Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

Tested & Perfected Recipes

With a chocolate cookie crust, peanut butter filling, and milk chocolate topping, these chocolate peanut butter squares are impossible to resist.

Chocolate peanut butter squares

When it comes to sweets, I’ve learned that you cannot make people much happier than when you combine chocolate and peanut butter. In fact, I don’t know anyone who can resist these indulgent chocolate peanut butter squares. With a chocolate cookie crust, rich and creamy peanut butter layer, and smooth-as-silk milk chocolate topping, they are simply to die for.

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How to make chocolate peanut butter squares

You start with the crust: simply combine Nabisco chocolate wafers (which you can find in the cookie aisle at most grocery stores), butter, sugar and a bit of peanut butter in a food processor and blitz to blend. Press the fine crumbs into a pan and bake.

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Next, make the peanut butter filling by combining peanut butter, butter, confectioners’ sugar, dark brown sugar and salt in a mixer.

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Melt the chocolate and cream gently in the microwave. When working with chocolate, always go easy on the heat so it doesn’t scorch.

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Finally, put it all together: spread a thin layer of chocolate over the cooled crust (this “glues” the peanut butter layer to the crust, otherwise it won’t stick); spread the peanut butter mixture into an even layer over top; then cover with the remaining chocolate.

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That’s all there is to it! These bars freeze beautifully so you can make them well in advance; simply defrost them in the refrigerator the day before you plan to serve them.

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Be sure to cut them into small fudge-like squares…they’re very rich. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

With a chocolate cookie crust, peanut butter filling, and milk chocolate topping, these chocolate peanut butter squares are impossible to resist.

Servings: 25 small squares

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 22 Nabisco Chocolate Wafers, finely crushed (or about 1-2/3 cups crumbs), from 1 box
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter (I like Skippy Natural "No Need to Stir")

For the Filling

  • 6 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups Confectioners' sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/3 cups creamy peanut butter
  • Pinch salt

For the Milk Chocolate Ganache Topping

  • 1 (11.5 ounce bag) milk chocolate chips (preferably Ghirardelli or similar quality)
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and spray a 9-inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Make the crust: Combine the chocolate wafers, sugar, butter and peanut butter in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse until the cookies are finely crushed. Press the mixture firmly into the prepared baking pan (I spread it with my hands first, then use the bottom of a measuring cup to even it out). Bake for 8 minutes. Set on a rack to cool completely.
  3. In the meantime, make the peanut butter filling: Combine all of the filling ingredients together in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix at low speed until just combined (do not whip). Set the bowl in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest.
  4. Make the chocolate ganache topping: Combine the milk chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl and cook in the microwave at medium power (50%) for 1 minute. Stir until the bowl no longer feels warm. Continue heating at 15-30 second intervals, stirring until chocolate is smooth and melted. Do not overheat.
  5. Put it all together: Spread about ¼ cup of the chocolate mixture evenly over the cooled crust; place the pan in the freezer until the chocolate is set, 5-10 minutes. Spread the peanut butter mixture into even layer over the chocolate (if it's firm, you can use your hands; if it's soft, use a butter knife or an offset spatula). Give the chocolate ganache a quick stir to smooth any lumps, then spread it evenly over top of the peanut butter layer. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 1 hour to set (or, if you're not in a hurry, you can just leave it in the refrigerator for a few hours). When firm, use a sharp knife to cut into squares (make them small as they are very rich!). Run an offset spatula underneath the bars to release the crust so it doesn't crumble. Keep refrigerated and serve cool.
  6. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: These can be frozen tightly covered for up to 3 months. Let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

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Reviews & Comments

  • I used a different chocolate wafer, as my store didn’t have the Nabisco ones, and the crust disintegrated. For those of you who used Oreos, do you scrape off the cream or just grind up the whole cookie?

    • — Shilpa on July 10, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Shilpa, Sorry you had a problem with the crust. If you use Oreos, I’d scrape the filling out.

      • — Jenn on July 12, 2021
      • Reply
  • This was the first recipe from this site I have tried.
    I followed the recipe. The crust just crumbled when I lifted them out of the pan. It made serving difficult. The taste was just okay. No one really liked them. Nothing lingers around this house, but these did. I won’t be making them again.

    • — Dee on May 20, 2021
    • Reply
  • Wow! These are stellar! My daughter described them as like Reese’s cups but way better!

    • — JoAnn on May 7, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made these squares as part of my Christmas bakefest. Very yummy. Followed the recipe and turned out perfectly! Caution- hard to stop eating! Ate more than I will own up to. 😋

    • — Ginette on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • Taste like a reeses cup meets cheesecake…
    I love anything peanut butter and chocolate!
    This was so satisfying and not hard to make.

    Thanks for another great recipe

    • — Coco on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Question: My ganache was very greasy. I used fresh cream and the recommended Ghirardelli chips, so that shouldn’t have been a problem. I wonder if heating the cream first and pouring it over the chocolate chips would have worked better.

