Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Bars

I love a good two-for-one deal. Especially when that deal involves peanut butter and chocolate.

Sometimes it’s impossible to pick which one I want, and with these bars I don’t have to.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Bars - Can't decide if you want PB or chocolate? Make these easy no-bake bars! Chocolate + PB is sooo irresistible!!

There’s a peanut butter and white chocolate base that’s soft yet dense, rich, and creamy.

The top is a layer of chocolate-peanut butter fudge, and there’s Rice Krispies added for crispy texture. Both layers actually have Krispies in them, but it’s more pronounced in the top layer.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Bars - Can't decide if you want PB or chocolate? Make these easy no-bake bars! Chocolate + PB is sooo irresistible!!

The recipe for the chocolate layer I originally created to top some brownies that are  in my first cookbook, Peanut Butter Comfort. They’re perhaps my favorite brownies ever, tied with these.

Recently I was thumbing through my cookbook and remembered how much I loved the topping, and had to make it.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Bars - Can't decide if you want PB or chocolate? Make these easy no-bake bars! Chocolate + PB is sooo irresistible!!

But I didn’t want to turn on my oven and make brownies because San Diego was having a wicked, but typical, hot snap the last few weeks and my condo doesn’t have air so it was 92F inside. No ovens were turned on.

The beauty of these no-bake, one-bowl, gluten-free bars is that they’re fast, easy, and people will go nuts over them. I mean who can resist two thick layers of peanut butter and chocolate-peanut butter fudge sandwiched together. I sure can’t.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Bars - Can't decide if you want PB or chocolate? Make these easy no-bake bars! Chocolate + PB is sooo irresistible!!

They’re also a great make-ahead dessert. They’ll literally keep for weeks in your fridge or months in the freezer, which is both good and bad, knowing you’ve got chocolate peanut butter fudge waiting for you.

But I see it as good.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Bars - Can't decide if you want PB or chocolate? Make these easy, no-bake bars! Chocolate + PB is sooo irresistible!!

Print Recipe

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Bars

You don't have to pick between a peanut butter or a chocolate dessert in these no-bake, one-bowl, gluten-free, fast, and easy bars. There's a peanut butter and white chocolate base that's soft yet dense, rich, and creamy. The top is a layer of chocolate-peanut butter fudge, and there's Rice Krispies added for crispy texture. They're a great make-ahead dessert and will keep for weeks in your fridge or months in the freezer, which is both good and bad, knowing you've got chocolate peanut butter fudge waiting.

Yield: one 8x8 pan, 9 to 12 generous squares

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Total Time: about 90 minutes, for chilling

Ingredients:

Peanut Butter Base
2 cups white chocolate chips (one 10.5 to 11.5-ounce bag)
1 cup creamy peanut butter (not natural; use Jif, Skippy or similar)
1 cup crispy rice cereal (use gluten-free crispy rice cereal to keep GF)

Chocolate Fudge Top
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal

Directions:

  1. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Peanut Butter Base - In a medium, microwave-safe bowl add the white chocolate chips and heat for 1 minute on high power to soften.
  3. Remove bowl from microwave, add 1 cup peanut butter (use Jif, Skippy, or similar because natural or homemade peanut butter could separate and may not set up well and/or the bars could turn very oily), and heat on high power to melt, about 1 minute or as necessary in your microwave; white chocolate scorches easily so keep a careful eye on it. Stir until mixture is smooth and combined.
  4. Add 1 cup crispy rice cereal and stir to combine.
  5. Turn mixture out in prepared pan in an even, flat layer, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula. Place pan in freezer to chill.
  6. Chocolate Fudge Top - In a medium, microwave-safe bowl (you can use the same one, just wipe out with a paper towel) add the semi-sweet chocolate chips and heat for 1 minute on high power to soften.
  7. Remove bowl from microwave, add 1 1/2 cups peanut butter, butter, and heat on high power to melt, about 1 minute. Stir until mixture is smooth and combined.
  8. Add 1 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal, and stir to combine.
  9. Remove pan from freezer (make sure the first layer has set up somewhat before adding the chocolate, if not, return pan to freezer for 5 more minutes) and carefully turn chocolate mixture out into prepared pan in an even, flat layer, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula. Place pan in freezer to chill. Allow bars to chill for 60 to 90 minutes, or until set, before serving. If bars have gotten too firm to slice, let them sit at room temp for 10 minutes. I store these bars in the fridge because they get a little too soft at room temp. Bars will keep airtight in the fridge for about 1 month and in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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83 comments

  1. Gorgeous…! I can NEVER decide between peanut butter and chocolate! But they wouldn’t keep for weeks in my fridge, I’d eat the all waaay before that!

