I have had a craving to somehow combine peanut butter cookies with a vanilla-infused, brown sugar-sweetened peanut butter sauce and create a no-bake dessert.
And then I wanted to top the whole thing with chocolate frosting.
After pondering how I was going to do this, it finally came to me…
This recipe combines the peanut butter, brown sugar, and vanilla “sauce” I use in my Special K Bars…
That’s the “sauce”: Peanut Butter + Brown Sugar + Karo Syrup + Vanilla= heaven
…And just takes it one step further: adding a pound of Nutter Butter peanut butter cookies.
Here’s what I came up with. I think you’ll like it.
No-Bake Nutter Butter Special K Bars
1 pound of Nutter Butter cookies (or vanilla/peanut butter “sandwich” cookies of any sort)
4 c Special K cereal
1/2 c butter/margarine (1 stick)
1 c Karo Syrup (this is kept near maple syrup in the grocery store, it’s cheap and has been around forever)
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
Grind the Nutter Butter cookies in Vita or food processor and put into a big bowl along with the Special K.
In a sauce pan on the stove, combine the butter, Karo syrup, brown sugar and bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the peanut butter and vanilla extract and stir until combined. Some lumps from the peanut butter is ok.
Take the peanut butter sauce mixture from the stovetop and pour over the ground Nutter Butter cookies and Special K. Stir to combine everything.
Pour and press mixture into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Chill in refrigerator or freezer until set up.
Optional: Chocolate Frosting. Use prepared chocolate frosting or make your own. Follow my recipe for Vegan Chocolate Frosting. Or simply pour 1.5 to 2c of melted chocolate chips over the top of the bars.
A visual guide
Ignore the marshmallows. I thought I may use them in the recipe but realized I had enough sugar going on for one recipe.
Grind the Nutter Butters and place into a big bowl with the Special K
Make Peanut Butter + Brown Sugar + Karo Syrup + Vanilla Sauce on the stovetop
Take the Peanut Butter Sauce and pour over the ground Nutter Butters + Special K. Stir to combine.
Press into the pan.
Make the chocolate frosting or melt chocolate chips and pour over the top
Place in fridge or freezer for a few minutes until they are set up and then, slice, serve. And let the moaning begin.
These bars are every bit as amazing as I hoped they’d be.
They combine peanut butter sandwich cookies + peanut butter sauce
Plus adding chocolate on top of anything always helps the cause
They are dense, sweet, rich, peanut buttery, vanilla-ey, and chewy.
Sinking your teeth into these is a beautiful thing.
Pretty much everything I want in a dessert, these have it: No-Bake, Sweet, Dense, Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter Cookies, Vanilla, Very Rich
They are not vegan, they are not gluten free, they are not light or healthy. They are delicious.
From my last post about it Being a Zoo Out There with running errands on the weekend, yes it is! But such is life.
I had fun reading about if you’ve ever tried a blogosphere recipe and it was a fail for whatever reason. Sometimes things just don’t turn out how I’d hoped, and glad to know I am not the only one who’s had that happen.
1. Best thing you’ve done or eaten this weekend?
Best thing I’ve eaten was, hands down, these bars.
Best thing I’ve done was spending time with Skylar and getting a great workout in.
2. Are you a Peanut Butter fan?
I know some of you are going to say you like almond butter or other nut butters more than peanut butter. Those don’t hold a candle to PB for me. The only nut butter that beats/ties with peanut butter for me is Sunflower Seed Butter (TJ’s house brand rocks). But I am truly a huge peanut butter fan.
If you need a post showcasing my Peanut Butter containing recipes in everything from desserts to peanut sauce to roasted vegetables to one-pot meals with peanut butter in them, that’s your post. Of course in all the recipes you could use another kind of nut butter, too. Because I know blog readers are nut butter fiends!
3. What kind of dessert should I make next?
No Bake or Baked, Cookies, Cake, Brownies, Balls/Bites, Pies, Bars…give me some suggestions. And also flavors you’d like to see incorporated. My wheels are turning and I aim to please.
