Peanut Butter Butterscotch Bars

Peanut butter and butterscotch is such an awesome flavor combination, and so under-used.

One of my favorite peanut butter cookie recipes is in my cookbook and it’s a peanut butter-butterscotch cookie.

Peanut Butter Butterscotch Bars - Soft, chewy bars loaded with butterscotch! The satiny smooth peanut butter frosting is amazing!

I was craving something with butterscotch so I made these easy, no-mixer, soft, chewy bars.

They begin like blondies with melted butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla.

Peanut Butter Butterscotch Bars - Soft, chewy bars loaded with butterscotch! The satiny smooth peanut butter frosting is amazing!

Add peanut butter, flour, and quick-cook oats, which lend incredible texture and chewiness to the otherwise soft, buttery bars.

If you don’t typically buy quick-cook oats and only have old-fashioned whole rolled oats, simply pulse or blend the old-fashioned oats for about 10 seconds in your food processor or blender. Now you’ve got quick oats.

Peanut Butter Butterscotch Bars - Soft, chewy bars loaded with butterscotch! The satiny smooth peanut butter frosting is amazing!

Before baking, sprinkle with butterscotch chips. The scent of melting butterscotch chips, peanut butter, and oats that wafts from the oven while the bars bake is positively intoxicating.

Bake the bars until the edges are slightly firm and the center has just set. It’s a little tricky to tell if the bars are done because the surface is covered in semi-melted butterscotch chips, but 25 minutes did the trick for me.

Peanut Butter Butterscotch Bars - Soft, chewy bars loaded with butterscotch! The satiny smooth peanut butter frosting is amazing!

While the bars bake, make the frosting because it goes on right as the bars emerge from the oven. No waiting around for them to cool.

The peanut butter frosting is thick, luscious, and you’ll be tempted to eat the whole bowl during those 25 minutes while the bars bake.

The frosting sets up satiny smooth, creamy, and beautiful. I’m going to remember this frosting for other recipes because it’s so easy, the texture and taste are both wonderful, and it would be great on most any cake, muffin, banana bread, or cinnamon rolls.

Peanut Butter Butterscotch Bars - Soft, chewy bars loaded with butterscotch! The satiny smooth peanut butter frosting is amazing!

The butterscotch flavor is prominent and really shines. Sweet with a bit of saltiness, caramely, and buttery. If you’re a fan of butterscotch, you’ll love these.

The bars taste much more complicated than the simple, everyday ingredients used. Love it when that happens.

Peanut Butter Butterscotch Bars - Soft, chewy bars loaded with butterscotch! The satiny smooth peanut butter frosting is amazing!

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Peanut Butter Butterscotch Bars

Peanut butter and butterscotch is such an awesome flavor combination. The butterscotch flavor is prominent and really shines. Sweet with a bit of saltiness, caramely, and buttery. If you're a fan of butterscotch, you'll love these. The bars are soft with slight chewiness and texture from the oats. The peanut butter frosting is thick, luscious, rich, creamy, and you'll be tempted to eat the whole bowl before it even makes it onto the bars. Make the frosting while the bars bake and add it right as the bars emerge from the oven. The bars taste much more complicated than the simple, everyday ingredients used.

Yield: one 8x8-inch pan, 9 generous pieces

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: about 25 minutes

Total Time: 3+ hours, for cooling

Ingredients:

Bars
heaping 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats (not old-fashioned whole rolled)
pinch salt, optional and to taste
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
Frosting
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup cream or milk (I used half-and-half)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Bars - To the bowl of  stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer), add the peanut butter, butter, sugars, and beat on medium-high speed to cream, about 3 minutes.
  3. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour, oats, optional salt, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute; don't overmix.
  5. Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
  6. Evenly sprinkle with butterscotch chips.
  7. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until edges are slightly firm and the center has just set. It's a little tricky to tell if the bars are done because the surface is covered in semi-melted butterscotch chips, but a toothpick inserted in the center (if you can find a bare patch to test) should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. While bars bake, make the frosting.
  8. Frosting - To the bowl of  stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer), add the peanut butter, confectioners' sugar, cream, and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, satiny, and creamy, about 3 minutes. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover bowl with plastic wrap; set aside.
  9. As soon as you pull bars from the oven, add the frosting (don't wait for them to cool). Smooth the top lightly with a spatula or knife, and allow bars to cool completely in pan before slicing and serving. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars - Soft peanut butter bars with big chunks of chocolate in every bite! Faster & easier than making cookies!

