I’ve made so many bars over the years, but I have some favorites.
These are a hybrid of the ones that I especially love.
They’re fast and easy to make, use only one bowl, no mixer, and people go nuts for them. There’s something for everyone in these drippy delights.
The bars remind me most of Carmelitas because they’re just so gooey, soft and slightly chewy, and loaded with chocolate chips.
I made a peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk like I did in Coconut Peanut Butter Magic Cake Bars and in the Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Skillet Cookie. It’s like peanut butter met dulce de leche in the oven, so good, and totally calorie-free, I’m sure.
They’re also reminiscent of Seven Layer Bars, because of the layers, graham crackers, and sweet milk, but there’s no coconut or butterscotch. For anyone who doesn’t like coconut, you’re safe.
To make them, I mad a base layer that’s similar to a cake-mix base I used in both Cookie Butter Funfetti Triple Chip Bars and Coconut Peanut Butter Magic Cake Bars. I loved the later so much I included them in my cookbook. However, this is a from-scratch cake base. It provides a soft yet supportive foundation for the next layers.
To the base I added coarsely chopped graham cracker pieces, similar to Soft and Gooey Loaded Smores Bars. The graham crackers soften while baking and meld into the cake base, providing an extra level of chewiness.
Then there’s chocolate chips sprinkled like in Cookie Butter Funfetti Triple Chip Bars, and finally the peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk mixture is poured over the top. If you think sweetened condensed milk is good, try mixing it with peanut butter. Heavenly.
While baking, the top layer caramelizes a bit and turns slightly golden. If you’re an oven door-watcher, big air bubbles form while baking. Some of them pop, some don’t. Embrace the science experiment.
After baking, you must let the bars cool for at least 3 hours, overnight is better. If you try to slice them sooner, you’ll have a literal hot mess that falls apart. They need some time to firm up before you can dig in.
They’re heavy, dense, very filling, and rich.
They’re worth every last gooey bite.
Pass the napkins.
Pin This Recipe
Caramel Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Gooey Bars
The bars are a hybrid of so many favorites. They’re fast and easy to make, use only one bowl, no mixer, and are drippy, gooey, soft and slightly chewy, and loaded with chocolate chips. A cake-like base layer is topped with graham cracker pieces, chocolate chips, and flooded with a sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter mixture. While baking, the top layer caramelizes and turns slightly golden. If you’re an oven door-watcher, big air bubbles form while baking, and some pop, some don’t. After baking, you must let the bars cool for at least 3 hours, overnight is better. Slicing sooner will result in a huge mess because they need time to set up. They’re dense, filling, very rich, and so good.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- pinch salt, optional and to taste
- 4 graham crackers (standard graham crackers, about 3-inches by 5-inches), chopped into 1/2-inch square pieces (about 1 heaping cup loosely piled pieces)
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- one 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside. I strongly urge lining the pan with foil for easier cleanup.
- In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
- Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don’t scramble it. Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
- Add the flour, optional salt, and stir until just combined; don’t overmix. Batter will be thick.
- Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula and pushing it into the corners.
- Evenly sprinkle the graham cracker pieces over the top.
- Evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl (same one you already used is fine), add the sweetened condensed milk, peanut butter, and whisk until smooth and combined (same whisk is fine).
- Slowly and evenly pour this liquid mixture over the bars, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula to disperse mixture into corners if necessary. If any graham cracker pieces have floated up or are jetting out, push them down so they don’t burn.
- Bake for about 28 to 31 minutes, or until top is set, slightly golden, and not jiggly. Be careful because bars will be prone to burning in the final moments of baking. A toothpick test won’t work because the interior stays gooey and moist, and the toothpick comes out looking wet, even when bars are done. Allow bars to cool in pan for at least 3 hours, but overnight is better (cover with a piece of foil and/or put pan in large Ziplock) before slicing and serving. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 612Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 204mgCarbohydrates: 79gFiber: 3gSugar: 56gProtein: 12g
Caramel and Chocolate Gooey Bars (GF)
Dulce de Leche Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars
Soft and Gooey Loaded Smores Bars
Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars (almost no-bake) – One of the favorite 2013 bars
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars
Cookie Butter Funfetti Triple Chip Bars
Coconut Peanut Butter Magic Cake Bars
Seven Layer Bars (Magic 8 Bars)
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Skillet Cookie
I just made these and I wonder if I overbaked them. I took them out at 30 minutes and the top wasn’t even brown yet, but when I cut into them they weren’t gooey at all. There was a firm cake-like bottom and the top was fairly firm as well, not all melded together and dripping like the pictures. The flavor is ok, but I am disappointed. Any thoughts?