    Suggestion: After reading the comments about the filling being grainy, I played with the procedure a little bit. First, I sifted the confectioners sugar. Second, I started with my stand mixer on the lowest setting (Stir), so the sugar wouldn’t fly everywhere. Once the peanut butter mixture was combined, I raised the setting to #2, still a low setting, and mixed for around a minute then scraped the bowl and the paddle. I mixed it again on #2 for another 30 seconds to 1 minute and the filling was smooth.

    • — Linda G. on November 15, 2020
    • Reply
  • Made these using UK metric conversion… DE-LISH! I used Oreo biscuits instead of the wafers suggested and everyone raved about them! Making more tonight!

    • — Joanne on August 12, 2020
    • Reply
  • These were delicious but I had a problem with the crust not adhering to the filling. After looking at you pictures, I think my ganache was too thick. No matter, they still tasted delicious and even though there was not a nice layer of crust like yours, there was still some there to get the crunch!

    • — Diane on June 6, 2020
    • Reply
  • I just made these, the bottom layer of ganache did not stick to the cookie layer!!! The rest is so smooth and creamy and tastes amazing. Not too sure what I did wrong. Any ideas?

    • — Nicole on December 1, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Nicole, Sorry you had an issue with these. Did you make any adjustments to the recipe?

      • — Jenn on December 2, 2019
      • Reply
      • The only thing I did was make a double recipe, do you think that is the issue?

        • — Nicole on December 14, 2019
        • Reply
        • Hmmm – this is a bit of a head-scratcher as I’m not sure why the ganache wouldn’t stick to the crust. While doubling the recipe really should not have an impact, did you use two 9-inch baking pans?

          • — Jenn on December 16, 2019
          • Reply
  • I had the same experience as Nancy. I used the updated recipe with the PB added to the crust.
    I invested $8 for the Nabisco wafers and the Ghirardelli chips but had to throw the whole pan out because the crust was too crumbly and the PB filling was also–nothing held together. I did use Adams Natural Peanut Butter which is just peanuts, peanut oil and salt. I worried it would make the PB layer too oily, but not so at all. I used confectioners sugar; it seemed like the 2 cup quantity of sugar was just too much. Very disappointed.

    • — Jennifer Olson on November 24, 2019
    • Reply
  • wonderful recipe, made it for friends…they raved about this dessert!

  • Yummy! These are a new favourite. Was great to add to the holiday dessert tray and I will definitely make these again soon. I love the slight crunchiness of the cookie crust bottom contrasting with the smooth and so delicious chocolate ganache topping. The peanut butter filling is perfect – not cloyingly sweet like the candy bar, but just right!

    • — Sandra H, Winnipeg,
    • Reply
  • When my husband gets to choose the dessert he almost always wants something with peanut butter. I found this recipe and read the reviews( I always do my research). This recipe turned out great! If you even remotely enjoy peanut butter cups you will love these bars…. they are the adult version of the popular candy! This site is quickly becoming one of my favorite resources!

  • Hi Jenn, I made this and they turned out pretty well! My only problem is that the sugar didn’t really dissolve in the peanut butter mix, so get this crunch crunch from the sugar crystals when eating it.. Do you have any suggestions for how to minimise that? Or is that just how this turns out?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Francisco, Did you use confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar) or granulated sugar for the filling?

      • Thanks for the reply Jenn!

        I used icing sugar (I think that’s the Australian term for confectioner’s sugar!). The very white, powdery type

        • — Francisco Sadras
        • Reply
        • Hmmm… that’s a head-scratcher, Francisco – the filling definitely shouldn’t be grainy as confectioners’ sugar isn’t grainy at all. Is there any chance that the texture you are referring to may have come from the crust (as that has a bit more texture)?

          • No worries, they were still delicious!

            • — Francisco
    • I had the same problem. I did use confectioners sugar but the recipe also called for 6 tablespoons of brown sugar. When I tasted the filling to be sure it was okay, the brown sugar was very crunchy. I was hoping that it would dissolve when refrigerated, but it didn’t. By the way, I made gluten free chocolate cookies to use in place of the store brand, and that was perfect. I used a King Arthur recipe but with King Arthur Measure for Measure gf flour, and they came out perfectly, in case anyone wants to make a gluten free version. Just not sure about the brown sugar issue though. I’m hoping people won’t notice. 🙂

      • — Alene on December 31, 2019
      • Reply
      • Hi Alene, I haven’t had this problem before but because you pack the brown sugar when measuring it, you may want to take a fork after you add it to the mixing bowl (before turning on the mixer) and break up the little clumps a bit. Hope people enjoyed them despite the sugary crunch!

        • — Jenn on January 2, 2020
        • Reply
  • Could these be frozen to keep longer?

    • Definitely – they freeze beautifully!

