Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Butterfinger Bars
Nobody’s gonna lay a finger on my Butterfinger. Remember that old slogan?
Well there’s truth to it with these because I wanted to hoard them.
I always loved Butterfingers as a kid and they’re still a gas station favorite treat for me. However, I’ve never made a single recipe that uses Butterfingers in the almost 5 years I’ve been blogging.
It was high time to change that.
As an aside, I have a recipe for Homemade Butterfingers. Ready in 1 minute in the microwave and they’re made with peanut butter and candy corn that are melted together, then topped with chocolate. So easy and taste eerily close to the real thing. If you have extra candy corn, make that recipe, stat.
But back to these bars. No-bake Cereal Bars are one of my favorite things to make. You can’t go wrong combining peanut butter, sugar, cereal, and chocolate in the microwave, with some candy bars tossed in to complete the elegant ensemble.
They may not be the height of classy, but boy, they sure taste ridiculously good and you can’t beat no-bake.
According to Nestle, Butterfingers are gluten-free and since all other ingredients used are gluten-free, you’re looking a gluten-free dessert that comes together in minutes.
If you want to keep the bars vegan and gluten-free, replace the Butterfingers with Peanut Butter Cups, since the Butterfingers are the only non-vegan ingredient used.
Ironically, there’s no butter or buttery spreads used in these very buttery-tasting decadent bars.
They have the same base layer as Chocolate Peanut Butter Kit Kat Crunch Bars and the Chewy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cereal Bars have, except there’s cocoa powder stirred in. It gives just the right amount of chocolate intensity to stand up to the bold peanut buttery, caramely sauce that glues together the cereal to comprise the base layer.
After making the base, I melted chocolate chips and peanut butter together and spread that over the top.
A couple baking tips. I like melting 1 cup of chocolate chips to 1/4 cup of peanut butter. The peanut butter helps prevent the chocolate from scorching as easily. And it helps prevent the chocolate from setting up too firm and prevents it from cracking when sliced.
Then I sprinkled on crushed Butterfingers. I used 7 Fun-Size candy bars, and I simply squeezed them in my palm before unwrapping them to find orange flakes and chunks. They crush very easily so don’t squeeze to hard or you’ll have orange dust.
Finally, I melted another quarter-cup of chocolate chips for a final drizzle. I did this to help ‘set’ some of the Butterfinger crumbly bits, and as a happy accident, the drizzle gives the bars a Halloween-ish look.
Biting through each of the layers is a texture lover’s dream. They’re firm enough so they’re not a gooey mess, and the texture is dense and exceedingly chewy, yet soft.
The chewy and dense chocolate-peanut butter base with crispy cereal for texture is a great contrast to the the firm yet soft layer of chocolate-peanut butter, and the abundance of crunchy, salty-and-sweet Butterfingers.
It’s a requirement that you’re a chocolate + peanut butter fan for these because that flavor combo is what they’re all about.
And of course, you have to be a Butterfinger lover.
Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Butterfinger Bars (gluten-free)
A soft, very chewy, rich, dense, chocolate-peanut butter base is topped with a chocolate-peanut butter coating. Then, crushed Butterfinger candy is sprinkled on, before a final drizzle of more chocolate is added. Despite tasting extra buttery and decadent, there’s no butter used. According to Nestle, Butterfingers are gluten-free. If you swap out Butterfingers for Peanut Butter cups, the bars are vegan and gluten-free (since Butterfingers are the only thing that’s not vegan in the recipe). If you need a fast and easy dessert that’s sure to be a huge hit, I highly recommend these. They keep extremely well and can be made in advance, and are one my favorite cereal bars of all time. They’re a great way to clear out and repurpose leftover Halloween candy – or Easter, birthday, holiday candy.
1 heaping cup creamy peanut butter (use Jif, Skippy, or similar; do not use natural or homemade peanut butter)
1/2 cup light corn syrup (light-colored, not lite)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder (Dutch-process may be substituted)
3 cups Rice Krispies cereal (or similar crispy rice cereal that’s vegan/GF, if necessary)
about 1 cup crushed or diced Butterfinger pieces (I used 7 Fun-Size bars)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (use Jif, Skippy, or similar; do not use natural or homemade peanut butter)
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, for drizzling
- Base – Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine peanut butter, corn syrup, sugars, and heat on high power for 1 minute to melt.
- Stop to stir. Mixture will be on the granular side, this is okay.
- Return bowl to microwave and heat for 1 more minute on high power.
- Stir in the vanilla.
- Stir in the cocoa powder
- Stir in the cereal.
- Turn mixture out into prepared pan, packing it down firmly with a spatula and smoothing the top; set pan aside.
- Topping – Crush or dice the Butterfingers. I squeeze them in my palm before unwrapping them. They crush very easily so don’t squeeze too hard or you’ll have orange dust; set candy aside.
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine 1 cup chocolate chips, peanut butter, and heat on high power for 1 minute to melt.
- Stop to stir. Chips may not be completely melted. Return bowl to microwave and heat in 15-second bursts until mixture can be stirred smooth; 15 seconds is likely all they’ll need.
- Pour chocolate mixture over base, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
- Working somewhat quickly so that chocolate doesn’t begin to set up, evenly sprinkle Butterfingers over the chocolate. I prefer a fairly densely covered surface; add candy according to preference. Set pan aside.
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl (same one just used to melt the chocolate and peanut butter is fine; don’t need to wash it), place 1/4 cup chocolate chips and heat on high power for 1 minute to melt. Stop to stir. Chips may not be completely melted. Return bowl to microwave and heat in 15-second bursts until chocolate can be stirred smooth, 15 seconds is likely all they’ll need.
- Using a spoon, evenly drizzle chocolate over the top of bars.
- Cover pan with a sheet of foil (to prevent fridge smells), and place pan in fridge to set up for at least 3 hours, or overnight, or until layers are completely set before lifting bars out with foil overhang, slicing, and serving. Before slicing, allowing bars to come to room temp for 15 minutes will make slicing much easier. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Kit Kat Crunch Bars (keep vegan and GF by using Peanut Butter Cups instead of Kit Kats)
Chewy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cereal Bars (vegan, GF)
Peanut Butter Cocoa Krispies Smores Bars (almost no-bake)
Biscoff Marshmallow Chocolate Bars (no-bake)
Special K Bars (no-bake)
Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars (almost no-bake)
Peanut Chewy Payday Bars (almost no-bake)
Browned Butter Rice Krispies Treats (GF) – The best RKTs I have ever had. Double the butter and it’s browned, for great flavor and soft, buttery, chewy bars
Homemade Butterfinger Bars (vegan, GF) – Ready in 1 minute and taste dangerously close to the real thing
Fan of Butterfingers? Chocolate and peanut butter? Favorite no-bake bar recipe?