Lofthouse-Style Soft Peanut Butter Chip Sugar Cookies with Peanut Butter Frosting - One of my top 5 cookie recipes on my site. So amazing

Lofthouse-Style Soft Peanut Butter Chip Sugar Cookies with Peanut Butter Frosting - Recipe at averiecooks.com

Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Scotchies Cookies - My favorite oatmeal cookie base loaded with sweet butterscotch chips. A classic cookie that you’ve just got to try

 Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Scotchies Cookies - My favorite oatmeal cookie base loaded with sweet butterscotch chips! A classic cookie that you've just got to try!

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Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Fluffernutter Cookies with Peanut Butter Buttercream - Recipe at averiecooks.com

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78 Responses to “Peanut Butter Butterscotch Bars”

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    Mir — May 22, 2014 at 3:03 am

    I’m loving the frosting! But you’re right. It’s going to be hard not to eat it up while the bars bake!
    And since I have your book, I can personally attest to the greatness of those butterscotch/peanut butter cookies. Such a good blend of flavors!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 22nd, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      You made those PB/butterscotch cookies? THAT’S AWESOME! God I loved those things. I remember remaking them a few times to get them just right and it’s been a few years now but I want them again :)

      Reply

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    Jess @ Sweet Menu — May 22, 2014 at 3:08 am

    Oh boy! I just love peanut butter and butterscotch! Butterscotch chips have only just appeared on the supermarket shelves fairly recently in Australia and I’m yet to bake with them. Perhaps this can be the first recipe I try! Yum!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 22nd, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      Oh wow, they JUST appeared! Okay that’s crazy but good they finally did! It’s always interesting to hear what products are or aren’t available in other countries!

      Reply

    • Elise replied: — August 20th, 2014 at 11:45 pm

      Oh my gosh, where can you get butterscotch chips in Australia?! I’ve just been to North America and brought back about 7 packets of butterscotch chips and am madly rationing them in my baking!!!

      Reply

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    Chloe — May 22, 2014 at 3:33 am

    These bars look amazing! I love that peanut butter/butterscotch pairing :-)

    Reply

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    Paula — May 22, 2014 at 3:39 am

    I love PB and butterscotch and both go so well with oats. The frosting looks awesome–a nice thick layer (and so smooth too)! The bars sound like they hit quite a few flavor notes and they look so delicious…I always seem to want dessert for breakfast as I drool over your recipes with my morning coffee!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 22nd, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      LOL with the dessert for breakfast comment and these bars were really unique. The oats, the butterscotch chips, lots of texture, and then the PB flavor in the bars and with the smooth frosting, it was lots of tastes/textures in one. Trying to do things I haven’t already done a million times, you know!

      Reply

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    Maryea {happy healthy mama} — May 22, 2014 at 3:52 am

    You got me with that frosting. Gorgeous!

    Reply

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    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — May 22, 2014 at 3:53 am

    I TOTALLY agree that PB and butterscotch are underused, and SO GOOD. I can’t wait to face plant into these!
    Ps I got to check out your cookbook and try your Sweet Cream Coffee Cake at BHF! SO AMAZING! Pinned! :)

    Reply

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    Marie @ Little Kitchie — May 22, 2014 at 4:27 am

    LOVE butterscotch and PB together. I’m finishing up school right now things are really hectic, but I have a growing list of things I want to bake when it’s summer… this is definitely on the list!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 22nd, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      And here’s to your year being done very soon! Amen for that, right :)

      Reply

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    Erin | The Law Student's Wife — May 22, 2014 at 4:52 am

    That PB frosting alone makes me want to take these babies down!

    Reply

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    Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice — May 22, 2014 at 4:54 am

    I totally agree that peanut butter and butterscotch aren’t used together enough, and you created the perfect recipe to mesh them together! I love butterscotch and can’t wait to try these bars! Beautiful pictures, too, as always!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 22nd, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      Glad you can relate to PB + butterscotch being a winning combo and thanks for the photo compliments!

