Peanut Butter Bars and Squares

Peanut butter is one of the most popular food products in North American households, and every homemaker should have a good peanut butter bars recipe in his or her recipe file. A quick peanut butter and jam sandwich is a favourite after-school snack or light lunch, and a good source of protein and antioxidants as well as Vitamins E and B3. All-natural peanut butter and organic peanut butter are seeing an increase in sales across the United States and Canada as consumers search for chemical and preservative-free sandwich spreads. Peanut butter isn't just for bread though - it's consistency and flavour lend itself well to desserts such as bars and brownies. As many of us always have at least one jar of peanut butter in the pantry, Peanut Butter Bars are quick and easy to make for a potluck or bake sale. Whether cut into squares or bars, they can be as simple or as fancy as you choose. Here are some favorite Peanut Butter Bar recipes, collected from family and friends including low-fat bars, no-bake bars, granola bars, and even cheesecake bars. Happy Baking!

Peanut Butter Bars

Simple ingredients for a traditional tray of Peanut Butter Bars. Top with your favourite chocolate icing to make them extra-special.

Ingredients

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

1/4 cup butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 cup chopped peanuts

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour and salt together into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, cream peanut butter, butter, and vanilla together; gradually add brown sugar, beating until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beat well after each addition. Blend in flour and stir in peanuts. Pour batter into a greased 8 inch square baking pan, spreading evenly. Bake for 30 to 36 minutes or until center is firm. Cool in pan, then cut into bars. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Use up the cereal in the bottom of the box to make these easy no-bake Peanut Butter Bars.

Ingredients

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup corn syrup

1 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups Corn Flakes

1 cup Rice Krispies

Ingredients for Icing

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon butter

3 tablespoons milk

1 cup icing sugar

Method

Melt together 1/2 cup brown sugar and corn syrup. Add peanut butter, vanilla, Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies. Press into a 9 inch square pan. Using the high power on your microwave, heat 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp butter and 3 tablespoons milk until hot. Mix in icing sugar. Pour onto the ingredients in the pan. Cool before cutting into bars.

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Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

Applesauce keeps things light by reducing the fat, while Neufchatel cheese adds an elegant flair to these tasty cheesecake bars.

Ingredients

1/4 cup low-fat milk

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cups plus two tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup peanut butter chips

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter

1/4 cup chopped peanuts

4 ounces softened Neufchatel cheese

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine milk, oil, applesauce, 1 egg, and vanilla. Mix well. In a medium bowl, combine flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, cocoa, and baking powder. Mix well then stir in the peanut butter chips. Add the liquid mixture from the small bowl. Mix well. Reserving 1 cup of the batter, pour the remaining batter into a greased 8 inch square baking pan. In a small bowl, combine the remaining egg with the Neufchatel cheese and the remaining sugar. Mix well until smooth, then pour the filling over the batter in the pan. Drop the reserved battle by tablespoons over the filling. Draw a butter knife through the batter to get a marbled effect. Bake for 23-25 minutes or until center is firm (test with a toothpick, it should come out clean). Cool in pan on a wire rack, then cut into bars.

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Fudge-Topped Peanut Butter Bars

Cornmeal is a good ingredient to balance the sweetness of the fudge topping on these bars.

Ingredients

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup yellow cornmeal

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon margarine

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon smooth peanut butter

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

Ingredients for Fudge Topping

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/8 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons margarine

1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 large egg white, lightly beaten

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, cornmeal and baking soda in a medium bow - mix well. In a large bowl, beat margarine and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in egg. Add flour mixture gradually, mixing in with a fork. Press peanut butter dough into a greased 8 inch square pan and use a fork to make 8 equally spaced fork pricks over the dough. Bake for 20 minutes. For the topping, combine flour, cocoa, baking and baking soda. Mix well. Melt margarine and peanut butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Remove from microwave and stir in sugar, egg, and egg white. Add cocoa-flour mixture and mix well. Pour topping over warm crust and bake 10 minutes or until just set. Cool completely on a wire rack and cut into bars.

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Low-Fat Peanut Butter Bars

Prunes are an excellent substitute for fat in dessert recipes. Grapeseed oil has a mild flavor and is a nice change from canola oil.

Ingredients

2/3 cup or 4 ounces pitted prunes

3 tablespoons water

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup egg substitute or 3 egg whites, lightly beaten

1/4 cup canola or grapeseed oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup peanut butter chips

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a food processor or blender with a metal blade, combine prunes and water and blend until smooth. In a medium bowl, combine prune puree, cocoa powder, sugar, egg substitute, oil and salt. Using a mixer on the low speed, beat until smooth. Stir in flour until just combined, being careful not to overmix. Spread butter in a greased 8 inch pan. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt peanut butter chips. Pour melted peanut butter chips over the batter immediately. Using a fork, swirl the chips into the batter for a marbled effect. Bake brownies 15-20 minutes or until almost set in the centre (a toothpick should come out almost clean). Place plan on a wire rack and cool completely before cutting into peanut butter bars.

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Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Made in the microwave and with just five ingredients, this recipe is a sure-fire hit for potlucks at work or at school!

Ingredients

2 tablespoons margarine

2 tablespoons creamy reduced-fat peanut butter or peanut butter spread

3 cups miniature marshmallows

2 1/2 cups low-fat granola

3 tablespoons dark raisins or dried cranberries

Method

Melt margarine and peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl until thoroughly combined and smooth. Add marshmallows, cover, and heat until the marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat. Stir in granola and raisins or cranberries. Spread mixture into a greased 8 inch pan. Cool at room temperature then cut into Peanut Butter Granola Bars.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

A hint of cinnamon brings out the chocolate flavour in this yummy dessert bar recipe while applesauce keeps it low-fat!

Ingredients

1 2/3 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup low-fat chunky-style peanut butter

6 tablespoons margarine, softened

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

2 egg whites

3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup semisweet or dark mini chocolate chips or chocolate morsels.

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour,baking powder, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer on high to beat peanut butter and margarine until blended. Beat in sugar and vanilla. Add egg and egg whites, beating until light and fluffy. Add applesauce and cinnamon, mixing well. Stir flour mixture into batter and then gently fold in chocolate. Spoon batter into a greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack and cut into bars. Cool completely before enjoying these delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars.

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Comments 6 comments

nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 5 years ago

Love peanut butter! Great looking recipes must try!


crystolite profile image

crystolite 5 years ago from Houston TX

I not only love peanuts but adore it.Nice hub with mouth watery pictures.


Avamum profile image

Avamum 5 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks, nifty@50 and crystolite! Hope you have a chance to try these recipes out.


reversecharles profile image

reversecharles 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

This hub is the worst...for my waist line that is. Too good and delicious and great insightful pictures. I wonder if organic peanut butter makes a difference in taste once the treats are baked?


Avamum profile image

Avamum 5 years ago from Canada Author

Good question, reversecharles! I find that organic peanut butter is much less sweet than regular honey, which has sugar added to it. Organic peanut butter also comes with the oil sitting on top of the butter, which is quite thick and pasty,and you have to mix it together prior to use. When I use organic peanut butter to make squares they aren't as sweet. My mother prefers them this way; for the rest of the family I will usually ice the squares to please their sweet teeth!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Oh me oh my oh! These recipes look too good. Starting with the first one and working my way through the last seems rational, but my fav will be a toss-up between the cheesecake and the fudge topped bars. I'll have try a substitute for the cow milk ingredients but it will be worth it.

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