Chocolate-Frosted Peanut Butter Cookie Bars {Aka: School Lunch Peanut Butter Fingers}

You know, because we don’t have enough peanut butter on this site.  Or chocolate.  Or cookies.  I can almost guarantee once you make these for the first time you will become addicted and have to make them all the time.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it makes a ton (they’re baked in a large sheet pan).  That can be both dangerous and helpful. Mostly helpful.  If I have to feed a crowd, this is my go-to.  They honestly are SO fast.  The dough comes together in about 5 minutes and they only bake for about 10.  And then you can feed a gazillion (okay slight exaggeration) people when you’re done and they will all love you. I originally got this recipe from two friends (thanks Carolyn and Alisa!) and it seems to be one of those recipes that just ‘goes around’.  Apparently this was a common treat in school lunches back in the day and I’m starting to feel majorly ripped off that all I got was soggy pizza.  If anyone knows the original source, I’d love to know, but it seems to just be traced back to either everyone’s grandma or everyone’s lunch ladies! Let us cook.

These start off like most good things do: with butter and sugar.

In goes yummy nummy peanut butter.  Smooth or chunkified, totally up to you.

Then some eggs

(and there’s some vanilla in there too)

Then toss in the dry ingredients

You should have a nice soft dough at this point; a little softer than a normal cookie dough.  Definitely take a big ol’ bite of that.

And then add some oats.

That’s it for the dough- just press it into a big rimmed cookie sheet.  (By the way, have I ever told you how much I love these pans??  They come with lids.  Brilliant.  Makes baking stuff like this and then storing or transporting sooo easy.  Love love love them.) I usually line mine with foil because I have a thing for covering pans in foil.  If I can avoid washing a pan, I’m all for it.  Pop that pan in the oven to bake- they only take about 10 minutes.

While those are in the oven, rinse out your bowl real quick and whip up the frosting.  Oh my gosh this frosting is so good.  It’s melty and buttery and chocolatey and so many other good words I can’t think of right now.

You’ll want to put the frosting on when the bars are still warm, and just after the frosting itself is done.  Otherwise it stiffens up and becomes hard to spread.

Mmmm…giant pan of soft cookie…

This next photo is borderline ridiculousness.  Dumping melted peanut butter on top of a giant peanut butter cookie and below a layer of ooey gooey chocolate frosting is completely unnecessary.  It’s also very delicious.

You can skip this step, or embrace it, depending on how wild you’re feeling that day.

Then pour on that frosting, or rather “plop” on the frosting.  Like I said, do it right after you make it and while the bars are still warm so it spreads on easily and doesn’t break your cookie.

Since I took forever taking pictures my frosting isn’t as smooth and glossy as it will look for you.  Yours will be beautiful, I promise.  I also picked up some of those peanuts from below.  It’s all good.

That’s all there is to it, well except for the eating part which is the most important.  Once the bars are cool, they are super soft cookie squares with chocolate that melts in your mouth.

You can also eat these slightly warm, and they’re amaaazing.  They’re so soft and the chocolate frosting is more like melted chocolate fudge so you’ll want to grab a fork.

These have so much flavor and richness that they also work great with a scoop of ice cream, and heck, throw some hot fudge on there too just for good measure.  In fact, this is how we eat them most often at our house.  Because a scoop of ice cream makes just about everything better.


  1. I grew up on that recipe (as well as for school lunch). It’s always been my go to! I love it but was interested to see that yours is exactly doubled from my recipe! Guess I can now get twice the yumminess from a sheet cake now 🙂

  2. Man they never served anything like this where I went to school but I will for sure be making these to pack for my daughters lunches this school year. =0)

  3. Thank you! I have been looking for this recipe. Favorite part of school lunch. I just need to find the recipe for those chocolate cookies dusted with powder sugar.;)

  4. ha! to echo what everyone else said, these are totally school lunch peanut butter fingers! my great grandma was a davis county utah lunch lady, and her recipes is very similiar. our recipe has a boiled icing instead though. we are going camping tonight and i think i will try your version out.

  5. Two of my favorite things (peanut butter and chocolate). I would make these today since I’m getting ready to go to the store, but I’m also going out of town for four days starting tomorrow morning. I will make these when I get back home. Yum!

  6. So I gotta say that I am so glad you posted this recipe! It has been a family favorite since I was a little girl. My grandma worked for an elementary school in Bountiful, UT and that is where she got the recipe. We always called them Butterfingers. So Sara, this recipe came from school lunch and my grandma!

  7. Everyone keeps commenting on how these taste like something served at school lunch…well I wish I had gone to a school, like that!! These look better than anything I ever ate at school:)

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