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