  • Made these for the Bachelor finale and they were a huge hit!

  • These are delicious – almost as delicious as your peanut butter torte! My crust was a little crumbly – I’m wondering if melting the butter – like in the torte – would keep the crust together more

    • — Julia Lopresti
    • Reply
    • Hi Julia, Melting the butter wouldn’t make a difference. If you’re a fan of the peanut butter pie, you could get away with using that crust here.

  • I rate these 5 stars. They are so yummy. My family loved them. I wouldn’t change a thing. Perfect as is.

  • THIS RECIPE IS DELICIOUS, AS ARE ALL OF YOUR RECIPES. HAVING SAID THAT, IT IS NOT A RECIPE FOR THE NON EXPERIENCED COOK. I BAKE A LOT, AND THIS WAS NOT A EASY RECIPE TO ASSEMBLE. IT TAKES BOTH SKILL AND TIME, BUT WAS DELICIOUS.

    • Hmmmm………I am not a baker, but I am a cook, so this makes me nervous since I don’t like to measure things (hence the reason I am not a baker!). I pretty much eye-ball my measurements and my food turns out (I have been cooking for a lot of years), but if this is for a ‘seasoned baker’ any hints since my family all loves peanut butter.

      • Hi, Maybe Peggy will weigh in too, but my suggestions would be just to read the recipe in its entirety before getting started and to measure the ingredients carefully (which is more important when it comes to baking). Hope you enjoy if you try them!

  • These bars are amazing! I only wish I had read the recipe more thoroughly because they do take longer to make than I had anticipated. They are definitely worth the wait though!

    • And I had to bake gluten free cookies first, and that made it twice as long to make, when it was already long enough to make!

      • — Alene on December 31, 2019
      • Reply
  • rich smooth combo of chocolate and peanut butter. Decadent. I could not find chocolate wafer cookies but I used oreo thin cookies(chocolate) and they worked very well. Another winner.

  • Hi Jen! Love your site and your recipes as do all my guests and especially my husband!! Was thinking of bringing this neat sounding one for a crowd on Mother’s Day. Can I double it and put it in a 9×13 or 15×10? Thanks again for all you do!

    • Glad you like the recipes, Diane! These can definitely be doubled, but I think you’ll get better results with two 9-inch square pans. Hope everyone enjoys!

  • My son is in the army and I’d like to bake and send these. How do you think they would be to package and send? What are your suggestions? Ty so much.

    • — Marlene Pezzuti
    • Reply
    • I’m sure he loves receiving care packages from home! Unfortunately, I don’t think these will travel well as they should really be refrigerated after made. Perhaps you’d want to try these granola bars or rice krispies treats? They both travel nicely.

  • After tasting these bars my husband is now saying that Jennifer is a genius! So, hubby, the young, gorgeous chef is sooo clever? 🙁 I made these bars in around ten minutes without a food processor and ‘she’ is the genius! You know what, just between you and me, I think she’s a genius too, because even though I made them super quick by hand I definitely could not have perfected the ingredients and their measurements without Jenn. Bottom line, mouthwatering, memorable, magnificent chocolate peanut butter bars! 🙂

    • Tell your hubby thanks ;)!

  • These are wonderfully decadent little bites!! I did change the way the cookie base was made. I used Mascarpone as I wanted a little less crumble in the crust (I also like the mouth feel and the taste against the sweetness.)

    • — Sandra Roberts
    • Reply
  • Scrumptious and easy to make. My daughters favorite dessert. We decorate them with a mini chocolate peanut butter cup.

  • Oh man, these are soooo good! I made these for the holidays and they were gone before anything else. Love this recipe.

  • For the past 4 years, these have been my favorite treat to share at the holidays. I make 2 double batches and cut into very small squares, put in pretty boxes and give to my work colleagues as holiday gifts. They get rave reviews each year!

  • replacement for a mixer

    • Hi Randi, It may take a little “elbow grease” but I think you could mix those ingredients together by hand.

  • You definitely need to cut these bars into small bite-size pieces because they are SO rich. I couldn’t find the Nabisco chocolate wafers, so I just used Oreo Thins and the crust was just a little crumbly, but not too bad. I think if I make these again, I will leave the sugar out of the crust – it was a bit too sweet, but maybe that was because of the Oreos. I also think I’ll make the top chocolate layer a little thinner – it was just too much for me. I found them easier to cut after letting them sit out on the counter for an hour or so. Overall, great indulgent recipe!

  • Can I use semi-sweet chocolate instead of milk chocolate?

    • Yes Stacy, I think that would work. I’d love to know how it turns out!

  • Absolutely delicious, they are extremely rich so I’d cut into 3/4 bite sized pieces. Everyone loved them

  • Sadly these did not turn out well. The filling was too dry and the base too crumbly. Not sure what happened but followed directions. I think for the cost and effort they were not worth making.

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