  2. Chocolate and peanut butter BELONG together and these bars prove it! I can’t believe how hot it is even in San Diego! We’ve been DYING up here in Sacramento – freakin’ 97 degrees all week. Supposed to cool down on Friday but I’m not holding my breath… :) Pinned!

    • SAME! Every time I think it’s going to stay in the mid 70s, it spikes back up to the low 90s. And I’m at the coast! Inland has got to be brutal. And it’s been like this now for most of Sept and Oct. Such an unusually hot fall!

      Thanks for pinning!

  3. OMG! I just want to sink my teeth into these bars!! I love that they are no-bake yet so decadent! Now I just wish you lived closer! :)
    Pinned of course!

  4. These look like winners, it’s the little krispie bits that do it for me :)

  5. OOhh I love that you added the rice krispies to provide that crunch instead of using nuts…I could eat these no matter what the weather…these are perfect for wrapping up and taking with you to a football game because they look pretty sturdy and seem like they would survive being “smuggled” in!!!

    • They are an EXCELLENT smuggle-able treat. They survived extremely well in my daughter’s lunchbox/backpack and you know how badly kids beat things up! They can make a fluffy muffin look like a pancake in no time :)

      And yes, the crunch, the texture (sans nuts!)…oh so good! Loveddddd these!

  6. Why did you say to turn on the oven? I don’t see where anything is baked. Also, butter is in the ingredients for the chocolate layer, but I don’t see where it’s used in the directions. Do you need butter?

    • I noticed the same thing . . . a bit confusing

    • yea, i’m confused by this too…can you clarify please avery?

    • I don’t know what the confusion is about. If it’s about the butter, please see step 7 in the directions. If the confusion is about the story I told, I used this topping on BAKED brownies I made for my first cookbook. However, rather than BAKING brownies in the heat, I made a no-bake base, and then used this no-bake topping so I didn’t have to turn on my oven in the heat.

    • You’re right about step 7 with the butter, Averie, but when I read step 1, it says to preheat oven to 350 degrees … I figured you were having the same kind of day I have had where you’re trying to accomplish too many things at once. :)

    • Got it, fixed. Thank you! Yes, most some days I get 250 emails++ per day from readers, 50% of whom have a baking question. Forgive the oversight!

  7. Those bars are looking amazing, yum!

  8. These really threw me a curve ball–I had decided to make the cake on p 70 (thanks-great suggestion) and the bread from your last post (same oven temp for both with close baking times)….and now I’m wavering again after seeing this post! I’d love to sink my teeth into one of these right now–I could use some PB and chocolate with a little crunch. These look so easy too–just a few ingredients and some chill time!

    • Well LMK what you did end up making! Sounds like you had it all figured out…almost :)

      You really can’t go wrong with any and if you did make all 3, or 2 of the 3, no matter what combo you went with, it’s a very nice variety of different things, both in terms of flavors, textures, etc…and you’ve got everything from PB to pumpkin to cinnamon-sugar flavors all covered!

  9. Looks perfect! I love adding rice crispies to desserts. This is right up my alley, with the chocolate, peanut butter, and it being no bake!

  10. these look ridiculously over the top in the best way! omg!