I would say that yes, you overbaked. The top isn’t really going to be ‘brown’ as it’s in the oven, maybe a light golden, but no more since things tend to darken as they cool. If they were firm, not gooey, and brown, all would indicate that you need to bake for a bit less next time.
These look SO amazing. Caramel and peanut butter in the same bar MUST BE good!
One question…if one is not a fan of graham crackers, could I use broken Nilla wafers or Golden Oreos instead?
Yes either Nilla wafter or Golden Oreos would be great!
Use the rest of your G.O.’s in this :) https://www.averiecooks.com/2013/06/no-ice-cream-maker-funfetti-cake-batter-golden-oreo-ice-cream.html
And your Nillas here https://www.averiecooks.com/2014/03/old-fashioned-banana-pudding.html
Just suggestions of course in case you have extras :)
Your gooey photos continue to make me drool. These bars look finger licking good.
I don’t think you’ll ever cease to amaze me with your beautiful bar recipes, Averie! No joke, I always want to reach through the screen and eat them! Pinning this! Thanks for sharing, Averie. :)
You are so sweet & thanks, Julie!
Caramel, PB, and chocolate chips in the same bar?! You have outdone yourself!
Oh dear – just made these and no visitors coming round – who is going to stop me eating the whole tray!!!!!!!!!!
LOL! Glad you like them :) Thanks for Lmk you tried the recipe!
Averie! These ooey gooey beautiful creamy luscious chewy bars have everything that I adore eating! Your photos are so beautiful – I can’t get over the caramel dripping out of each bar. And I’m sure you’re right about these being calorie-free ;)
Thanks for the photo compliments! And yes totally calorie-free :)
Skip the napkins — just pass me the whole platter! ;) These look absolutely incredible Averie, a beautiful combination of the best things in the world of desserts. Chocolate, PB, graham crackers, ooey gooey ness… I think I just about died and went to heaven. Yum!
These just look TOO good! I love the gooey caramel which you seem to aswell with all the other caramel bars you make :) Thanks for sharing! xx
Anisa – The Macadame. xx
Hybrid desserts are the best, and I’m all for gooey caramely treats!
Hi Averie, I just discovered your blog and I love it! Thanks for sharing this yummy looking recipe – I’ve actually been craving a PB treat to bake. And this one looks perfect!
Thanks for just finding me! :)
These bars look every kind of wonderful!
When I see photos like these, I start to feel a little sorry for myself that I just can’t eat bars like that! Boy oh boy am I missing out and man oh man those look incredible. So do the carmelitas! At least I can bake these for the boys. It’s almost just as great as tasting them myself! Amazing photos and delicious looking recipe, Averie. I can’t wait to make these! :-)
I know your boys will love them and you’re awesome for baking for them, as always :) And yes, not being able to eat things…trust me, I have to be careful with stuff like this too because between the richness, gluten, dairy, eggs, a few bites is really all I can do or I will pay the price too!
You’ve done it! I love that you took elements from your different, amazziiiinggg, bars to create these completely perfect, crazy delicious ones! SO GOOEY!
Ooooooh Averie! These are drop-dead-AMAZING. Need me like 3… now :)
And thanks for the FB share, too :)
These are definitely some of the gooiest bars I’ve seen and I love it!
Well it’s official. After consuming every single bar recipe you have shared, I’m gonna have to get a one-piece this year. I feel it will be worth every bite. These look divine!
You’re so sweet and LOL’ing at the one-piece comment :)
Omg peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk are probably some of the best flavors around for dessert. Combining them both and topping your bars with them is nothing short of genius :)
Wow Averie, this is the PERFECT hybrid treat!! Yummy!!
Could there be a more perfect bar? I don’t think so! Peanut butter, caramel, and chocolate? In a super gooey bar? I die. Too good!
These are kinda-sorta INCREDIBLE. I am dying over all the gooeiness happening. You are officially the Queen of Gooey. And that’s a very complimentary title if I say so!