P.S. If you’re just catching up on Weekend Posts, here are mine since Friday:
- A Zoo Out There & Recipe Fails
- What Caught My Eye This Week
- Big Produce & Being Flexible
- The Best Things In Life Are Free
- Photo Editing: Before & After, Truths & Trickery
WAAH!!…”Nutterbutter Void” in my neck of France….Any Europeans out there with an idea for a suitable sub?!…I can find Special K…but not the other “key” ingredient…Would a speculoos or noisette/hazelnut or almond biscuit work…perhaps with something subbing for the cream in the middle?
These look stellar Averie…as is ALWAYS the case.
Oreo cookies (Golden oreos if possible) or any other vanilla or cream-filled sandwich cookies. Or use chocolate flavor based on preference. The biscuits you speak of – not familiar but they sound promising!
Oh LAWD! Those look and sound insanely good. Painfully so. I may have to cave and make a batch and then give away all but a few so that I won’t *accidently* eat the whole batch! Yipes! And your photos are beyond tempting – as usual! : )
LMK if you end up making them…they’re crazy good :)
Cut the salt in half in your favorite recipes. Most of the time this will not produce a noticeable taste change. Consider replacing part of the salt with an herb or spice, flavored vinegar, citrus juice or peel. Garlic or onion power (not garlic or onion salt) work well in meats, soups, and sauces. Make your own mix of garli
Hi Averie! I attempted to make the Special K Bars that these are based upon and would love to try these. However, I’m not sure if my Special K Bars turned out properly. I was wondering if you could tell me what the texture / consistency of the bottom bar part is supposed to be – it’s hard to tell from the photos. Is it supposed to be hard and crunchy or chewier/stretchier? Either way, they taste wonderful. I’m just curious, thanks a bunch!
not hard and crunchy. Chewy and stretchy but not so much that they fall apart. Pour the hot PB Sauce over the Special K and add 5 ish cups of Special K. And that should be about perfect :)
These look freaking amazing!! My kids would die and go to heaven if I made these… bookmarking the recipe for the next time I’m asked to bring “bars” (so Minnesota!) to an event.
I used to like peanut butter as a kid.. followed by YEARS of distaste.. but now I again find myself craving the creamy goodness! Weird right. Same thing happened w/ Cheetos (though I rarely allow myself to ‘indulge’ in that!)…
Holy Moly…those bars look SOOOO good! I am definitely gonna make them, as my boys absolutely LOVE peanut butter! I do like peanut butter, but not a ton, really. I would rather have white chocolate any day! :-) Btw, Averie…I made your marshmallow treats the other day and they were a HUGE hit in my house. In fact, they disappeared the same day I made them! I love how easy there were because I just don’t have tons of time to be baking!
Best thing I did this weekend was attend the high school musical here in Santa Cruz, where my boys go to school. Such fun!
As for what to bake next, I would say cookies of some kind. Those are a huge hit in our house and fun to bake! Hope you are having a great Monday, Averie! :-)
Oh my goodness!! I need these bars in my life right now. I can’t stop drooling over them, they look sooooo good. :)
I was ADDICTED to PB before. Addicted. I thought that by switching over to AB I could “break” the nut butter addiction – because I thought there was no way AB would be any good…uh, wrong!! AB is my favorite now!! Sorry ;)
Sunflower seed is good though. I have the White Chocolate Dreams PB here though – and so good!
Love your photos! Awesome.
mm these bars look delicious! The best food I had was dinner last night – miso gravy and quinoa with scrambled egg whites. YUM! I’m having it again tonight I loved it so much!
I’m allergic to peanuts… but if I wasn’t I would totally be obsessed with peanuts
That “sauce” looks like the best part for sure!!!! I have to make your bars one of these days – they look SO insanely good!
I want to swim in your “sauce”. Bahahah
YUM!!! and beautiful pictures Averie!
My favorite eats of the weekend was marvelous salad bar that I ravaged on Friday night!
Holy wow I think I’m in heaven….Nutter Butters are definitely a childhood fave. I’d love to make these for my fam! And treat myself to a GF recipe of yours, of course ;)
I hope you’re having a beautiful Sunday and tell the fam we all said heeeyy! :D
I love peanut butter and ANY nut butter dessert is cool with me ;)
If I could eat peanut butter all day everyday, I would.
I really wanted to make reindeer out of nutter butters for Christmas, but the baking extraveaganza was already out of hand. You just coat them in melted chocolate, stick a mini pretzel on one end for the antlers, and then stick a red m&m for the nose. They are adorable, and obviously, delicious. I want Christmas back!