  11. Peanut butter fudge is my favorite type of fudge. LOVE your twist on it, Averie!

  12. Your condo doesn’t have air?? Ohmygosh Averie — that must be miserable!! I mean, I know San Diego is supposed to be pretty mild most of the time, but my grandparents live down there and boy oh boy… It can get up there SO quickly. You must own a million fans! But if the product of a hot home is these two-for-one choc + PB fudge bars… I’d take a heat wave any day of the year. ;)

    • It’s a building from the 60s (so many of them here are!) and nothing was outfitted with central air back then and so even though the unit has been rehabbed recently, they never put in a/c! Don’t ask me why. I like hot, but the low 90s INSIDE is even a little hot for me :)

    • That’s awful!! That should’ve been the first thing on their list… Especially for a food blogger who needs to use the oven year-round! ;)

  13. Two-in-one is the best kind of dessert. I love that these are no-bake. What is up with the heat?? It’s 90s here!!

    • I KNOW. So hot. It isn’t AS hot this week but seriously the past 3-4, every time I think okay, it’s 76F and what it should be, it’ll spike back up to the low 90s for a few days. And I’m at the coast! Can only imagine how bad it is inland!

      And when I was making these, I was totally thinking of your Dessert Mashups :)

  14. The crispy rice bits?! They’re callin’ to me!!!

  15. Woah!!! I seriously want a stack of these awesome bars! Chocolate and peanut butter is always a good idea…and even better when it is no bake!!!

  16. Incredible! My two favourite things! These look truly wonderful!

  17. Oh man this looks so decadent and yummy! I love the crunch from the krispies!!

  18. I am imagining what these taste like. If my imagination is correct, these are extremely delicious.

  19. It’s probably best that the grocery store is closed because I really really really want to go get white chocolate chips right now. And peanut butter. And rice krispies.

    • I can’t believe you don’t have those items on hand knowing your love of both white choc AND pb!

      Let’s just say my pantry is never without those 3 things, many times over. LOL

  20. Dear Averie,

    I think you need to post a hotline number for your fans who love you and your site to the point of ridiculousness! I made about 7-8 recipes last month. In this month I’ve already made three. So on Tuesday I made your m&m/oreo bars (again!). Today I made the pumpkin bundt cake with ganache. And also these bars.

    I saw this post probably soon after you posted it (you had gotten only a few comments on it then thats how I know.) All it took was a glance at the pics and the ingredient list to know I had to make these. (Plus it’s so freakin’ hot here still! I live about 1.5hrs away from La Jolla and there’s not even any beach breeze here) I loved licking the bowl after the white chocolate mixture was created. :D

    Averie, I don’t think there’s any hope for me. Your site is the hardest thing for me to pass up on. I’m passed obsession! Ha! I have out of town inlaws coming in…I’ll let you know if they liked the stuff I made.

    Thank you as always. My main thing I still have to make by the end of 2014 is your french silk pie. If I make that it’ll bring fulfillment to me.

    Lots of hugs. I hope the weather is better there. ~Iram

    • Iram you’re the best! I love ALL the things you made and that you made these bars within hours of me posting the recipe! I posted at an odd time for me, 315pm because I was going out for dinner and knew I wouldn’t want to post afterward, so I got the post up before I left. Glad that you loved licking the bowl! :)

      pumpkin bundt cake with ganache = one of my fave cakes of all time and hope you loved it!

      And the French Silk Pie really is pretty easy! These bars take just as long as that! Two layers, two mixtures. That pie filling is easy! You just turn on the mixer and let those eggs blend in, and that’s it! :)

  21. You know when you see something and need to make it immediately?? This.

  22. I love that you combined peanut butter and chocolate into these bars!! So, so good. These look incredible! And you cut them absolutely perfectly–> granted, you always do this, but I’m still in awe of your skills :)

  23. Wow, peanut and white chocolate as the base?! Amazing, Averie! And it sounds even better topped with fudge. What a delicious treat!

  24. I think I could eat these and die happy! I mean, seriously– there’s nothing lacking here!! It’s a perfect dessert :)

  25. These really are insane! Great recipe Averie!

  26. I love these!!! It’s great that they hold so long in the refrigerator/freezer, too!

  27. Mmm, I will never stop loving chocolate and peanut butter together!! These bars look super duper delicious. Pinned!

  28. Yum! These would never last long in the fridge OR freeze for me… I’d eat them all too quickly!

  29. Ooh, this sounds easy AND yummy. My cookie stash is getting low …

  30. OMG ~ how much do I lOVE these bars. Pinned & sharing on FB too!

  31. all of your bar recipe look amazing, but I am a sucker for all things chocolate and peanut butter

  32. Oooooooh! These are the perfect, perfect, perfect thing for me to make for our church potluck this weekend! Score.

  33. I am drooling over my keyboard now

  34. Best COMBO EVER!
    Definitely adding this to the menu. :)

  35. No one should ever have to choose between peanut butter and chocolate!

  36. These look AH MAZING Averie!! Good work lady!

  37. One of my favorite combinations ever! Love the crunch factor here too :)

  38. These look deeeeeelicious. I mean, you can’t go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter but then there’s a crunch? YASS!

