Basic No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

by Juliana Walters on May 5, 2013

I realize it’s Cinco de Mayo and I don’t have anything festive for you for it.  Unless you have consumed at least 6 or more shots of Don Julio don’t put hot sauce on these peanut butter bars.

About six years ago I worked with a woman who gave me a recipe for the peanut butter bars I grew up eating in school.  She claimed her sister was a lunch lady/cook at the very Jr. High School I attended back then.  I lost the recipe before I ever tried making the bars. Ever since then I have been searching for “thee” recipe.  I think Six Sisters Stuff comes really close with their recipe “Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars.”  

Recently a coworker gave me another recipe for some peanut butter bars.  I immediately knew that they were not “thee” bars because the recipe didn’t call for oats.  But I decided to try them anyway, because who doesn’t like peanut butter, chocolate, and a new way to marry them?  I tweaked the recipe because I can’t help it. It is what I do.  These bars are wonderful!  They have a nice dense peanut butter consistency topped with a beautiful, shiny, soft, chocolate ganache.  They are not “thee” bars but they are really good.

 Maybe sometime someone could explain to me the virtues and chemistry of chocolate.  I took this ganache to hell and back (not on purpose).  I never mean for it to happen but half of the time the chocolate will immediately turn grainy when I pour in the cream, and sometimes it will seem to separate (oil/chocolate).  Then miraculously it will smooth out with relentless stirring and continuous indirect heat.  It drives me crazy!  More than once I have sent Ben to the store for more chocolate because I think I have ruined it.  By the time he gets back it is perfect!  I don’t get it!

 Basic No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

-1 lb. powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
-1 c. crushed graham crackers
-1 c. oats (I used instant)
-1 c. butter softened (I used unsalted)
-1 c. creamy peanut butter
Line a 9”X13” baking pan with foil lined parchment paper.  In a large mixing bowl cream butter and peanut butter.  Add sugar and mix thoroughly.  Stir in graham crackers and oats (you may have to use your hands). Press mixture evenly into you lined pan.  Top with chocolate ganache and refrigerate for a couple of hours.  

Cut into bars and EAT!!!

Chocolate Ganache
-12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used 60% cacao chips)
- ½ c. heavy cream
In a double boiler (over medium heat) add all chocolate chips and cream.  Stir mixture until melted and smooth.  Pour over peanut butter bars.
Thanks, Courtney!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

ulrike May 6, 2013 at 6:34 pm

This sounds yummie.
Try this: heat first the cream and add then the chocolate. If the cream is almost to boiling point hot, you will hardly need any additional heat to melt the chocolate. Just give it time.
I think a layer of dulce de leche would be nice too, what do you think?


Juliana Walters May 6, 2013 at 11:23 pm

I adore dulce de leche! I have never tried to make it though. Once I bought two jars of La Salamandra online. I ate them both before I figured out what I should do with them! Thank you for the chocolate tip, I will try it next time.


Anonymous May 30, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Can’t wait to make them , they look so good .


Juliana Walters May 30, 2013 at 4:07 pm

They are dangerously good! Make sure you have someone to share them with, and thanks for stopping by!


Margo Paton September 15, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Hi, I would love to try making the no bake peanut bars, but there’s a couple of ingredients and measures which are different from UK. I don’t think I can find Graham Crackers, I’m not sure what 1 c is in measurements, and I don’t know what a double boiler is. Maybe there are UK alternatives. Any suggestions, as i would love to try them! thank you.


Juliana Walters September 16, 2013 at 3:20 am

1 c. = ~176 grams
Double boiler is a glass bowl sitting atop a sauce pan of boiling water (so the ingredients in the bowl will not burn) click here for an image.
As far as a graham cracker substitute goes, any mild tasting, hard, crispy, shortbread (like) cookie should work for this recipe. (for example: McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits or Leibniz Butter Biscuits. I think Biscoffs would even work here.) In fact that makes me want to try one of those!
Thanks for visiting, and I hope that this information helps!


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