Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

It’s been awhile since I’ve made a gooey pan of bars.

Or baked peanut butter cups into something. These make up for lost time.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

They’re the best bar I’ve made in recent memory, and I can’t keep my hands off them. If you’re looking for a fast and easy layer bar with results that far exceed the minimal effort spent, these are the ones.

Prep and assembly takes 10 minutes, no mixer is required, and you can stir everything together in one bowl. I love bars and desserts that come together in no time and that create a minimum amount of dishes.


Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

They have a cookie dough base layer, which is topped with mini peanut butter cups. Sweetened condensed milk is poured over the top and handfuls of cookie dough are crumbled before baking. So easy.

Begin by melting one stick of butter. Stir in an egg, sugars, vanilla, flour, and baking soda. The dough is thick and dense.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

Press the dough into an aluminum foil-lined and cooking sprayed baking pan, but not all of it. Reserve one-half cup of dough and set it aside. It’ll be crumbled on the top later.

I urge you to line your pan, leaving overhang, so you can just lift the bars out. Plus, it makes cleanup a breeze. Nothing says dealbreaker on a quick and easy dessert like sweetened condensed milk that caramelizes all over your baking pan and you have to literally chisel it off.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

Sprinkle the mini peanut butter cups over the dough base. Or use diced full-size peanut butter cups, or other diced candy bars. Use up leftover Easter candy, or whatever odds and ends you have. Candy is candy, it’s all going to be good, use what you have. Rolos, Snickers, Milky Way, Three Musketeers, or similar.

Pour just over half of one can of sweetened condensed milk over the top. Use the other half to make 7-Minute Microwave Caramels. You can make those in the microwave while the bars bake in the oven, which is exactly what I did. My house smelled wonderful from caramels in the microwave with peanut butter, chocolate, and cookie dough in the oven. And this is why I run, every day.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

After flooding with sweet milk, lightly crumble the reserved cookie dough in irregular, marble-sized chunks.

Try not to sample too much along the way. Easier said than done.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

The hardest part of the recipe is that you must let the bars set up for about 3 hours before slicing or you’ll have a literal hot mess. Let them cool on the counter for an hour, then place the pan in the fridge for at least two hours, or overnight. Lift out with the foil overhang and make nice, clean, pretty squares.

Alternatively, you could just dig in with spoons as soon as they’re cool enough from the oven if you don’t care about clean cuts or devouring this, family-style. As in, the whole family dives in with a spoon.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

The cookie dough base is squishy soft in the middle, dense and buttery. The edges raise while baking and turn firmer and chewy. They’re no chocolate chips added and the richness and pure cookie dough flavor really shines. These are for cookie dough lovers who can appreciate a really flavorful slab of dough.

There’s just enough golden cookie dough on top to sandwich in some of the gooey filling, but not so much that the dough overpowers the other flavors. I prefer crumbles and crisps to double-crusted pies because that top layer of crust is just too much dough. I like things sprinkled rather than totally enclosed with dough.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

The peanut butter cups provide texture and a nice pop of peanut butter and bit of chocolate in every bite.

The creamy, rich, sweetened condensed milk takes on caramel and vanilla tones while baking. It cloaks the cookie dough and peanut butter cups in a sweet, milky, luscious bath.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

Gooey and sticky, sweet and creamy, soft and chewy, chocolate and peanut butter, vanilla and caramel, all in one.

Please pass the napkins.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars - Soft, chewy, gooey & loaded with Peanut Butter Cups! Easy recipe at

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

The best bar I’ve made in recent memory. Loved these! They’re fast, easy, and a cinch to make. They come together by hand with just one bowl in minutes. There’s a soft, chewy, dense, buttery cookie dough base, topped with peanut butter cups, and creamy, rich, sweetened condensed milk coats it all. Gooey and sticky, sweet and creamy, soft and chewy, chocolate and peanut butter, vanilla and caramel flavors, all in one.