    Super lovely meeting you the other night, btw :) xoxo

  39. Averie, why must you always post recipes with ingredients I already have in the house? I made these for a gettogether today and I had none to take home after. Good think I sampled one beforehand! Perhaps a recipe next time with some obscure ingredient? Have a wonderful weekend and I hope the heat doesn’t persist:)

  40. I am just drooling here looking at these peanut butter fudge bars! As a serious peanut butter lover these bars are definitely a must make recipe for me. Pinned!

  41. I love chocolate and you have shown in picture is chocolate lovers dream. Recipe without baking easier and better. Thanks!

  42. Definitely pinning this for a future sweet treat. I love the white chocolate addition to the peanut butter – and of course the Rice Krispie element. I’m pretty basic when it comes to peanut butter and chocolate. One spoonful of peanut butter in one hand a piece of chocolate in the other, then eat a bite from each hand until gone – repeat.

    • In so many ways, basic is good when it comes to the major food groups, you know, chocolate & PB! So I can totally relate to this “One spoonful of peanut butter in one hand a piece of chocolate in the other, then eat a bite from each hand until gone – repeat.” You will love these bars then! Just the basics so you can really just savor them!

  43. omiGOSHHHHHHHHH. So fudgy and rich and perfect! i could eat 10 of these!!

  44. Stephanie Perdomo Reply

    I’m in the process of making these, the base is in the freezer right now. But when I melted the white chocolate, and then out of the peanut butter and put it back in the microwave for a minute like it says the white chocolate seized up, it seems like I was able to salvage it even though the mixture was still a bit lumpy. It seems like 2 minutes microwaving the white chocolate might have been overkill, thoughts?

    though now that I think about it, I didn’t stir the peanut butter into the white chocolate before microwaving for a second time, perhaps that was the problem. Either way hoping that they turn out because they look delicious.

    • I didn’t stir the peanut butter into the white chocolate before microwaving for a second time, perhaps that was the problem = YES that was the problem because if you’re just heating the white choc by itself, with nothing to ‘buffer’ it, it could scorch/seize in 2 minutes, absolutely.

      With white chocolate, and microwaves, bowl types/sizes/materials, etc. it’s always best to start slowly (less is more!) with the heat and adjust as necessary to get things to melt in your own kitchen.

      Sounds like you’re on track though!

  45. SOOO good. Just made these today. I think they are more “candy” than “cookie bar” and cut them into 24 pieces.

    I didn’t have quite a full bag of white chocolate chips so I rounded it off with butterscotch chips and it didn’t hurt a thing. ;) (it couldn’t be because I have an addiction to white chocolate and broke into the bag … nah …).

    I think, though, that your heart is leading you away from cookies and desserts and more toward main dishes, judging from your recent posts.

    • Thanks for trying these Kris and glad they turned out like a candy bar for you :) And eating your way through a little extra of the white chocolate from the bag and subbing with butterscotch? Never hurt anyone :)

      After 6 years of mostly sweets, I think me and my readers could use some ‘food’. I love baking but my readers are telling me they love to ‘eat’, you know, like dinners so trying to mix in a hearty dose of real food amidst the sugar!

  46. These look utterly amazing! Is there a particular reason to not use natural peanut butter, though?

  47. Gotcha. Thanks for the reply. ?

  48. These sound so good and Id love to make them especially since its too hot to cook! Although, I cant stand white chocolate. Is there anything I could substitute it for that would complement the peanut butter layer?

  49. These look so good. I am wondering, if I need a bigger batch, could I double this in a 9×13?

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