I was honestly just contemplating that I have a serious peanut butter addiction going on. I have no plans of changing it. A day is just not a day without peanut butter… and a banana… usually together.
Peanut butter is definitely my number one love when it comes to nut butters. I actually put almond butter on my baked oatmeal this morning, sat down to eat it, got up after a few bites, scraped it off, and replaced it with peanut butter. Not joking! I used to LOVE almond butter, but peanut butter has been the only one for me lately. Nutter Butters used to be one of my favorite cookies when I was little. Seeing them is making me nostalgic!
These bars remind of the ones I used to find at local bakes sales as a kid and would beg my mom to buy for me :)
These look AMAZING! Peanut Butter is my favorite!! I actually have vegan donuts in the oven right now and I couldn’t help but add peanut butter to them! I have tried Almond Butter but I felt like it was missing the fat of PB or something because I just did not like it.
yummmm these look delish! I bet they could be easily vaganized if one wanted to also… hmmm… I wonder how they would taste with a little mashed banana in the bar??
I love peanut butter. Actually I love all nut butters. Sometimes I just grab a spoonfull out of the jar for a yummy, slightly naughty snack. Overall I haven’t experimented too much with peanut butter in baking, but it’s something I’d like to do more of.
Favorite yumm food this week was the yummiest and ripest pineapple I’ve had all year. DELISH! I sprinkled a little cinnamon on top and it turned out to be a killer combination :)
you could use vegan cookies instead of nutter butters and use a vegan cereal other than special k.
everything else is already vegan
Nutterbutters are amazing! Such good memories of eating those as a kid :)
I love this recipe because I love rice crispy treats–I’m always on the lookout for fun variations! Could you make some vegan (or just dairy-free) brownies? Maybe you already have a recipe!
raw vegan GF brownies :)
Nutter Butter cookies were my absolute favorite growing up, so I’m sure I would love those bars. They look delicious!! I’m pretty sure a certain 2 yr old would love them, too. ;-)
Best thing I ate this weekend was probably the pancakes I made for breakfast yesterday. I love pancakes. Although I had a big, amazing salad for lunch today.
PB is by far and away my favorite nut butter. I eat others for variety, but if I had to pick one it would be PB for sure.
Your next dessert should be something quick and easy. I think you are the quick & easy recipe master! :-)
these are pretty quick and easy. taking a million blog pictures, editing them, posting the recipe took forever. But actually cooking them…maybe 20 minutes including dishes? Not bad at all.
PB is generally cheap and gets the job done always, but sometimes almost tooooo salty/ sweet for me. sunflowerseed butter is my current obsession and nothing in the world is wrong with it, but we all go through phases haha! almond butter is decadent but expensive so its a once in a while treat for me. and i’m scared to spend upwards of 10$ on any other kinds and find out i don’t like them! so those are the only ones I’ve had. Have you tried cashew/ macadamia/ pecan/ walnut or any other kinds that you really recommend, or are they not really worth an arm and a leg?
these bars are very creative and look so decadent. wish i could eat gluten grrrr! maybe I’ll try to adapt the recipe with some GF cookies! hope your weekend has been great :)
I love pb too…I’ve been eating it out of the jar over the last week, yikes!
I wish I could eat your desserts everyday!! I just work out enough to not feel guilty about it. ;)
Wow Averie. Great idea!! I love that you can splurge once in a while. These look great, too bad they will have to wait until I have healed from my wisdom teeth surgery. I wonder how a Nutter Butter Special K bar smoothie would taste?? :)
smoothie..yum! You could crumble chunks of this into the smoothie…the batter is wayyyyy too thick to really turn it into a smoothie, but the crumbles would work.
WOW!! Those look AMAZING!! I love Nutter Butters, especially the wafer ones. YUM!! :D
Make something with Nutella? It’s been on my mind lately. I might try my luck with it, like a pie of some sort.
oh Nutella. I have seen so many amazing recipes with it in the sphere on some of the baking blogs i read…i need to do something with it, for sure!
Wow, those look amazing! Peanut butter is definitely top notch. I have tried cashew butter, , walnut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter….I just keep coming back to peanut!
