Zero Bar Cookies

Today’s recipe is a cookie tribute to a candy bar loved by dads across the country — the Zero Bar.

Zero Bar Cookies

Or at least that’s the hasty conclusion I’ve drawn based on the fact Beth Colvin’s dad loved Zero Bars and mine did too.   So at least two dad’s like Zero Bars.

If you’ve never heard of Zero Bars, they are white chocolate coated peanut, caramel and almond nougat candy bars that come in a silver wrapper.  Back in the ’70s they were made by Leaf, but today they are a Hershey brand with what I suspect is a strong regional following.  I don’t remember seeing them when I lived in Chicago, NY or CT, but here in Austin you can find them in the checkout line at most H-E-B stores.

But for those of you who can’t find the bars anywhere, this cookie will do just fine! It’s a pretty simple cookie. The base is almost identical to the Toll House recipe, but the white chips, peanuts and almond extract make it taste completely different. The only place I’ve ever seen this recipe is The Advocate, so I’m providing a link. If you can’t get the link to work, let me know and I’ll post the recipe or email it to you.

UPDATE: Link doesn’t work, but I’ve been making these cookies for years now and this is a good version. The almond extract combined with the peanuts and white chips gives the cookies a unique flavor.

Zero Bar Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Zero Bar Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 48
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted peanuts chopped
  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and both sugars until creamy. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and beat well. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until mixed.
  2. Mix or sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir flour mixture into the butter mixture, mixing until blended.
  3. Mix in the chips and peanuts. Drip by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake in a 375 oven for 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.
  5. Yield is approximate and will vary with size.


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  1. Carrie says

    My dad loves Zero bars! He always keeps one in his glove box. I’ll have to make him these.

  2. Mary says

    Just HAVE to share my Zero bar thoughts. My family lived in Cincinnati until I was five, then we moved to Dallas … this was in the late 60’s / early 70’s. During the summer months Mom would take us kids to the YMCA pool a couple of times a week, and when we left the pool she’d let each of get a candy bar or chewing gum from the vending machine. I had never seen them before moving to Texas, but I would ALWAYS get a Zero bar. To this day, 40 years later, every time I think of or see a Zero bar I can “smell” the chlorine of the swimming pool! They’re hard to find here in the Washington D.C. area but every year my sister makes certain there’s a Zero bar slipped into my Christmas stocking 🙂

  3. says

    Mary, that’s a great story. It reminds me of a drink called Mr. Pibb which I used to drink at the pool. And yes, I can smell the chlorine when I think about Mr. Pibb. I’m glad to hear your sister is able to find them in DC, and what a sweet gesture.

  4. says

    I haven’t seen Aero bars in years. I wonder if I haven’t been paying attention or if they aren’t around anymore? I think I’d like these cookies better anyway. 🙂

  5. says

    I have never heard of these but they look good and i will make them. And thank you for the PLAIN E MAILS to send to friends who dont have all the fancy things. We older people dont have all the fancy things the young folks do, thanks again for keeping us in mind too

  6. says

    I love Zero bars and now I want one! We had these in Illinois where I grew up and I see them here in PA. I think I may have to get one when I do my grocery run this weekend. Thanks for another great cookie idea.

  7. Jennifer says

    I made these last night, subbing in walnuts for the peanuts. Everyone seems to really like them. I’m not a huge fan of white chocolate, but that’s okay. That’s partially why I chose to make them; I knew I wouldn’t be tempted to overeat them!

    One thing I didn’t think about, using roasted, salted peanuts would have upped the amount of salt, so maybe I should have sprinkled some salt on the walnuts, when I was toasting them. Nevertheless, I think they were fine with the unsalted walnut substitution.

  8. says

    Thanks for trying them!! About the salt, you are right. The salt from the peanuts definitely adds to the full effect, so if you use an unsalted nut you’ll want to increase the salt in the dough.

  9. Gary Ray says

    My youngest brother, who was 51, recently died. He really did love Zero bars. We’re having a “going away” get together on Memorial Day weekend and I’m planning to take a case or two of Zero bars to the gathering (if I can locate enough). I love you, little brother.

  10. says

    Sorry to hear about your brother. Good luck finding the Zero bars! I think you won’t have any problems.

  11. Dan Moody says

    I am soon to be 69 and Zero bars have been my favorite since I was a kid. They still are but very difficult to find in stores. I get them through
    But I like making cookies for my grand kids so am anxious to try your recipe. I currently use sugar cookie mix with almond extract and white chocolate chips so I kind of invented my own recipe. The peanuts should help perfect them. Thanks.

  12. Don says

    I LOVE Zero candy bars. They were my flavorite as a kid and I have had one about every decade since. I just found one today and it brought all the memories rushing back. I googled the Zero bar to get some history on it and ran across your recipe. I believe we will add that to our annual Christmas cookie baking list with the Snickerdoodles and Chocolate Chip. Thank you so much!!!

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