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No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

by on June 27, 2008 · 18 comments

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-bars-p

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars (adapted from a Penzey’s Catalog)

18 (1 ½ cups) graham crackers, crushed or processed into crumbs
½ teaspoon cinnamon
8 oz butter, melted
1 ½ cups creamy or crunchy peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 ½ cups powdered sugar (which seemed like too much)
12 oz chocolate chips

Mix the crumbs with the cinnamon and add crumb mixture.

In second bowl, mix the butter, peanut butter and vanilla.

Add the crumb mixture and the powdered sugar to the peanut butter mixture and stir well. Press this mixture into a 13×9 inch pan.

Melt the chocolate chips in microwave or bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Pour melted chocolate over peanut butter mixture. Chill for one hour before serving.

Note: You might want to score the chocolate just as soon as it set rather than waiting until it has completely hardened

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Published on June 27, 2008

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanna June 27, 2008 at 1:15 pm

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

badger reader June 27, 2008 at 1:19 pm

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.

Joe June 27, 2008 at 1:21 pm

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.

Anna June 27, 2008 at 1:25 pm

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.

VeggieGirl June 27, 2008 at 1:27 pm

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).

Pat June 27, 2008 at 1:44 pm

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

HeartofGlass June 27, 2008 at 2:32 pm

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.

Lisa Ernst June 27, 2008 at 2:36 pm

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!

Anna June 27, 2008 at 3:12 pm

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.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/cda/recipe_print/0,1946,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.

Clumbsy Cookie June 27, 2008 at 4:28 pm

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).

bakingblonde June 27, 2008 at 4:32 pm

Oh that is too bad and they look and sound so good! I hate when that happens!

HeartofGlass June 27, 2008 at 4:49 pm

I think Crazy Richard’s is sold as Krema Peanut Butter where you are–the internet site where you can buy the Crazy Richard’s/Krema (unfortunately only in bulk–6 jars or more) is
http://www.kremaproducts.com/products.asp?dept=3

angel van June 27, 2008 at 6:56 pm

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.

Meg June 27, 2008 at 9:21 pm

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.

Lauren June 28, 2008 at 8:07 am

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!

Chris July 2, 2008 at 11:23 am

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.

Hilde October 1, 2008 at 8:28 pm

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.

MISS November 1, 2010 at 7:15 pm

I have been making these for years! I love them! nothing is too sweet for me! YUMMY!

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