Chocolate Peanut Butter Dream Bars

Licking the bowls kept getting better and better with each step and layer in the recipe.

The bars truly live up to their dreamy name.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Dream Bars - Nutter Butter crust, chocolate pudding, and peanut butter cream cheese filling!! Easy, almost no-bake, and beyond AMAZING!! Lives up to their dreamy name!!

If you’re a chocolate and peanut butter lover, you’ve found your end-all-be-all dessert.

If you’ve tried ‘lush’ desserts like lemon lush or ‘better than…’ desserts, this recipe is a chocolate-peanut butter version.

MY OTHER RECIPES


Chocolate Peanut Butter Dream Bars - Nutter Butter crust, chocolate pudding, and peanut butter cream cheese filling!! Easy, almost no-bake, and beyond AMAZING!! Lives up to their dreamy name!!

It’s an almost no-bake recipe (the crust bakes for 10 minutes) that’s easy, goofproof, rich, decadent, and guaranteed to be raved about by your friends and family.

There are so many textures and flavors that make the bars irresistibly dreamy. There’s a crunchy, salty-and-sweet Nutter Butter Cookie crust, topped with silky chocolate pudding, topped with a peanut butter-cream cheese-COOL WHIP layer. I could just eat a bowl of just that.

Finally there are peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, and Nutter Butters for added crunch and a boost of peanut butter flavor.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Dream Bars - Nutter Butter crust, chocolate pudding, and peanut butter cream cheese filling!! Easy, almost no-bake, and beyond AMAZING!! Lives up to their dreamy name!!

I recommend using old-fashioned peanut butter rather than natural types which are too oily, runny, and thin for this recipe. Use full-fat cream brick-style cheese because lite can be thinner, runnier, and won’t set up as well. I used regular JELL-O Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix rather than sugar-free.  I used Fat-Free COOL WHIP with success.

If you’re looking for an easy-breezy recipe for a party or event, look no further. I made it four days in advance of a party, froze it, and took it out to thaw 2 hours before the party. My family actually preferred it when it was frozen solid and said it was like eating an ice cream sandwich bar. I prefer it softer and creamier at room temp. Either way you’ll find yourself going back to straighten out the rows.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Dream Bars - Nutter Butter crust, chocolate pudding, and peanut butter cream cheese filling!! Easy, almost no-bake, and beyond AMAZING!! Lives up to their dreamy name!!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Dream Bars

If you’re a chocolate and peanut butter lover, you’ve found your end-all-be-all dessert. It’s an almost no-bake recipe that’s easy, goofproof, rich, decadent, and guaranteed to be raved about by your friends and family. There are so many textures and flavors that make the bars irresistibly dreamy. There’s a crunchy, salty-and-sweet Nutter Butter Cookie crust, topped with silky chocolate pudding, topped with a peanut butter-cream cheese-COOL WHIP layer. There are peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, and Nutter Butters for added crunch and a boost of peanut butter flavor.

Ingredients:

