Happy October, friends! Who is ready for all the pumpkin stuff? Are we already getting into cozy mode with our lattes and scarves and layered clothing? I, for one am seriously enjoying this in-between phase of summer-meets-fall. Oppressive Alabama summers plus a pretty hefty work load as of late has found me spending all too much time indoors, and it feels so good just to be comfortable outside. At the end of last week, I met a huge deadline I’ve been working towards and spent the remainder of the weekend baking and getting ready for the change of seasons here on this site. In the coming weeks, I have a ton in store for you: praline pecan babka, an apple pie cheesecake, gingerbread bars with lemon frosting, and a few boozy cakes too, but for now, lets stay in-between seasons with these peanut butter cup bars. I think you’re going to like them.
Peanut Butter Cup Bars
Anyone else low-key obsessed with peanut butter cups? They were always a favorite of mine growing up, but over the past few years, I’ve traded newer flavors and desserts for the ones 12-year-old Kate would have really liked. These are an ode to the girl I knew 20 years ago: a crunchy, salty crust, a sweet and creamy filling, and a toothy chocolate topping that just screams “Reese’s!” These peanut butter cup bars are a terrific option for all of the peanut butter lovers in your life, and (BONUS!) they’re really simple too. Let me tell you how to make them.
Making the Bars
Making these peanut butter cup bars is a cinch. We start with the crust. Salted mini pretzels, flour, brown sugar, and butter come together to make a shortbread-esque crust. If you’ve ever made the pretzel shortbread peanut butter brownies on my site, it’s basically the same as that one. The mixture here gets pressed into the bottom of a foil-lined baking dish and baked until the filling is set.
In the meantime, we can get started on the no-bake filling! Peanut butter, softened butter, and more sugar comes together into a thick, almost malleable mixture that is highly reminiscent of that which is found in a peanut butter cup. Press that mixture onto the cooled crust and pop it into the fridge while you whip up the topping. Here, semisweet chocolate chips and butter are melted together and spread on top of the bars. Once chilled and set, slice them up and serve!
These peanut butter cup bars would be right at home at any tailgate, small gathering, or, if you’re like me, countertop Tupperware for eating at a moment’s notice. These bars bring back all the nostalgic flavors I used to indulge in, and if you even kind of like peanut butter, you’re gonna love these too. Give them a try this week and stay tuned for a second recipe at the of this week! We’ll be diving into fall, so you won’t want to miss it. Happy Sunday and Happy baking!
If you like these peanut butter cup bars you should try:
Caramel Ganache Brownies
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Crispy Millionaire Bars
Pretzel Millionaire Bars
Peanut Butter Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies
Peanut Butter Cup Bars
These peanut butter cup bars have a pretzel crust, a creamy peanut butter filling, and a chocolate shell topping!
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 60
- Yield: 16
- Category: Dessert
For the crust:
- 2 ounces salted pretzels (I like to use the mini pretzels, not the giant rods)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cold
For the filling:
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup powdered sugar
For the topping:
- ¾ cup semisweet chocolate
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
To prepare the crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8” square metal pan with a sheet of aluminum foil.
- Pulse the pretzels in a food processor or mini chopper until they are reduced to a coarse sandy mixture. You can leave a few small chunks, if desired. Pulse in the flour, brown sugar, and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until small clumps come together. Pat the mixture out into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven until the shortbread is soft but slightly set, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool briefly while you prepare the filling.
To prepare the filling:
- Combine all of the filling ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix with a hand mixer until completely smooth. Spread onto the shortbread into an even flat layer and pop in the fridge while you make the topping.
To prepare the topping:
- In a double boiler or a medium microwavable bowl, combine the chocolate and butter and heat gently into 20 second increments until melted and smooth. Spread the topping over top of the peanut butter filing and allow to chill till firm. Slice once firm and enjoy!
10 thoughts on “Peanut Butter Cup Bars”
Love all the layers on this one! PB and. chocolate are the best combo ever!
I tried the recipe but followed your shortbread crust recipe from the Millionaire Bars recipe. After chilling it before serving, I noticed that the peanut butter layer separates from the crust. Is there a workaround for it? Like lessen the powdered sugar to make it fudgier?
ooo…. great question. I actually had this problem when testing different crusts for the recipe which is why I ended up where I did. Maybe skip the refrigeration?
Thank you! Will try that. But all in all, I super love this recipe!
oooh what a recipe! I tried it yesterday and it makes for a great snack. I made them in muffin tins with liner. I heated my peanut butter mixer in the microwave at 25 second intervals to make it more spreadable, and I didn’t chill my finished pretzel peanut butter cup in the refrigerator so the chocolate is firm but still has a softness to it. The contrasting textures between the pretzel shortbread, peanut butter mixture, and the soft chocolate is fantastic! Recommend.
hooray! I’m thrilled to hear this!
Only 2 ounces of pretzels? That doesn’t seem like enough. Sounds like a delicious fall treat though!
Yep! I hope you give them a try! 🙂
looking very tasty, very curious about taste.
like a pretzel peanut butter cup! 🙂