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Feb 15

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars

Peanut butter cups will get me every time. #addictedtopeanutbutter

When I turned peanut butter cups into peanut butter cup cookie bars? Yeah…also #addictedtopeanutbuttercups.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars are like a peanut butter cup in bar cookie form!

Okay, so before we get into todays post and how these awesome peanut butter cup cookie bars are like She-Ra, I want to wish my mom a Happy Birthday. Today is February 15th and today my mom turns 29! Wait… 😉 Anyway, happy birthday mom, I love you!

Oh, and Mom? Sorry I didn’t give you any of these bars. I made them back in January. But your birthday cake made up for it right?

{Don’t worry, I’ll be posting that recipe soon. You’ll all be thrilled, I pinky swear.}

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars

So, how are these cookie bars like She-Ra? Remember how she used to go hold up that sword and proclaim “I AM SHE-RA!” and turn from an ordinary girl into a kick-ass chick with super powers? Then she’d fight for goodness and truth and save all the people of Etheria with the help of her horse Soft Wind that turns into a pegasus.

{Pretty much, if you’re under 30 or over 45 you have no idea what I’m talking about. Come on thirty-somethings. You know what I’m talking about, right? She-Ra, the female version of He-Man?}

Anyway, these cookie bars are like She-Ra because they’ve been transformed. A lowly peanut butter cup, akin to Princess Adora, performed some mystical magic and turned itself into a cookie bar. Get it?

No?

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars

{Seriously, you guys. Was I the only little girl obsessed with She-Ra? I have a VHS tap of Secret of the Sword in my garage. It’s too bad I no longer have a VCR.}

Alrighty, let’s talk about cookie bars. These? Are thebombdotcom. They’re the juggernaut of all cookie bars. They’re a bar that tastes like a candy. Let’s break them down:

Layer 1: A dark chocolate cookie bar. I used my Oreo cookie recipe to make the base of these bars. (That was a good decision.) If you’re not a fan of dark chocolate cocoa, or you can’t find it (I used Hershey’s Special Dark), you can use regular unsweetened cocoa.

Layer 2: Peanut butter. This layer is pretty simple: peanut butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. The sugar sweetens the peanut butter and makes it easier to spread. Use your favorite kind (y’all know I love me some Skippy Naturals!)

Layer 3: Melted chocolate and peanuts. The melted chocolate frosts the bar and the peanuts add a nice crunch. I added some Crisco to my chocolate to help it melt, but you can use vegetable oil instead. And I love Trader Joe’s Honey Roasted Peanuts but you can use whatever kind you like best!

A note on cutting: similar to when I made these peanut butter pretzel bars, and these Tagalong Bars, you don’t want to cut these bars when they’re cold. I let the chocolate harden for several hours on the counter, which worked because it’s winter. In the summer (of if your house is warm), I would need to chill them to harden the chocolate. Just make sure to let them come to room temperature before cutting or the chocolate will splinter.

Chocolate cookies, peanut butter, chocolate, and peanuts. 4 things that should always go together.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars are like a peanut butter cup in bar cookie form!

Like She-Ra and He-Man. 🙂

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars

Yield: 24 bars

Prep Time:25 minutes

Cook Time:20 minutes

Total Time:45 minutes plus cooling

Chocolate cookie bars topped with peanut butter filling and chocolate. Like a peanut butter cup in cookie bar form!

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 (11-12 ounce) bag chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet)
  • 2 teaspoons Crisco or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13” pan with foil (for easy removal) and spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and flour. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and both sugars. Mix in egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  4. Spread cookie dough in prepared pan. Bake for about 17-19 minutes until it’s no longer shiny. Cool completely before continuing.
  5. Mix peanut butter, powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla with a hand mixer until smooth. Spread over cooled cookie bars.
  6. Place chocolate chips and Crisco or oil in a medium sized bowl. Heat on high heat in the microwave for 30 second increments, stirring between each, until melted and smooth (about 1 1/2-2 minutes). Spread over peanut butter layer. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.
  7. Let harden for several hours. You can chill the bars to make the chocolate harden faster, but be sure to let them come to room temperature before cutting so that the chocolate doesn’t splinter when you cut them.
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Soft Homemade Peanut Butter Oreos

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Cookies

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Sweets from friends:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Bark by Love & Olive Oil
Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake by Inside BruCrew Life
Inside of a Peanut Butter Cup Cookies by Averie Cooks