Peanut butter is my all time favorite too!
those bars look to die for.
Damn, that looks delicious!
I’ll have to take a look tomorrow, if I can find similar ingredients over here in Germany. Wish me luck.
These. look. FREAKING. GOOD. Thanks for sharing naughtiness. :)
I’m a huge peanut butter fan! Best thing I’ve eaten this weekend…Korean Sweet Potates, purple, white, and orange…OMG they were so buttery, creamy and sweet. The bars look beautiful.
I love PB and I love “bars” — a MN thing maybe? :)
These look delicious and Nutter Butter cookies are super good — I don’t think I’ve had them for a long time.
I absolutely love brownies, so any recipe involving them is a good one to me!
Goodness those bars look incredible! What a creative idea to add nutter butters. Peanut butter is my top nut butter too with sunflower seed butter in a close second place.
What a crazy recipe! It looks great and nice photos. My nieces would love this … not my nephew since he has a peanut allergy though! :-(
1. Probably my pesto pasta yesterday and seeing Sucker Punch.
2. Yes, but more of an almond butter fan now.
3. Something high-raw with a light, fruity flavor like mango tarts.
thanks for the photo compliments…no matter how many shots I took, I don’t “love” any of them. They are fine, just not like…in love with them, so thanks :)
I would have a hard time not eating the pb sauce before it got to the bars! yum!
yes I could just drink the sauce..it smells and tastes heavenly!
Oh yum! Nutter Butters were always my fav growing up. Love the no-bake revamp of this treat!
Wow, Those bars look amazing! :) I love peanut butter. Thanks
visited your nice blog
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best thing so far was a vegan coffee house + thai food with friends. i do like almond butter better than pb but right now i’m loving cashew butter! i would love to see you do a no bake brownie nom!
I have no bake raw vegan brownies :)
I haven’t had those cookies since I was a kid. I love PB. Could just eat it by the spoonfuls.
Okay, THESE are downright dangerous. I could never have a stack of these in my house without eating them all!!! :-)
OK friend, these look WAY too special to be called special K bars ;) They look liked delicious mouth watering K bars :)
These look ridiculous good! Like a baked good version or a peanut butter cup. The nutty cookies was such a fun addition. Best thing I ate this weekend? Cornmeal pizza Friday night. Best thing I did? Date night with Josh. So good to spend time with him!
I can honestly say that pb is my favorite food and always has been!
What do you think about something with key lime? Summertime’s calling to me!
Your bars look amazing- I may have to make them for my Mom (she loves the pb and chocolate combo..) :)
Oh man do these look rich and sweet….which all good desserts should be. I love that you thought to add the Nutter Butters, too. Brings it to a whole new level!
I LOVE PB. Definitely my favorite kind of nut butter…I do love almond/cashew/etc and prefer them to certain brands of PB, but in the end peanuts always come out on top. I get it from my dad, who buys Costco-sized jars of Skippy chunky PB and eats several spoonfuls a day. Takes a scoop of PB, then of strawberry jam, and eats them together. I tell him he’s like a little kid.
Best thing I ate was probably pizza margherita and beer on Friday night!!
I lovelovelove the looks of this recipe!
I’m with you. The only thing that comes close to peanut butter for me in the TJ’s sunflower. I love almond butter and all that too, but growing up on PB sandwiches makes it hold a special place in my heart :)
Best thing I ate all weekend? I went to a brunch place called “Scone Witch” that specializes in scones and breakfasts revolving around scones. Ohyes.
This remind me of a “magoo bar” my mom used to make! Love the creativity with ingredients Averie!!!
Yup, I’m a peanut butter fan, but I have to admit that almond butter usually beat PB in the most cases. Both are fabulous though!
I loveeee PB and I haven’t had Nutter Butters in forever!! But I still remember how awesome they are!
Can you have a giveaway with those? yum!! Your pictures are so good too! They are so bright and really show off the bars amazingly! I have been enjoying all your posts, reading them at night in my email, I linked to you yesterday about the GMO article. Thanks for sharing it!
PB is my fav nut butter too!
Make more of THOSE bars please! :)
I’m just now adding peanuts back into my diet and definitely agree with you that peanut butter is better than the best.
Oops, I meant “better than the REST.”