1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
1 large egg
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 heaping cup mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (or diced full-size cups; or substitute with another type of diced candy bar such as Snickers, Milky Way, Butterfinger, Heath, Rolos)
about 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk (just slightly more than half of one standard 14-ounce can)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute. Allow the butter to cool momentarily so you don’t scramble the egg. Add the egg, sugars, vanilla, and stir or whisk vigorously to combine, for about 1 minute. Add the flour, baking soda, optional salt and stir until just incorporated. Batter will be quite thick and dense.
  3. Reserve 1/2 cup batter; set aside. Turn remaining batter out into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula. Evenly sprinkle the peanut butter cups over the batter. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the top (just eyeball slightly over half of the can as you’re slowly pouring). Using your fingers, lightly crumble the reserved cookie dough over the top in irregular, marble-sized chunks.
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out without cookie dough batter clinging; it may not be clean because you’re going through other layers and you may have to peck around to find a testing place). Edges will be firm, raised, and golden. The sweetened condensed milk should nearly be set in all places, and possibly only a little jiggly in the very center of the pan. Bars will firm up more in pan as they cool.
  5. Allow bars to cool in pan for at least 3 hours before slicing and serving. Lift out using the foil overhang. I recommend cooling for 1 hour on the counter, and at least 2 hours in the refrigerator, or overnight. This ensures clean, pretty cut marks. If you don’t care about that, bars may be consumed as soon as they are cool enough to eat; grab a spoon and dig in. Extra bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Only Eats

Related Recipes:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars – All the taste and texture of cookies, minus the work of making individual cookies. Bar cookies are so much faster and these are soft, chewy, and loaded with chocolate chunks

Milky Way Chocolate Cookie Crumble Bars – The chocolate answer to today’s bar, made with Milky Ways instead of Reese’s, and every bit as soft, chewy, and gooey

Cookie Butter Brown Sugar Streusel Bars – Soft, chewy and moist from the cookie butter and all brown sugar dough base that’s topped with crunchy streusel bits

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups – If you tend to have issues with cookies spreading, it’s impossible with these since they’re baked in a muffin pan. They’re thick, soft, chewy and extremely moist

Coconut Peanut Butter Magic Cake Bars – One of my favorite desserts of 2011, and similar to Seven Layer or Magic Bars, but a cake base is used instead of a graham cracker crust. Soft, dense, rich, chewy, tons of textures and flavors, and so easy

Marshmallow Peanut Butter Double Chocolate Pillowtop Bars – One of my favorite desserts of 2011. Creamy, sweet, rich. A soft and sweet marshmallow-peanut butter top layer adorns a base of oats, sweetened condensed milk, and white chocolate. An all-time favorite

Peanut Butter Cocoa Krispies Smores Bars – No need for campfires, make s’mores at home. These smores have three layers, including a cocoa-crispy cereal top layer that’s made with peanut butter

Peanut Chewy Payday Bars – Like the storebought candy bars, but I prefer these. Sweet and gooey meets salty and crunchy with an abundance of peanut butter, peanuts, and plenty of chewy texture

Ritz Cracker Stuffed Peanut Butter Cups (No Bake, Vegan) – Make your own peanut butter cups in minutes and stuff them with your favorite surprises because everything tastes better sandwiched with peanut butter and chocolate

Do you have a favorite bar recipe or fast and easy dessert?

Feel free to leave links in the comments.

Thanks for the entries in the KithenAid 5-Quart Stand Mixer Giveaway!

215 comments on “Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars”

  1. I wouldn’t be able to keep my hands off this either! Love that this doesn’t require a mixer too.

  2. I swoon. That is all.

  3. Pingback: Chocolate Recipes

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  5. Woah….these sound incredible!

