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Or you love someone who loves chocolate and peanut butter.
Either way I have a feeling these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Bars will become a staple part of your baking repertoire.
They’re super quick and simple to throw together, and you likely already have most of the ingredients on hand. I love that they’re thicker than a cookie and you can serve a slice with a scoop of ice cream on top. YUM.
Most of the time when I’m craving something sweet I want something with a substantial texture. Whether that’s thick, fudgy, rich, dense, chewy, gooey, or crunchy, I’m all about the texture.
That’s probably why I’d take a cookie, bar, or brownie over a slice of cake almost any day. I might be the only one who feels this way, so if you agree please let me know in the comments below!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Bar Recipe Tips
The Peanut Butter
Don’t use an all natural peanut butter that separates easily in this recipe. I’ve used Skippy “natural” peanut butter, which doesn’t separate, with success.
Besides the peanut butter, this is the most important ingredient! Be sure to use high quality baking chocolate, like Ghirardelli. I prefer to chop the chocolate myself so I know it’s fresh and just the right size.
I find semisweet or even milk chocolate works best in this recipe. Bittersweet is just too dark to complement the nutty slightly salty peanut butter flavor.
This is a must for this recipe! Brown sugar adds moisture, extra chewiness, and that wonderful butterscotch flavor which complements the peanut butter so well. Here’s a helpful video article I wrote about how to DIY and store brown sugar.
I tested this recipe using an 8-inch square metal baking pan. If you use a glass or ceramic pan, you’ll likely need to increase the baking time. Just a hint: metal pans tend to make for chewier crunchier corner pieces.
The bars may bake up taller at the edges and slightly sunken in the center. If this happens, don’t worry too much. It’ll taste delicious no matter what! The edges are exposed to the heat first and most intensely so they set more quickly. And because the batter is just so rich this is just a small sacrifice we must make for the most gooey ooey bars possible 😉
Cookie Customization Guide
Although these are technically cookie bars, if you enjoy learning about cookie baking, ingredients, and science then I think you’ll enjoy my free cookie customization guide.
More Cookie & Bar Recipes
Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.
August Baking Challenge
These bars were the recipe selection for the August 2018 Baking Challenge! Learn more about my monthly baking challenges here.
- 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter
- 1 3/4 (350 grams) cups light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (135 grams) smooth peanut butter
- 2 eggs plus one egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups (286 grams) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces (170 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chunks
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 by 8-inch metal baking pan with parchment or foil.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter. Allow to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Once the butter mixture is cool, add the eggs and yolk, one at a time, until well combined. Stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the mixture into the prepared dry ingredients, and stir to create a very thick dough-like batter. Fold in 3/4 the chocolate chunks, reserving the rest for sprinkling on top.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading evenly to the edges. Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chunks, lightly pressing them into the batter.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden and the edges are slightly browned. Allow to cool in the pan. Use the parchment to remove the bars before cutting into squares and serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.