If there’s one thing that has the potential to be better than cookies, it is cookie bars. These delicious snacks are just like old-fashioned peanut butter cookies but in a bar. Here’s how to make these tasty Peanut Butter Cookie Bars in less than 30 minutes.
Peanut butter pan cookies have the same basic ingredients as the cookies we all love. But by making them into bars, you have a perfect traybake-style snack. Chop into squares and hand out as the kids come home from school, take to the bake sale, or pop in the lunchbox.
Why make cookie bars instead of cookies?
I love cookies and we make them all the time. But sometimes it is nice to have a change. Making cookie bars means you get all the tastiness of the cookie but in a bigger portion!
Plus it is a little more practical for those lunchboxes. You can cut the bars into square or rectangular pieces and they fit perfectly into a lunchbox or storage container to take to school or work.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Peanut butter, creamy or chunky
- Salted butter
- Granulated white sugar
- Brown sugar
- Large egg
- Vanilla extract
If you are a chocolate fan, you can also add 1.5 to 2 cups worth of chocolate chips or chunks to the recipe to make peanut butter chocolate chip bar cookies.
How to make Peanut Butter Cookie Bars
- Preheat an oven to 350°F and prepare a 9×13 baking sheet with a non-stick baking spray.
- Mix the flour and baking soda in a small bowl.
- Cream the peanut butter with the softened butter and sugars then add the egg and vanilla. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Add the flour mix into the wet mix and stir until combined.
- Press the mixture into the baking pan and sprinkle with some white sugar if you like.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes until the center is no longer wet looking.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a while before slicing and serving.
It’s easy to add those decorative slashes across the top of the bars. You can use a pastry cutter or just a fork and use it to make the marks in the mixture once it is in the baking pan but before cooking.
Watch the cooking time of these peanut butter bar cookies as each oven cooks a little differently. If you find your oven runs hot, check them at around 18 minutes. My oven is normally perfect at 20 minutes but might take a little longer.
Can you use natural peanut butter?
I’ll be honest, I’ve always found that natural peanut butter doesn’t work as well in this kind of recipe. The creamy or chunky peanut butter products you find at the supermarket have a smoother consistency that works better when mixing with other ingredients. But if you try and it works, let me know!
Can you freeze peanut butter cookie dough?
If you are into batching your recipes or like to have an emergency stash of cookie dough, the good news is that you can freeze the uncooked dough. Make the recipe to the point of putting it into the baking tray but instead, pop on a parchment paper coated tray.
Pop the dough in the freezer until frozen then put the frozen chunks into a freezer bag. Keep it there for up to three months and defrost thoroughly before giving a good stir and adding to the baking tray to cook.
MORE AMAZING RECIPES WITH PEANUT BUTTER
- Peanut Butter Pie
- Salted Peanut Marshmallow Bars – Payday Cake
- Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
- Easy Homemade Granola Bars
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Peanut Butter Cookie Bars
- Preheat an oven to 350°F.
- Prepare a 9X13 baking dish by spraying with baking spray.
- Combine the flour and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside.
- Cream together the peanut butter, softened butter and sugars.
- Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.
- Add the flour and baking soda mixture and mix just until combined.
- Press into the prepared baking pan.
- Sprinkle with white sugar if desired.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 22 minutes or just until the center no longer looks wet.
- Remove from the oven and cool before slicing.
- Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups of chocolate chunks or chocolate chips for peanut butter chocolate chip bar cookies.
- You can add decorative hashes across the top like you would with peanut butter cookies. I use my pastry cutter but you can use a fork.
- Do not overbake these cookie bars, the edges turn out too crunchy. If your oven runs a little hot, check them at 18 minutes. Mine are normally perfect at 20 minutes.
- You can add 1.5 to 2 cups of chocolate chips or chunks and make peanut butter chocolate chip bar cookies.