  6. I can definitely see why these are your favorite bars in recent history! Holy cow! These are pretty much simply brilliant. :)

  7. It’s 7:27 am here and now all I can think about are gooey peanut butter bars! Uh oh ;)

  8. Gah – every single morning….I should know better! Everything always looks amazing Averie. And decadent. I feel like I need to work out just ogling those pictures ;-)

  9. OMG…my mouth was watering just looking at the pictures!!! :) These sound fantastic!!!

  10. Adding the sweetened condensed milk to these was so smart! OMG I am dying over here. These look so crazy good it is not even funny!!

  11. Oh my gosh! These look amazing and so incredibly delicious! You make such awesome bars Averie!

  12. Averie, your pictures are absolutely gorgeous! I literally want to reach straight into my computer to grab one of these. I love the swirls of condensed milk and tons of mini Reese cups in these. Gahh! Is it appropriate to make these and eat a few all before noon? Because I seriously might just do that! (Major perk of working from home today!!)

  13. You always cause my a problem Averie. I come on your website, see a great recipe, am ready to make it and then I see all the other similar and delicious and I can never decide. This time a title recipe wins :)

  14. Oh how I miss PB cups! I would totally devour these if I could.

  15. Sweetened condensed milk poured over a pan of bars filled with candy is a sugar lover’s dream! I could easily dig into these with a spoon and I love layers of flavor and texture in desserts. Seven layer/magic 8 bars always come to mind as a favorite but I also recall a bar recipe with an oatmeal cookie base. It’s topped with chocolate chips and caramel sauce, then the remaining cookie dough sprinkled on top.

  16. Yeah, I am pretty much in love with every single part of this delicious bar! Those peanut butter cups get me every time!!!

  17. I could not keep myself from looking at this recipe..Willpower alone could not keep me from gooey and peanut butter. If you are addicted to peanut butter, you can mix some in with the sweetened milk. You may need to warm it up a bit to make sure it mixes in. A little oatmeal can be added to the dough too! It would be totally be healthy

  18. These look insanely delicious!!! I love making bars because they’re easy to transport and serve, plus you can make them super fun like these!! My favorite bars I’ve made recently are your Funfetti Cake Batter Blondies, but I think these might just edge those out. I’m a sucker for peanut butter cups. Thankful that I’m DONE with the cleanse while looking at these! ;)

  19. Wow, these look amazing Averie! Anything with Reese’s PB Cups in them are perfect! :)

  20. I would have the hardest time waiting for these to cool! I have no self control AT ALL when it comes to peanut butter cups, Averie! That combined with a soft cookie base and sweetened condensed milk! Hold the phone, I am now more starving than I thought I was. This cleanse is not working in my favor right now. I want to reach through the screen! I love making bars and I knwo you do too – so much less work involved & so mindless. There are so many ways to spruce these up using different candies!

    I love the pretty bokeh in these photos too. The fourth one down is my favorite. I have been studying my favorite food photographer’s work lately in preparation, you being one of them. Trying to improve and make it perfect!

    • so much less work involved & so mindless = YES, agreed!

      and reading blogs like mine on a cleanse, yeah, not easy. Going for a run, even, and smelling the food smells in the air that would normally either gross me out or I wouldn’t notice, on the cleanse I wanted them! Like the smell of a corndog and ketchup. I havent had a corndog in 25 years but it smelled good to me on my cleanse. Lol

      Anyway thanks for the photography compliments. It all depends on the day, food, etc. some of the time. I just don’t know what I’m going to get. Sometimes I have to open up the aperture and shoot at a f/3.5 and it’s a little too bokeh-ey sometimes, but due to inferior lighting or really dark food (like these were) it’s the only compensation. And btw how RANDOM you saw that cleanse pic on TS. They were the only food site that accepted it. And that you then saw it there. Fate. :)

  21. Stop. It. Now. These look amazing!

  22. Oh yeah! These will be made! And soon!

  23. These look irresistible, Averie! I’m a sucker for any dessert involving PB. Yum!

  24. Wow these look amazing Averie! I can’t wait to try them!

  25. Those look fabulous! The perfect potluck cookie

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