  • one 16-ounce package peanut butter sandwich cookies (like Nutter Butter Cookies), divided
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • one 3.9-ounce package JELL-O Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix (not sugar-free)
  • 1 1/2 cups cold milk (use cow’s milk; pudding won’t set up with soy, almond, cashew milk. I used 1% cow’s milk)
  • 4 ounces PHILADELPHIA cream cheese, softened (not lite)
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • heaping 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (not ‘natural’)
  • one 8-ounce tub COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed and divided
  • 1/4 cup milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter chips 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. To the canister of a food processor, add 24 peanut butter cookies and process on high speed until broken down into very fine crumbs; set aside.
  3. To a small microwave-safe bowl, add the butter and heat on high power to melt, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the melted butter to the peanut butter cookie crumbs and process on high speed to combine, about 30 seconds.
  5. Turn mixture out into prepared baking pan and using the back of a spatula, hard-pack the mixture to form a even, flat crust. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven; set aside to cool. While crust bakes, you can move onto steps 6 and 7.
  6. Add remaining 8 peanut butter cookies to food processor and pulse to break up cookies into bite-sized chunks, about 10 pulses or as necessary. Reserve cookie chunks in a small covered bowl or ziptop bag for use as a topping.
  7. To a medium bowl, add the pudding mix, milk, and whisk vigorously for at least 1 minute, making sure powder is fully dissolved and mixture is smooth. Place bowl in fridge to chill.
  8. To a large bowl, add the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, and beat for about 1 minute using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, or until smooth and combined.
  9. Add half the tub of COOL WHIP and beat for about 1 minute using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, or until smooth and combined; set aside.
  10. To the crust (make sure it’s cooled), add the pudding (make sure it’s thick and set up) in a smooth, even layer.
  11. Add the cream peanut butter mixture in a smooth, even layer. I find it easiest to add it in golf ball-sized dollops staggered around the pan and then using a spatula, blend the dollops together to create a seamless layer. Take your time so you don’t disturb the layers underneath.
  12. Add the remaining half tub of COOL WHIP in a smooth, even layer.
  13. Cover and refrigerate pan for at least 2 hours, or until dessert is fully set-up. I made it 4 days before a party and placed dessert in the freezer at this point, and 2 hours before the party, I took it out, garnished with the remaining ingredients, and served.
  14. Before serving, evenly sprinkle with chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and reserved Nutter Butter cookie chunks. Dessert will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months, noting that crust and sprinkled cookies on top may loose crispness as time passes.

Adapted from here

Only Eats

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50 comments on “Chocolate Peanut Butter Dream Bars”

  1. Absolutely heavenly! Your images do these sweet treats proud, will definitely try these,

    Thanks
    Joe 

  2. What?! You just blew my mind. I need this in my belly right now! Consider this recipe pinned! Yum Yum. Thanks for posting this. Now my weekend is complete. x

  3. When do I NOT want a PB/chocolate dessert? Um, never. It’s always the thing. In fact, posted one just today. It’s hard not to bake with PB and chocolate all the time because it’s the best!
    This recipe is definitely THE one. I’d marry it if I could! Looks so phenomenal!

  4. I’m crying at my computer screen right now because I really want to reach through and eat the entire plate of these dream bars. You just combined all of my favorite things into one delicious treat. :D

  5. I was just looking up recipes for an icebox cake for this weekend and now I know exactly what I’m making…I love old school nutter butter cookies…can’t wait to try this.

  6. These do look dreamy!! Nutter butters are one of my favorite commercial cookies and every layer looks so good. I always love more than 1 flavor and different textures going on. This will be perfect for summer!

    • Paula I cannot even tell you how perfect these were and that basically old-school things like Cool Whip and Nutter Butters and choc pudding can do no wrong :) If you have an event this summer, you have to make these! They’re crazy good and after 6 years of this, it takes a lot to get me excited!

  7. This sounds sooooo good! I could just eat that peanut butter layer alone too!! I love how you used Nutter Butters in the crust awesome idea!!

  8. Sounds and looks SO good, Averie! Creamy desserts and of course peanut butter are my weaknesses! 

  9. Stunning photos (as usual) and this is a perfect combination of all my favorite flavors. Love it, Averie!

  10. YUM!  I’m making this for dessert this Monday!

  11. Oh.My.God.

    I feel like there are always a lot of hyperbolic responses to these kinds of recipes, and most of the time the recipes are great but not deserving of a billion exclamation points and ALLCAPITALLETTERS enthusiasm.  BUT.  

    THIS IS DESERVING!!!!!

    LOVE.

    • I cannot even tell you how perfect these were. The Nutter Butter-butter based crust, just that alone, omg. Then the pudding, then the silky fluffiness of the cream cheese/PB mixture. This is one of those classic midwest, potluck, graduation, baby shower, etc. type desserts that everyone goes nuts for. I seriously loved this. If there is ever a recipe that I would say cheat on your gluten and dairy for, THIS ONE is it!

