Unbaked Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

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Unbaked Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars are SO easy to make! This recipe is made with 7 ingredients and is ready in 15 minutes!

These unbaked chocolate peanut butter bars are my husband's favorite Christmas cookies, and they're great for me, too (along with these soft peanut butter cookies and these cut sugar cookies)!

They taste like a cup of peanut butter but are MUCH easier to make! No cupcake toppers or freeze between layers required for this unbaked chocolate peanut butter stick recipe!

Just mix and discharge, then melt and spread. That's! These unbaked chocolate peanut butter bars will be the star of your Christmas cookie tray, and they come together in just 15 minutes with 7 ingredients!

My husband calls these turtle necks. I have no idea why or where that came from, and neither does he! So I renamed them {to something that makes sense hahaha} and now here we are. 😉

I make this recipe for Unbaked Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars at least twice during the month of December, but the fun doesn't stop there! We love these unbaked peanut butter bars so much we make them year-round!

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How do you make peanut butter bars with chocolate without baking?

The instructions are really simple and very direct, and all the work is done on these bars in less than 5 minutes! The hardest part is having patience and waiting for the chocolate / peanut butter coating to harden!

Step 1: make the peanut butter layer

The base of these chocolate peanut butter bars is made with 6 ingredients, and it combines super fast. I recommend using a stand mixer or a hand mixer (used in these photos) to ensure a smooth and creamy base coat!

To make the peanut butter stick layer, start with creamy peanut butter and softened butter (or coconut oil or vegan butter for a dairy-free option).

Using a mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter until smooth.

Once the butter and peanut butter are completely combined, add the vanilla and sea salt (optional ingredient depending on the salinity of the peanut butter you use).

Beat again with the mixer, starting at low speed and increasing to medium-high until the ingredients combine.

Then add powdered sugar. If you want to try a refined sugar-free option, you can make your own homemade paleo sugar by following this recipe!

Add the graham cracker crumbs.

How are homemade graham cracker crumbs made?

To make your own Graham cracker crumbs, place the desired amount of Graham crackers in the container of your food processor equipped with an "S" blade. Process until Graham crackers reach a fine, flour-like consistency.

For this recipe for Unbaked Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars, you will need 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs, which equals about 8 whole grains (one full cookie is a “sheet” with four marked cookies).

Once you have added the dry ingredients, beat the mixture again starting at the lowest speed possible. If you use a stand mixer with a deep bowl, you shouldn't be overly concerned with powdered sugar / crumb graham cracker splashes.

Once the mixture is not so powdery, you can increase the speed and beat until everything is well combined.

The peanut butter stick mix will look crumbly but will stick when squeezed or pressed as shown below.

NOTE: If your peanut butter mixture is too moist, add up to 1/4 more cup of graham cracker crumbs and / or powdered sugar until it reaches the correct consistency (as seen in the video). This happens to me if I use natural peanut butter

At this point, transfer the layer of peanut butter stick to a lightly oiled pan lined with parchment paper. Parchment paper (or aluminum foil if you prefer) will ensure easy removal once the bars have cooled!

To align the tray, I trace the bottom of the tray onto the parchment paper, adding "handles" to the opposite sides (like this = ▢ =). Then I use the handles to scoop the unbaked chocolate peanut butter sticks out of the pan after they've cooled.

Once the mixture is in the pan, press down with your hands or a greased spatula.

It is important to make sure there are no holes / cracks in the peanut butter layer of these unbaked Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars so that the chocolate topping does not leak!

Set the skillet aside as you go to the next step, but keep the bars at room temperature so the chocolate sticks well to the mix!

Step 2: prepare the chocolate peanut butter topping

The next step in making this unbaked Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars recipe is to make the Chocolate Peanut Butter Topping!

How does peanut butter and chocolate melt?

There are two ways to do this.

  1. In the microwave Place the chocolate and peanut butter on a microwave-safe plate. Heat for 60 seconds in the microwave, then stir. Stir for about 15 seconds to see if you can melt and soften all of the chocolate chips. If not, return to the microwave for 30-second increments, stirring after each, until everything melts and combines.
  2. On the stove. Alternatively, you can place the chocolate and peanut butter on the stove and heat over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth and shiny.

Generally, I choose to use the microwave method because it is very quick and easy.

Then pour the melted chocolate and peanut butter mixture over the base of the peanut butter stick.

Smooth it with a spatula until it is evenly distributed. Then place the pan of unbaked chocolate peanut butter sticks in the refrigerator to set.

Accelerating the cooling process:

Cooling can be easily accelerated by tossing the unbaked Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars in the freezer. Note: If you decide to speed up the hardening process, just be sure to cut the cookies into bars before the chocolate fully hardens and becomes brittle!

Step 3: Cut the bars and serve!