      Reply

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    lisatberry — May 22, 2014 at 4:57 am

    I luv butterscotch everything….especially butterscotch dip at dairy queen..if you’re extra nice they’ll double dip it..I’ve never had it with peanut butter and these look so good can’t wait to try…the chips never last in our house so I’ll need to get some.

    Reply

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    Chelsea @ Gal on a Mission — May 22, 2014 at 5:30 am

    Two of my favorite things – peanut butter and butterscotch! Yummy! Gorgeous, Averie! :)

    Reply

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    Colleen @ What's Baking in the Barbershop?! — May 22, 2014 at 6:07 am

    I think these bars look as perfect as bars could look. Holy cow! Love everything about them – the flavors, texture, frosting, etc. :)

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 22nd, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      You’re so sweet, Colleen, and thank you!

      Reply

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    Christy@SweetandSavoring — May 22, 2014 at 6:11 am

    I love that the bars have oats in them, such a nice touch! I’ve been wondering what to bake next and after some sort of boring, crumbly flourless PB cookies I think these will be fantastic. Who can say no to butterscotch?!

    Reply

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    Sarah@WholeandHeavenlyOven — May 22, 2014 at 6:13 am

    Obsessing over how amazing that pb frosting looks with these gorgeous bars. They look soo dense and rich! Um yeah, I kind of want to dive headfirst into a huge plate of these. :D Pinned!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 22nd, 2014 at 1:19 pm

      Thanks for pinning and the frosting just turned out to be so darn good :) One of those got lucky moments!

      Reply

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    Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion — May 22, 2014 at 6:21 am

    These are perfect. I love the combo of peanut butter and butterscotch!

    Reply

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    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust — May 22, 2014 at 6:33 am

    DYING. Just DYING here. Do you realize I have not baked for 2 whole weeks? I still can’t get back in the kitchen until tomorrow and now I want all the peanut butter butterscotch things!!!!!! pinned of course.

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 22nd, 2014 at 1:19 pm

      Thanks for pinning and Ive been on a baking rampage. One of those cycles where I needed to get caught up and try to get ahead a little bit and have been churning out SO MUCH. I would gladly trade places with you. LOL Except getting new floors…well, that would not be fun in the MOMENT but holy gorgeous results!

      Reply

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    Julie @ This Gal Cooks — May 22, 2014 at 6:47 am

    I’d totally be eating that peanut butter icing before the bars made it out of the oven! These bars look great, Averie! Pinned. Have a great day. :)

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 22nd, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      Thanks for pinning and I totally was going to town on it :)

      Reply

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    Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron — May 22, 2014 at 6:57 am

    These look AWESOME Averie! Love all the flavors going on and that frosting looks so creamy! Sweet, salty, and caramel? Sounds perfect. Pinned :)

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 22nd, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      Thanks for the pin, Chelsea, and I need your detox salad :)

      Reply

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    Amanda — May 22, 2014 at 7:14 am

    Love that layer of butterscotch chips! Definitely will have to try this one out! :)

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 22nd, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      Thank you, Amanda! I was hoping to see you at BHF but had to cancel my trip at the last minute. All your IG pics were amazing! :)

      Reply

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    joan trueblood — May 22, 2014 at 7:31 am

    If I don’t stop reading your blog, I am never getting out of the kitchen again……

    Reply

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    Denise | Sweet Peas & Saffron — May 22, 2014 at 7:44 am

    These look incredible!! I am such a sucker for peanut butter, but with butterscotch? Sounds like salty sweet heaven!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 22nd, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      salty sweet heaven! <— it kind of was! :)

      Reply

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    Layla @Brunchtime Baker — May 22, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Peanut butter and butterscotch sounds like an awesome combo! They look delish!

    Reply

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    Alexis @ Upside Down Pear — May 22, 2014 at 8:30 am

    These bars look delicious! I usually only keep rolled oats around, so I’ll have to pull out my food processor. I don’t usually make butterscotch flavored desserts, so these will be great for something new. I’ll probably skip the frosting (blasphemy I know!!) but I just don’t care for frosting my my brownies and bars.