I love EVERYTHING about these bars Averie! So many awesome flavors and oh-so gooey – perfection! Pinned my friend!
Thanks for pinning :)
Oh my gosh, my jaw just hit the floor. I love all of that gooey peanut butter mixture dripping down the sides. Can’t even handle it! What a fantastic idea to combine all your favorites into one bar. I can only image how amazing it is to bite into one of these. Good thing they’re calorie-free. :)
love the caramel and pb…yum!
Caramel + peanut butter = a huge gigantic win!!! These look crazy awesome girl! Love the gooey amazing pics!!! Pinning for sure!
Thanks for pinning!
Caramel and peanut butter…sounds interesting :) I should try this. Looks really good
Oh my goodness…I think you’ve finally outdone yourself!! These look so ridiculously delicious, absolutely outstanding. I love pretty much all the same things as you, so these are like my heaven in a bar. That sweetened condensed milk and PB topping?! Amazing! Pinned :) and that ooey-gooeyness dripping…can’t even deal.
Thanks for the glowing comment & pin :)
Oh goodness! I can’t even focus on what you wrote…so much ooey gooey going on! These will be going on the cheat meal list:)
Sooo so gooey I’m in awe! I’m always impressed by that white surface and how it holds up beautifully to all the gooey treats. I know you said the varnish helps, I need to try your tricks!
I have a few white boards so they do get rotated in and out but honestly, no real special varnish. Gooey treats with sugar/sticky are actually way more forgiving to wood than greasy/savory ones I find!
I can’t handle the gooey-ness. I need one right now!
These look amazing! They’re kind of like a cross between magic bars and blondies!
Ooooh, the peanut butter condensed milk oozing out just looks divine, and mixing the two together is brilliant.
Peanut butter + sweetened condensed milk for the win! Pinned!
Thanks for pinning!
That base is GENIUS. I’m in love! And the gooey drippy. YES.
Ahhh, that dripping caramel is making me SOOO hungry!!
My first thought (before actually reading the post) was Carmelita+PB+sweetened condensed milk. …and ooooh do they look good! The graham crackers are a nice touch for an extra layer. PB and sweetened condensed milk–pass me a spoon! These are a one bowl masterpiece!
Carmelita+PB+sweetened condensed milk <--- and you were right on the money! :)
Oh man, these look TOO good. Oooey, gooey, and downright amazing! You are most certainly the cookie bar queen!
Hi Amanda! Thanks for saying hi :)
Any picture of oozing caramel has me hooked! They look delicious!
These look so good Averie!! I’m such a sucker for gooey bars like this.
These are heavenly Averie! Love how gooey these are! I just want to dig in! No need for napkins! Must pin it!
Oh gooey goodness! These look delicious!
Your bars are the best!! I am definitely drooling right now.
These look so sinfully divine! Their overwhelming gooey-ness is calling my naaaame!
GAH! Caramelitas meet PB and made these babies. I am Pinning these HEAVEN
Caramelitas meet PB = yes! And thanks for pinning!
Um. Yum. I have no words.
I want to drown in these! Holy moly.
Shared on my FB. Just HAD to!
Thanks for sharing! :)
Is there such a thing as gooey perfection? If so, I think this is it. :-)
Have a beautiful Tuesday Averie!
This is an amazing hybrid, like a chocolate chip peanut butter s’more cookie magic bar! All of my favorite things in one place! And I love that it lets me give the mixer a rest.
You always up the ante with decadence. And since we’re both peanut butter fanatics, I can always count on you to enable my addiction! ;)
So glad that you’re such a big fan of PB :) I loved this hybrid, too!
This looks amazing!! I just want to get home for make it!!!
We also have in our blog very easy and nourishing recipes, hope you like it!!
Forget the napkins, pass the pan!!! These look outstanding, Averie! You have outdone yourself again!
One bowl is my kind of cooking! These look so delicious =)
Truly, this looks like the ideal gooey bar!! One amazing layer after another. Gimme the pan!! haha :-D
These pretty much have every thing I could possibly want in a dessert bar! Holy cow, do they look amazing.
Averie these bars look positively MIND-BLOWING! Caramel, PB, and choc is pretty much the most amazing combo ever—LOVE how dense and gooey they look! pinned.
Thanks for pinning! :)