I know, I know – I’ve been on a peanut butter chocolate kick lately. It started with the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars, then with the cookies, and now these. But THESE I assure you are worth it. If you’re a fan of fudgey brownies and creamy peanut butter – all combined – then you MUST MUST MUST make these. I made them a few times, experimenting with a few different things, but I think this is the perfect combination. They are addicting, rich and sinful – so make sure you have some friends to share these with!
Layered peanut butter chocolate brownie bars
Inspired by this recipe.
Here’s what you need:
for the peanut butter layer
- 1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 10ish mini Reese’s peanut butter cups
for the brownie layer
- 3 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup chopped Reese’s peanut butter cup (or other peanut butter candy – feel free to use festive peanut butter M&Ms – I used spring ones in one version of this)
Here’s what you do:
- Preheat your oven to 350F. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish – I lined with foil and sprayed with my Pam non-stick cooking spray.
- First, make the peanut butter layer: Mix together the peanut butter, sugars and egg until smooth. Press into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Make sure to press well – do not leave it loose or it could crumble after baking. Lightly press Reese’s cups (not chopped) on top of layer, evenly throughout.
- Then, make the brownie layer: Melt the baking chocolate and butter together in a saucepan (or microwave-safe bowl – if you microwave, nuke for about 45 seconds, checking and stirring often until completely melted and smooth). Once melted, gradually add in sugar, then vanilla, then eggs. Then, carefully mix in the flour. Once combined, pour the batter into the pan over the peanut butter and Reese’s layer spread layer evenly to the edge of the pan. Sprinkle chopped Reese’s on top.
- Bake about 35-38 minutes until the top is slightly cracked around. Cool completely before cutting.
I have a confession … I’ve never really LOVED s’mores.
I know – that’s like saying I hate summer … but hear me out. I have never been a chocoholic, OR a big fan of marshmallows. So s’mores? I’ll take ’em or leave ’em.
But these bars. OMG. THESE BARS. There is no way that you’re not going to like these. Even B, another non-s’mores fan (yes, there are two of us and we found one another!), loves these bars. SO with the unofficial start of summer here, I decided to bring these bars to a Memorial Day BBQ and they did NOT disappoint. We got tons of compliments (yay!) and we will definitely be making these again. Enjoy!
Here’s what you need:
The Graham Cracker Crust:
- 15 graham crackers, blended finely into graham cracker crumbs
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1/3 c. sugar
The Cookie Layer:
- 1 ½ c all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
- 3/4 c granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups (same as 1 1/2 sticks or 12 tbs) butter or margarine, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- A 4.4 oz Hershey candy bar (the giant bar), broken up into chunks
- 6 large Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, chopped up into chunks
- ½ c mini chocolate chips
- 2 ½ cups mini marshmallows (1 ½ c to sprinkle on top, 1 c to add in batter)
Here’s what you do:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Crush the graham crackers in a food processor. Combine with sugar and melted butter and press into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.
- Bake the crust for 15 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar and butter. Add in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and gently stir in half of the Hershey candy bar chunks, half of the Reese’s chunks, the mini chocolate chips and 1 c. mini marshmallows.
- Carefully add the batter to the top of the graham cracker crust. I found it easiest to add big chunks in the corner of the pan and then carefully push the batter down with my hands so it is even. Be gentle – you don’t want to pull the crust apart. Don’t worry about making it perfectly even – it will spread as it’s baking.
- Press remaining candy (Reese’s and Hershey bar) on top of the bars. Sprinkle remaining marshmallows on top of the bars.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until marshmallows have started to brown/darken. Allow to cool completely before cutting into them. I put mine in the fridge overnight before chopping them.
Some questions for you:
- Do you like s’mores?
- Do you have a go-to dessert that you bring to a potluck? What is it?
- Peanut butter cups – yay or nay?