Reese’s Peanut Butter Bars {No Bake!}

These Reese’s peanut Butter Bars only take a few ingredients and you don’t even have to bake them.  The best part?  They taste just like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Seriously, they’ll make you swoon.

 

Ingredient Notes

  • Graham Crackers – Do you seem to always have an opened package of graham crackers that are a little stale? Those will work just as well as fresh ones here!
  • Peanut Butter – Smooth or creamy peanut butter both work here, but this recipe is written with standard peanut butter in mind, not natural peanut butter which has a different texture.
  • Shortening – a small amount of vegetable shortening is melted into chocolate chips for the topping. The shortening prevents the chocolate from hardening completely. I love a tip from one of our readers- if you’d like to leave the shortening out, replace it with a spoon of peanut butter. The topping will stay soft this way and as a bonus you get some more peanut buttery goodness!
  • Butter – Use real (salted) butter here!

How To Make Reese’s Peanut Butter Bars

  1. Start with some crushed graham crackers.  If you’re like me and find half-eaten packs in the back of your pantry that are too stale for eating, they work great.
  2. Then in goes powdered sugar and some peanut butter.  Chunky or smooth peanut butter will work, but I think smooth is better.
  3. And just in case something made out of powdered sugar, graham crackers and peanut butter isn’t good enough, let’s add a bunch of melted butter.  To be on the safe side.

  4. Next, press it into a pan.  Line it with something (parchment, foil, waxed paper) to make your life easier a couple hours from now.
  5. Set that aside and get out some chocolate chips.  Melt them in the microwave with a bit of shortening to make it easier to work with. *TipLove this tip from one you readers!  Instead of adding shortening to the chocolate topping, add a scoop of peanut butter.  That will prevent the top from getting solid and it will taste yummy!
  6. Keep melting until it’s nice and smooth
  7. And then dump it on top of the peanut butter mixture.

Let’s do it in slow motion just for dramatic effect.

There it goes…

That’s the good stuff right there.

Now spread it out nice and smooth and pop that pan in the fridge.

The trick is to let the bars chill until the chocolate is just set so it’s still easy to cut. Otherwise you get a soft bottom and a really hard top, so you just smash everything.  However, if you happen to let it chill all the way, it’s not the end of the world, I actually did that with this batch pictured.  The trick then is to use a sharp serrated knife and score the cuts a few times until you cut all the way through.  It works great!

Once the bars are cut, they can go back into the fridge to set all the way.

Or you can just eat them. You’ll probably want to just eat them.

Serving Suggestions

Are you craving peanut butter? You might like these other recipes!

Want to provide guests a peanut-free alternative to these for an event? Check out these other fantastic dessert bars from Our Best Bites:

FAQs

  • Can I use dairy free substitutes/ natural peanut butter/ gluten free graham crackers? I get these questions a lot! This is one recipe that has not been tested with alternative ingredients. As noted above, traditional peanut butter probably works best texture-wise over natural peanut butter. Gluten free graham crackers will likely be ok if you want to give them a try. As for dairy substitutions, your best bet is to use a butter substitute that has a similar fat content and texture to butter. Coconut oil often works well, but you will need to add an extra pinch of salt and possibly a few drops of butter flavoring. If you try any substitutions, let me know how they work out so I can update this post for others!
  • Can I use an alternative to peanut butter? Short answer: you could. Longer answer: In general, I have found that recipes that rely heavily on peanut butter are just not the same when other nut butters are used as a substitute. Your best bet would be to choose a recipe that was specifically written using a different nut butter, or to take a look at the Serving Suggestions section above for a list of other delicious peanut-free bars from Our Best Bites!

Did You Make This?

I’d love to hear from you! Snap a picture and tag me on Instagram, and then come back and give this recipe a rating!

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Reese’s Peanut Butter Bars {No Bake!}

  • Author: Our Best Bites
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Refrigeration Time: 20+ minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes

Description

A classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate– these no bake Reese’s Peanut Butter Bars are a fantastic option when you need quick and easy dessert.


Ingredients

1  1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1  pound (3  1/2 cups) powdered sugar
1  1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1  cup (2 sticks) real butter, melted
1  12-ounce bag chocolate chips (milk, semi-sweet, or dark, you pick!)
2 teaspoons shortening


Instructions

In a large mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, peanut butter and butter and beat until combined.  Press into a parchment (or waxed paper or foil) lined 9×13 pan.

Place chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals, stirring after each one, until melted and smooth.  Pour chocolate over peanut butter mixture and spread out evenly.  Place pan in the fridge just until chocolate is set and then cut into bars.

 


Notes

  • If the bars chill until the chocolate is too hard to easily cut, use a sharp knife and score the cuts first, then gently cut through.  Can be stored in the fridge or at room temp.  They will stay firmer if stored in the fridge.
  • Love this tip from one of our readers:  Instead of adding shortening to the chocolate topping, add a scoop of peanut butter.  That will prevent the top from getting solid and it will taste yummy!

Keywords: Peanut butter, dessert bars, chocolate peanut butter

129 comments

  1. These are one of my all-time favorite desserts. I usually keep the whole pan in my fridge and take a swipe every time I open the door (which ends up being a lot). I always think if I cut them into bars I'll them too fast, but I think my way is worse!

  2. You misspelled my name where you announced the winner. In fact your spelling wasn't even close! Oh well, I'll still accept my prize. So excited!! 😉

    1. I have been gluten free my whole life. If you used crushed nuts they work just fine! Hope your four munchkins like them!

  3. thank you for this. I was hoping to get the recipe for these that my mom makes, but I did not before her passing last week. I was wondering how I could find it (haven't gone through her things yet) and here you are with a very similar recipe. I think she said hers had 4 ingredients-so very, very close.

  4. My friends mom used to always make these for us and I always wanted to hang out at his house just on the possibility that she might make them! Thanks for the awesome reminder! 🙂

    1. my friends mom used to make these “homemade” oreo type cookies. I used to do the same thing. Hang out and hopefully she would make them. I am still looking for that recipe online.

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