    Reply

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    Trish - Mom On Timeout — May 22, 2014 at 8:35 am

    I believe butterscotch and oats are just meant to be together. Add in PB and I’m sure it’s just pure bliss! Grogeous bars Averie!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 22nd, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      I want your latest toffee bars! Between these and those, we’d be set if we met for coffee :)

      Reply

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    Samina | The Cupcake Confession — May 22, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Ooppps… Just caught myself drooling all over my screen! These peanut butter butterscotch bars look addictive! I love thaaaat layer of butterscotch chips and that peanut butter frosting is calling my name!!!!!

    Reply

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    Polly @ Tasty Food Project — May 22, 2014 at 9:40 am

    I love anything with peanut butter! These look so amazing and I like how you also used butterscotch!

    Reply

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    Bethany @ Accidental Intentions — May 22, 2014 at 9:40 am

    My mouth is literally watering just thinking about this. Peanut butter + butterscotch is out-of-this-world, so I imagine these bars are INSANE. Must make them as soon as possible!

    Reply

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    Alex — May 22, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Oh my goodness these look good! I can just imagine myself having one with a big glass of almond milk! Can’t wait to veganize this recipe!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 22nd, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      And I don’t think it will be THAT hard. The only thing is just sourcing some vegan butterscotch chips, use Earth Balance for the butter, and you could do a flax egg. Pretty easy I hope!

      Reply

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    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — May 22, 2014 at 10:30 am

    These look so good, Averie! Butterscotch and PB – love the combo!! Pinned!

    Reply

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    Jocelyn @BruCrew Life — May 22, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Peanut butter and butterscotch is such an awesome combo…one that gets overlooked all the time. Your bars look amazing! Isn’t that peanut butter frosting the best? I used a very similar one on my Peanut Butter bars last month. It’s creamy and delicious and makes you want to sit in the closet with the bowl :-)

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 22nd, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      I am not surprised that you used a similar frosting. We seem to be on a very similar wavelength lately :) And yes, soooo good. I wanted to just go to town on that stuff!

      Reply

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    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — May 22, 2014 at 11:41 am

    These bars are so you and I love the PB frosting!

    Reply

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    Iram — May 22, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Hi Averie, Hope you are well.

    So last night I was in my kitchen with a bag of butterscotch chips, but also wishing I could bake them with peanut butter somehow. I couldn’t find anything on the net so I reluctantly put away my baking mood.
    But in the morning I check your site, and to my amazement there is this recipe. It’s actually like you specifically made this with me in mind!
    I am SO gonna make this. :D

    P.S. I know I don’t comment here that much, but I check this site out everyday drooling over your stunning photos. I have recently made your chocolate chip cookies (with the pudding mix) and the huge cookie [pie] which had m&ms in it. Both were hits.

    Take care

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 22nd, 2014 at 1:08 pm

      So glad to hear you’ve made the CCCs with pudding mix, the Cookie Pie, and now you have this recipe for your butterscotch chips – what perfect timing :)

      Reply

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    Mary Frances — May 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    I’m beginning to think there isn’t an ingredient you haven’t worked with! Way to give PB and butterscotch some loving, especially with that frosting *swoon*

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 22nd, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      Well after 5+ years of blogging and a couple cookbooks, I feel like with baking, I have definitely covered a lot of ingredients :)

      Reply

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    Kris — May 22, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Perfect! One of my fave bar cookie recipes is Scotcharoos–a PB/rice krispie base with melted chocolate chips and butterscotch chips combined and swirled on the top. I lovelovelove the flavor combination (and licking the bowl of melted chips). Your cookie bars sound scrumptious. Especially since they use oatmeal.

    Reply

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    Amy @ Amy's Healthy Baking — May 22, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    YAY I finally have your cookbook, so I know exactly which cookies you’re talking about! :) For some reason, I’ve never thought to pair the two… Maybe it’s because I love PB so much more than butterscotch; a little butterscotch goes a super long way for me! Like, umm, at least a week or two. And then I chase it down with spinach or broccoli. Sad, strange but true. But I’ll take extra frosting and that’ll make everything better!

    Reply

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    Katie — May 22, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Agreed. Such an underused and underappreciated combo. I think what makes puppy chow so addicting and delicious is that the chocolate is actually a mix of chocolate and butterscotch chips (at least, my mom’s version is anyway).