  12. YUM! I have a very simular recipe but it has a graham cracker crust. But using peanut butter cookies in the crust? I love that!! Need to try it!

  13. Dreamy indeed! These look so fluffy and perfect. I cannot resist something coated in peanut butter chips, chocolate chips and Nutter Butters! 

  14. These bars really do look like a dream! I love all the different textures you used in here too!

  15. I really don’t eat enough Nutter Butters…this recipe is the perfect excuse to buy some!! So dreamy! <3

  16. These look incredible! I’m drooling!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  17. Um, why don’t I live with you? I’ll do your dishes for a pan of this!! Seriously the best dessert ever!

    • Thanks for pinning!

      And this reminded me of some of your lush desserts, those really soft, fluffy, luxurious ones that you can eat a half pan, but feel like you could eat more, but have already eaten like a million calories, but it’s just.so.good. I loved these way too much :)

  18. Beautiful pictures! Beautiful everything !going To try this

  19. These look and sound absolutely incredible! There are not words! Pinned!

  20. Amazing! I don’t think one can ever have too much peanut butter and chocolate! I’ve had some Nutter Butters in the pantry waiting for the perfect recipe, and this one could finally put them to use!

  21. Wow! Those bars definitely look dreamy! I love all things peanut butter & chocolate so I bet I would totally love these! Yum!

  22. Just following up, it was DELICIOUS!!  My girls, 7 and 4, helped make it – they love baking projects they can make with me.  Everyone enjoyed it and I’m not ashamed to say I grabbed a little bite before I left for work this morning :)

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you!

      This would totally make a great breakfast bite to get the week started right after the long holiday weekend :)

  23. These look incredible! Definitely pinning these now. I love your blog!

  24. oooooh these bars ARE a dream-a magical chocolate peanut butteryyyy dream!

  25. Now I know why these are called dream bars! Can’t wait to try this recipe out.
    We love what you’re doing here. Are you interested in becoming our recipe partner?

  26. THIS IS NOT HELPING ME PREPARE FOR MY SUMMER BODY, tsk tsk!!

  27. Averie, these look SO good.  Perhaps your best bars yet!  I love all the layers.

  28. OK, I saw this and had to make it. I love PB & Chocolate. Although it is good, it is a bit to sweet for me. Any suggestions to tone it down a little. I might try graham cracker crust next time.

    • Between everything going on in this dessert, yes, it’s sweet! It’s a recipe from the Kraft site and so I did what they did to share it with my readers. You could omit the PB and choc chips on top, or omit the final crumbling of cookies on top; those would be ways to tone it down a bit.

  29. These were AMAZING!! everyone in my office thinks I’m a great baker because of the recipes I’ve tried from your blog so thank you =P

  30. Hi Averie!  Question….can you explain the foil?  Do you overlap it or cut it to just the bottom?  Did you use a glass or metal dish?  Did you serve out of the same dish with the foil?  Have you tried in a disposable foil pan?  Bringing this for a get together and just thinking of presentation.  Thank you so much!  Can’t wait to try it!!!  Have a great day!

    • I use a metal pan and I line with foil with overhang so that I can lift the entire batch out and place on a cutting board to slice neatly. For food photography (and for presentation purposes for everyone!) I highly recommend doing it this way. Not to mention, makes cleanup of your pan a breeze. I will give you a heads up though that this is a messier type of dessert (Cool Whip and pudding are never easy to ‘slice’) and is a little trickier to slice perfectly and neatly but it’s possible.

  31. Hi Averie! I would love to make these bars as one of my Christmas desserts this year. I’ve got a ton of baking to do in preparation for the weekend, so I love that you mentioned making this ahead and freezing it. I do have one possibly silly question though. Did you freeze it in the pan you baked it in? As in, did you just remove from oven and once cool, place directly into the freezer? Or did you remove it and slice it before you freeze it? I’d like to freeze and then slice the day of the get together, but worry about the crust portion freezing to the foil in the pan. Looking for your suggestions. Thanks!! 

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