Thick, chewy, and so easy to make, these peanut butter cookie bars should be on every peanut butter lover’s baking list!
Ugh. You guys, I’m getting over a cold and I just don’t feel like doing anything right now. Including trying to write something eloquent about my love for peanut butter. And my love for cookies. And my love for easy desserts.
So please excuse today’s post. I don’t love it.
But I do love these peanut butter cookie bars! They’re so EASY to make—even when you’re hacking up a lung and OD-ing on Cepacol—and they’re chock full of peanut butter (and peanut butter cups!).
Why you’ll love these peanut butter cookie bars
- Like I said above, they’re super easy to make
- They use pantry staples so you probably won’t need to make a special grocery trip
- They’re customizable! Use roasted salted peanuts, chocolate chips, banana chips—whatever you want in place of the peanut butter cups
How to Make Peanut Butter Cookie Bars
Combine peanut butter, room temperature unsalted butter, and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Baker’s tip: if your butter is cold (like, if it’s right out of the fridge), cut it into small chunks and it will come up to room temperature much faster. You’ll know the butter is ready to use when you can press it with your fingertip and it gives a bit but still holds its shape.
The butter needs to be at room temperature both so the ingredients mix properly and so the cookie bars bake evenly.
Cream the pb, butter, and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, as shown in the first pic above. Beat in an egg, some whole milk, vanilla, baking soda, and salt until it’s well combined (like in the second pic above). Stop every now and then to scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Beat in flour on low speed until it’s just combined—you don’t want to see large streaks of flour in the dough.
Use a rubber spatula to fold in chopped peanut butter cups (or another mix-in of your choosing). Press the dough into a foil-lined baking pan and bake about 20 minutes, until the edges of the bars are puffed and golden.
Cool the peanut butter cookie bars completely before slicing and serving.
And dessert is ready! I’d tell you these peanut butter cookie bars beg to be served alongside a glass of milk but that’s frowned upon when one has a cold right? So we’ll just say coffee. (That’s really my preferred beverage anyway.)
Make yourself a batch of cookie bars and a big ol’ cup of coffee today. You won’t be sorry!
Did you make these peanut butter cookie bars? Let me know what you think with a comment and a rating below! And post a pic over on Instagram too. Tag @theitsybitsykitchen so I can see (and share!) your creations!
Thick, chewy, and peanut buttery, these peanut butter cookie bars are pb-lover's dream!
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter don’t use natural
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature*
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped peanut butter cups** optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Line with foil, allowing several inches of excess to hang over the sides. Spray the foil with cooking spray and set pan aside.
Cream the peanut butter, butter, and sugar together in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, milk, vanilla, baking soda, and salt.
Turn mixer to low and beat into the flour until just combined. Fold in the peanut butter cups with a rubber spatula
Press into an even layer in the prepared pan and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until puffed and golden around the edges.
Remove from the oven set pan on a wire rack to cool room temperature. Once the bars have cooled, use the foil to remove the bars from the pan, then slice and serve.
Uneaten cookie bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temp for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- *If your butter is cold, cut it into small chunks and it will come up to room temperature much faster. You’ll know the butter is ready to use when you can press it with your fingertip and it gives a bit but still holds its shape.
- **If you don’t want to use peanut butter cups you can substitute chocolate chips, roasted salted peanuts, coarsely chopped banana chips, or whatever mix-ins you like.