    I also LOVE making peanut butter cookies with butterscotch chips. I can eat handfuls of butterscotch chips like they are going out of style. I do. Often.

    Reply

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    jenna @ just j.faye — May 22, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    i haven’t made anything with butterscotch in forever! this needs to change shortly… like tonight.

    Reply

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    Isadora @ She Likes Food — May 22, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Oh my god, I want these right now! I love blondies so much, but I rarely bake so I don’t get to eat them often. I also love any and all desserts that have peanut butter in them. What a great combination!!

    Reply

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    ami@naivecookcooks — May 22, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Averie, these look so good! I love butterscotch flavor!

    Reply

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    Ilona @ Ilona's Passion — May 22, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Love these! Pinned it for me to make:)

    Reply

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    Melanie @ Carmel Moments — May 22, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Oh my Averie! These look superb.
    Have a great evening!

    Reply

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    amanda @ fake ginger — May 22, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Uhh yes, I’ll take four.

    Reply

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    Faith @ Pixie Dust Kitchen — May 22, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    I love the butterscotch and peanut butter combination! The frosting looks so luscious and creamy, and I love that it melts over the bars as it cools.

    Reply

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    Serena | Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch — May 22, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Oh my gosh these are screaming my name! I love the peanut butter and butter scotch combo!

    Reply

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    Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking — May 22, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    I practically fainted when I saw these on IG today. I kid you not! I just…just…want one so bad!!!! Something about butterscotch sounds so delicious today.

    Pinned!

    Reply

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    Kayla — May 25, 2014 at 11:33 am

    This is just… wow. I love butterscotch and things like that, but this really takes the cake. It has that perfect balance of textures and a wonderful combination of flavors. I love it!

    Reply

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    Julie Kono — May 25, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    YUM! I made these today and as I was making them I knew from sampling the dough and the frosting that it was a winner. They were finally cool and ready to cut, and my husband and I just ate one and let me just say, job we’ll done!! The only difference in mine, were that I used chinky peanut butter and I know you (Averie), don’t like nuts in your goodies but it’s what I had on hand and it tastes great and we LOVE them. Anytime I find a recipe for my non chocolate eating husband I’m thrilled, and this one is a keeper for sure because it’s so very unique. I always love that about your recipes! I haven’t baked in over a month because life is so busy but I had to make time for these because they just seemed like something I couldn’t miss out on! Thank you for a great recipe, I have missed making your goodies, I need to get back to it, and today I am so glad I did! Make these people, you will be more than happy :)

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 25th, 2014 at 6:05 pm

      So happy that you tried these and that they were a hit! I appreciate you saying that my recipes are unique. That’s nice to know they’re not the same ole, same ole, you can find anywhere else. I try to be creative and it’s nice to know you appreciate that! And thanks for the glowing comment and field report!

      Reply

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    Valerie — May 31, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Your description of the frosting has made me decide to postpone Pilates , I’d rather daydream about a happy little spoon & its bowl of creamy peanut buttery bliss. ;)

    Reply

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    Jen — June 11, 2014 at 7:49 am

    So the secret to these (if you love exercising) is to make 2 batches of frosting, and one batch of bar….that way you still have frosting when it comes time to put it on the bars instead of your spoon (or spatula, or in my case finger) It’s amazing how much frosting you actually can gobble up just doing the “dip taste” method of frosting….Great Recipe! These bars are in my “keep collection” Love it!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — June 11th, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      Thanks for making these, Jen, and so glad you can understand about the frosting…LOL and wanting to double it right off the bat. I know, plenty of taste-testing on my part, too! Glad these are going into your keep collection!

      Reply

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    Angie — June 22, 2014 at 1:08 am

    I’m on a roll, Averie! I’ve tried several of your recipes this week and they have turned out great!! This recipe was “really really really really good” in the words of my 12 year old sister. Peanut butter and butterscotch really do complement each other amazingly. Although, my frosting was more of a caramely color while yours is a soft pink color…is that because you used half and half(I used just milk)?

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — June 22nd, 2014 at 1:52 am

      It could just be the lighting. The day I shot these I remember wearing a pink shirt – it could have reflected onto the icing! Glad you loved the bars!

      Reply

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