Hello again! It’s Alicia from The Baker Upstairs, and I have another tasty cookie recipe to share with you today. These loaded peanut butter cookie bars are the ultimate treat for peanut butter lovers! Each buttery rich bite is packed with peanut butter flavor, for an indulgent treat that’s perfectly balanced between salty and sweet.
I don’t know how it is at your house, but at my house, fall baking season is in full swing! When it’s cold outside, I love to be in the kitchen, baking up delicious and cozy treats to enjoy with some hot chocolate or tea. This time of year, there are frequent neighborhood gatherings and parties to attend, and I love having easy treat recipes on hand that I can whip up at a moment’s notice when I need to bring something to share. Apple and pumpkin tend to get all of the attention during the fall, but I think these loaded peanut butter cookie bars are just as festive and fun! The Reese’s pieces candies give them the perfect color scheme for fall, and they are simple and delicious, like all the best comfort food.
I adapted these cookie bars from my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe, and they are so great in bar form! I love the ooey-gooey middle pieces, while my husband loves those crisp edge pieces. Adding in some Reese’s pieces candies really boosts the peanut butter flavor even more, but they would also be great with M&M’s or chopped Reese’s candies. The best part is that they are so easy to make, so they’re perfect for fulfilling all of those spur-of-the-moment cookie cravings!
Loaded Peanut Butter Cookie Bars
The full recipe is at the bottom of this post, but here’s what you’ll need:
- peanut butter
- brown sugar
- baking powder
- Reese’s pieces candies
The dough for these cookie bars takes just a few minutes to mix together, and it only uses one bowl. Since washing dishes is my least favorite chore, that is definitely a win in my book! I like to fold in the Reese’s pieces and peanuts using a spatula, so they don’t get crushed and broken.
This recipe fits nicely in a 9 x 9 baking dish, but if you are making cookies for a larger crowd, you could double the recipe and bake it in a 9 x 13 baking dish instead. I like to line the dish with parchment to make it easy to lift the bars out when they’re done, but you could easily just use cooking spray instead.
The bars will be done when they are golden brown around the edges, and a toothpick inserted two inches from the side comes out clean. Allow them to cool completely before slicing and serving if possible, so they will cut cleanly.
These rich and delicious bars have so much flavor, and are the perfect balance of salty and sweet. I love the crunch from the peanuts and the Reese’s pieces in contrast with the soft and tender bars. These loaded peanut butter cookie bars are so decadent and indulgent!
These bars will keep several days if stored in an airtight container. I love them warmed up with a scoop of ice cream on the side, or served with a big glass of milk. They’re so rich that a little goes a long way, but so delicious that they’re hard to stop eating!
Loaded Peanut Butter Cookie Bars
- 4 ounces butter softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup Reese's pieces candies
- 3/4 cup roasted peanuts
- Preheat the oven to 375. Line a 9 x 9 baking dish with parchment or spray with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, brown sugar, peanut butter, and egg until smooth.
- Stir in the flour, baking soda, and salt, to form a thick dough. Fold in the Reese's pieces and peanuts, reserving 1/4 cup of each to sprinkle on top of the dough.
- Spread the dough evenly in the prepared pan, and top with the remaining Reese's pieces and peanuts. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool completely before slicing and serving.
These loaded peanut butter cookie bars are the perfect treat for peanut butter lovers! They’re packed with peanut butter flavor, and addictingly delicious!