every once in a while I buy Skippy or Peter Pan just to re-confirm to myself that Jif is the best.

  5. says

    Yeah, definitely try the natural p.b. next time – maybe they’ll turn out less sweet (since there’s no added sugars in the “real” stuff).

  6. Pat says

    Paula Deen had a similar recipe on her show and she called it “Georgia Cookie Candy”.

  7. HeartofGlass says

    I was wondering if the recipe you printed had a typo–perhaps 3 1/2 tablespoons of peanut butter might work, especially if it is regular peanut butter.

    Do you ever cook with almond, cashew or other nut butters, btw–you print the best peanut butter recipes, and tomorrow if it’s not too hot I’m trying one of your small batch recipes with almond butter because that is what I have on hand.

    I like Crazy Richard’s all natural peanut butter best–it’s been so long since I’ve eaten regular. I only grew up with Skippy, though and would only eat that as a kid–funny how brand loyalty with pb is such a quirky thing.

  8. says

    These look wonderful, but I agree that there seemse to be too much sugar in them. I only buy natural peanut butter and there is no added sugar — It might make a difference. Last weekend I was in Paducah KY, (a big arts community believe it or now) and I came across the best peanut butter bars ever. They had a dark chocolate shortbread type crust, a layer of intensely flavored peanut butter filling and a creamy, dark chocolate topping on top. Fabulous!

  9. says

    Here’s Paula Deen’s. It seems like it might be almost as sweet as these. So I have a feeling a lot of people *will* like these, they just weren’t for me.,1946,FOOD_9936_76980_PRINT-RECIPE-3X5-CARD,00.html

    Heart of Glass, I don’t think there was a typo — especially when comparing this recipe too Paula’s. Also, I love almond butter! I should use it more often now that it’s becoming widely available. And I am going to look for Crazy Richard’s this evening. I doubt my store has it, but I will check. Now that I’ve gotten rid of all the Peter Pan….

    Lisa, is there any way you could duplicate that recipe yourself? It sounds good. I’m thinking they didn’t add too much sugar to the peanut butter.

  10. says

    Shame they were too sweet Anna because they do come out as good looking bars! I’ve ready the recipe of the balls and would prefer that as well, they must be great in a bar form (an less time consuming).

  11. angel van says

    i made something the bigger version of this found in the cookie bible. it is very very sweet. but peanut butter lovers will love it for sure. reminds me very much of a butterfinger without the crunch.

  12. Meg says

    I have a recipe exactly like this except minus the cinnamon and they are meant to be sweet like a PB fudge and the chocolate is melted Hershey bars. They’re close to Reese’s PB cups. And for a PB lover like myself, they’re a real treat.

  13. says

    i just made a similar recipe last night- my bottom layer was too creamy and now I can’t get them out of the pan! boo! I think they are meant to be very sweet though- like a reeces. Sorry you didn’t like them!

  14. says

    I’ve eaten things that look like this before. They’re pretty intense; I think of them more as a candy like fudge than a cookie. They were cut into small pieces about 1 inch by 1 inch, and even then I wouldn’t eat the whole thing in one bite, just sort of nibble at it.

  15. Hilde says

    I made the bars and my family loved them. I did use a natural peanut butter and bought graham cracker crumbs. The texture had a nice crunch and I also use double strength vanilla. We generally don’t eat a lot of sweets at our house and this was a real treat. Try using a better grade of chocolate chip may help also.

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