Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

by Jen on July 17, 2013

Behold peanut butter and chocolate greatness.

pbcc bars stacked

I have been making these peanut butter chocolate chip bars for three years. I have sent them to blog readers, baked them for parties, taken them to co-workers and even brought them to yoga as a treat for my students on multiple occasions. I have never received a single complaint about these bars. They seem to always disappear quickly! I first blogged about this recipe on my old food blog years ago but I wanted to resurrect it and bring it to new light over here on Peanut Butter Runner after I baked the bars again last weekend and was reminded how amazing they are!

pbcc bar batter

They are simple to put together and require a relatively small ingredient list of things I always seem to have on hand.

pbcc bars pan

The original recipe is made in an 8 inch square pan but can easily be doubled and baked in a 9 x 13 if you’re baking for a crowd. The baking time tends to vary quite a bit depending on your oven and the size pan you use but I always recommend beginning to check them early and then every five minutes after.

peanut butter chocolate chip bars

You definitely want to avoid overbaking these bars because the thing about them is their soft and gooey chocolately peanut butter center. I always make these with natural peanut butter instead of like a Jif or Peter Pan and I think the oil in the natural peanut butter further helps with the texture. Also, over the years I’ve transitioned to making these with sea salt instead of regular salt because the salty/sweet combo plays so well. They’re even great with an extra sprinkle of sea salt over the top before popping them in the oven to bake.

You can get creative with the batter mix-ins. I can only imagine that peanuts, mini Reeses, white chocolate, etc. would be delicious in this recipe. I also highly recommend serving them warm with a scoop of ice cream on top!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars
(Recipe source Bake at 350)

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup natural peanut butter, salted or unsalted (I prefer Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods chunky salted)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4-1/2 teaspoon sea salt (might want to add a bit more if using unsalted peanut butter)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease an 8 x 8 pan. Lately I prefer to line my baking pans with foil or parchment rather than greasing for easy clean up and removal from pan. (Note that recipe can easily be doubled for a 13×9 but increase baking time.)

Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream butter and peanut butter together on medium speed until smooth. Beat in the sugars until mixture is lightened in color and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition and then add vanilla. Reduce mixer to low speed and slowly add in the flour mixture. Add the chocolate chips, stirring until combined.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30-35 minutes. Remember, you might need additional baking time so just keep checking. Cool completely before cutting.

Yield: about 20-25 small squares

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Patti Smith July 18, 2013 at 12:11 am

If I made these, I would probably eat the entire pan! I think I’ll pin this recipe for a special occasion though :) Yummy!!

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2 Jen July 18, 2013 at 4:57 pm

make them, keep a couple at home and share the rest! everyone will love you for it! :)

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3 Lisa July 18, 2013 at 12:16 am

Oh my gosh. These look so amazing.
I don’t think I could hold myself back with this type of bar. It’s weird because I’m not a chocolate chip cookie fan – but give my a bar and I’m all over them. I guess it’s just the texture difference that gets me.

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4 Jen July 18, 2013 at 5:38 pm

there is a huge difference in texture between cookies and bars. i love both but especially gooey slightly underbaked bars!

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5 hillary | nutrition nut on the run July 18, 2013 at 12:20 am

YUMM-O! Great lighting with the photos as well. Love a simple recipe. You can never go wrong with chocolate and pb.

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6 Jen July 18, 2013 at 5:40 pm

thanks for the photography compliment! :)

and it’s the best combo ever!

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7 shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com July 18, 2013 at 6:58 am

Is there a better combination than peanut butter and chocolate? These bars look AMAZING! I am gonna have to try this recipe!
Thanks for sharing :)

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8 Jen July 18, 2013 at 5:41 pm

best combo ever!

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9 Tracy July 18, 2013 at 7:04 am

I’ve been making these ever since you posted on Bakin’ and Eggs too! I actually made them for the 4th of July and then for a dinner party last week. I thought of you!! They’re awesome. xo

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10 Jen July 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm

oh yay! glad they’ve become a regular for you. so easy and so good!

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11 carly @howdairyyou July 18, 2013 at 8:15 am

those look amazing! i’d like to try this recipe with a few vegan substitutions…. thanks for the inspiration! have a great day!

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12 Jen July 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm

report back if you do and let me know what subs you use!

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13 Amelia July 18, 2013 at 8:39 am

Yum! I make a similar bar, subbing part of the flour for peanut flour, adding a few tablespoons of dutch process cocoa, then finishing with fleur de sel before baking. They end up being a double chocolate pb bar. PB + Choc= <3

Btw, you last post had me thinking about tv shows in general. Have you ever seen the ABC show Rookie Blue? I swear you look just like the lead actress Melissa Peregrym. Seriously, you could be related.

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14 Jen July 18, 2013 at 5:43 pm

omg, your bar combo sounds insanely good!!!!! love the PB flour idea.

i’m gonna check out that actress.

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15 Katie @ running4cupcakes July 18, 2013 at 9:07 am

I love the addition of sea salt to baking – so so so good! And anything with pb and chocolate is a perfect pairing in my book. And such a simple list of ingredients. Thanks for sharing. I love when you share things from your previous blog. :)

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16 Jen July 18, 2013 at 9:10 am

i’m slowly trying to remake and share my favorite recipes from that blog so i can lay it to rest! :)

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17 Lauren K July 18, 2013 at 9:41 am

Yay, I am so excited to have this recipe now and will most likely make them this weekend! Probably my favorite dessert (with ice cream on top)! xo

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18 Jen July 18, 2013 at 5:44 pm

yes, the ice cream is crucial! and warm them up a bit before you put it on there! :) :) :)

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19 Christina July 18, 2013 at 9:43 am

Hi Jen! I’ve made tons of the recipes from Bakin and Eggs, but this is probably my favorite! I’ve made it quite a few times. I find that it takes almost an hour for these to bake in my oven, but that may just be my oven :) If you ever decide to retire Bakin and Eggs, please let us know so I can print out my favorite recipes!!!

Oh and a fun fact for you: The very first time I ever tried these peanut butter bars, YOU actually made them for me! I won a giveaway from you once (a Lululemon tank) and you sent the tank along with the peanut butter bars. I’ve been making them ever since – and I wear the tank all the time :)

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20 Jen July 18, 2013 at 5:44 pm

that is a fun fact! that was so long ago. love it! :)

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21 Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona July 18, 2013 at 10:29 am

These look so good! I’m definitely going to have to make them soon.

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22 Katherine July 18, 2013 at 5:08 pm

these look devishly good!!!!

http://therealfoodrunner.blogspot.com

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23 Bonnie July 19, 2013 at 10:03 am

YUM! I’m bringing dessert to a friend’s house tonight and I think I’ll make these!

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24 Erika July 19, 2013 at 11:33 am

Oh these look so perfect!! So good to hear you use natural peanut butter in these–whenever I read recipes that specifically recommend Jif or whatever, I get a little wary. I only eat natural peanut butter, so I’d prefer to bake with it too…

Anyway, I need to give these a try when I’m feeling indulgent! Gorgeous photos!

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25 julie July 21, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Made these last night – SO WONDERFUL!! Although I didn’t get quite as many squares cut as you did! hee hee :)

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