Use a sharp knife to cut these unbaked chocolate peanut butter sticks into 9 or 16 squares, depending on how big you want them. For the sake of these photos, I cut them into 9 bars, but when I make them for a crowd I always cut them into 16 squares.

To ensure a clean and even cut, soak the knife in boiling water and wipe it with a paper towel between each cut.

Double this recipe for unbaked chocolate peanut butter bars for a crowd!

Are you already running to your kitchen to make these peanut butter bars without baking? 😉 Another great thing about this recipe… you can easily fold it up and make it in a 9 × 13 ″ skillet to feed a larger crowd!

Make peanut butter and chocolate balls!

Another fun adaptation to this recipe is turning them into peanut butter chocolate balls! Just roll the peanut butter filling into balls and put it in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Then dip them in the melted chocolate peanut butter mixture, place them on wax paper, sprinkle with a little sea salt or sprinkle and put them back in the freezer to harden them! Super easy and fun to serve at Christmas parties! 😉

Unbaked Peanut Butter Cup Bars – Ingredients / Substitutions

Let's talk a little bit about the ingredients used in this peanut butter stick recipe and possible substitutions!

  • Butter: You can substitute coconut oil or vegan butter (Earth Balance) for butter if you need a dairy-free option! Just make sure what you use softens at room temperature.
  • Peanut butter: Make sure it's creamy and not too runny. I prefer a natural variety without agitation so that the bars hold better as they reach room temperature. If you choose to use a more liquid peanut butter, you'll need to serve these cold, unbaked chocolate peanut butter bars or add more powdered sugar or graham cracker crumbs to keep them well at room temperature.
  • Powdered sugar: If you're trying to avoid refined sugar, make this easy Paleo powdered sugar and use it as a substitute.
  • Graham Cracker Crumbs: I just put some graham in my Vitamix or food processor and mix them. If you have any dietary restrictions, I recommend using Schar grams of honey without gluten.
  • Chocolate chips: Our favorite chocolate is a semi-sweet variety. However, I have used milk chocolate, dark chocolate and even white chocolate (only real things made with real cocoa butter please!) With excellent results!

Unbaked Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Unbaked Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars are SO easy to make! This recipe is made with 7 ingredients and is ready in 15 minutes! Plus, they can go vegan (dairy-free) or gluten-free! Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooling time 20 minutes Total time: 30 minutes Servings: 16 bars Calories: 192.6kcal

Ingredients

Peanut butter base:

  • ¼ cup butter, softened (or coconut oil or vegan butter)
  • 1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs *
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon of sea salt

Chocolate cover:

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon of creamy peanut butter

Instructions

  • Lightly grease or line a 9 × 9 ”or 8 × 8 ″ baking sheet with parchment paper. Book aside. **
  • In large bowl, mix powdered sugar, whole-grain cookie crumbs, and salt, set aside.
  • In a mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter until creamy. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
  • Add dry ingredients and beat until combined.
  • Pour into the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly with a greased spatula or with your hands.
  • Melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter in the microwave or on the stove, stir until completely combined and smooth. (If you use the microwave, start by heating them for 60 seconds and shaking them, and then if they still need to melt in 30-second increments after that, stirring after each one.)
  • Pour the chocolate peanut butter mixture over the peanut butter base and spread until evenly distributed.
  • Let cool in the fridge for about 20 minutes or until the chocolate is slightly hardened. Remove before the chocolate is completely hardened and cut into squares. Return to the refrigerator until completely cold.
  • Serve cold or at room temperature!

Notes

* These are my favorite gluten free graham crackers! ** This recipe easily doubles to fit in a 9 × 13 "baking pan. *** You can roll them into balls and dip them in chocolate. Just chill the PB filling, roll into balls, freeze, dip in chocolate, place on wax paper to harden. You may need more chocolate if you choose to do this. NOTE: If your peanut butter mixture is too moist, add up to 1/4 more cup of graham cracker crumbs and / or powdered sugar until it reaches the correct consistency (as seen in the video). This happens to me if I use natural peanut butter.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories :: 192.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.8g | Protein: 5.4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3.3g | Polyunsaturated fats: 2.8g | Monounsaturated fat: 4.5g | Sodium: 80mg | Potassium: 0.6mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9.5g | Iron: 0.2mg

More of our favorite cookie recipes!

  • The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookie(Over five hundred 5-star reviews don't lie!)
  • You have to do these Oatmeal Cookies – Again, they are the best seriously!
  • BEST cut sugar cookies
  • Classic soft peanut butter cookies
  • Classic Snickerdoodles!
  • Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies
  • Flourless Peanut Butter Flowers
  • Candy Filled Cookie Bars
  • Baked Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
  • These Peanut Butter Flower Cookies They are my favorite Christmas cookies!

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