No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Sweet and Salty No Bake Peanut Bars are made with a layer of crushed pretzel sticks and creamy peanut butter and topped with melted Ghirardelli® 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ghirardelli®.

If you caught my post yesterday for No Bake Cranberry Cheesecakes, you’re probably asking yourself why I’m posting yet another no bake recipe. Well, that’s simple – it’s the holiday season, and I think we all need to arm ourselves with a few delicious no bake recipes. Whether you’re faced with a work potluck or impromptu holiday entertaining, I’ve got you covered with the help of Ghirardelli®.

I’ve become obsessed with Ghirardelli®’s chocolate chips over the years. Their mini semi-sweet chips make it into my mouth by the handful when I have a chocolate craving more than I’d care to admit publicly. They have some of the best white chocolate chips around, in my opinion, and the new melting wafers? Incredible. Their 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips are one of my favorites to use in delicious recipes like these No Bake Peanut Butter Bars.

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars on My Baking AddictionThese deliciously sweet and perfectly salty No Bake Peanut Butter Bars are pretty much over the top, if I do say so myself. It’s like a bite of peanut butter cup, but a thousand times better. Crunchy pretzels take these little bars from ‘pretty good’ to ‘I better give these away before I eat the whole pan’. Not that I did that or anything. *cough*

You might also be looking at these photos and saying to yourself, “Jamie, those are round, not rectangular. Can we really call them bars?”, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say, yes, yes we can. Using a small biscuit cutter to cut out the bars makes for a visual pop on the dessert table. The circular shape also takes an incredibly simple recipe and makes it just little more fancy-schmancy! Who can resist a poppable bite like that?

Topped with melted Ghirardelli® 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips and a little peanut butter, I’m telling you, you won’t be able to eat just one. Nor will anyone else, so if you feel like doubling the recipe, I won’t blame you. Being no bake, they’re utterly easy, and should be a go-to for the dessert table from now until January 1st, trust me.

Peanut Butter Bars on My Baking AddictionIf you’re looking for more scrumptious and festive holiday recipes, be sure to head over to Ghirardelli’s website and check out their Small Bites recipe selection. Emily (Jelly Toast) and I teamed up to create and photograph a variety of incredible recipes like this Autumn Spice Caramel Corn just in time for the holidays! Stay tuned to MBA over the month or so for more chocolate, holiday inspired desserts.

And now on to some pretty exciting (also nerve-wracking and anxiety-inducing), news, guys!

On November 15 at 11am ET, I’ll be co-hosting the Ghirardelli® Holiday Prep Kitchen live-streamed event alongside Bon Appétit Magazine’s Executive Chef Mary Nolan and Emily from Jelly Toast! I’ll show you how to prepare bite-size Ghirardelli chocolate recipes like this one, share baking and entertaining tips and answer your baking questions. Let me know if you have any questions you’d like us to answer using the hashtag #ICanBake. Tune in HERE for the event. You can also join the event group HERE on Facebook.

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces pretzel sticks, crushed (about 1 cup of crumbs)
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

For the Topping

  • 3/4 cup Ghirardelli® 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips
  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

Directions:

  1. Line an 8x8 inch pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together butter and vanilla extract. With an electric mixer on low speed, add in the pretzel crumbs, 2/3 cup peanut butter, and confectioners’ sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Press mixture into prepared pan to form an even crust layer. Chill for 10 minutes.
  4. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine Ghirardelli® 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips and peanut butter. Microwave on medium power (50 percent) for 1 minute. Remove and stir. If chocolate is not melted, return to microwave and repeat heating step, stirring every 30 seconds to avoid scorching. Stir until smooth.
  5. Using an offset spatula, spread chocolate mixture over the prepared crust layer.
  6. Refrigerate bars for at least one hour before cutting into squares or sticks.

Notes:

  • If desired, you can use a small biscuit cutter to create circular shapes.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ghirardelli®; however, the views and opinions expressed on My Baking Addiction are my own, and based upon my experiences with Ghirardelli® products. Thank you for supporting Ghirardelli® and the brands that continue to make My Baking Addiction possible.

68 Responses to “No Bake Peanut Butter Bars”

  1. JulieD — November 12, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Looks so good! And excited to see the live stream!

    Reply

    • Jamie — November 12, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      Julie-
      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      -Jamie

  2. Jessica @ Citrus Blossom Bliss — November 12, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    As fun as baking is, sometimes it’s just nice to have a no-bake recipe when you’re in a pinch and need a dessert. I love that these are made from ingredients I usually have on hand…oh, and Ghirardelli really is one of the best chocolates for baking!

    Reply

    • Jamie — November 12, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      Jessica-
      I hope you get the chance to try these! Thanks for stopping by.

      -Jamie

  3. Jessica @ Sweet Menu — November 12, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    Oh YUM! I ADORE Ghirardelli chocolate – can’t get it here in Australia but I’ll be stocking up when I next visit the US :)

    Reply

    • Jamie — November 13, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Jessica! :)

  4. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — November 13, 2014 at 6:43 am

    This is great news!! I’ll definitely be there to watch. But for now, THESE BARS! Omg. So yummy!!

    Reply

    • Jamie — November 13, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      These bars are so good, Katrina! A definite must-make! Thanks for visiting!
      -Jamie

  5. Jen @ Baked by an Introvert — November 13, 2014 at 9:25 am

    I love no bake recipes especially around the holidays. The oven is usually full of turkey and sides, so these no bake bars are perfect!

    Reply

    • Jamie — November 13, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      Mine too, Jen! Thanks so much for stopping by!
      -Jamie

  6. Rebecca — November 13, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Do you use pretzel rods (the big ones) or the tiny pretzel sticks that come in small boxes. I’m wondering because the tiny pretzel sticks are much saltier than the rods. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Jamie — November 13, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      Rebecca-
      I used pretzel sticks. I hope this helps.
      -Jamie

  7. Nikki P — November 13, 2014 at 11:17 am

    I have made these using graham cracker crumbs and while easy I was not impressed with the flavor. Now I think using pretzels will change everything. Thanks..(That’s my scale talking!)
    Not to mention the topping you have sounds much better than the one I had used. This will change the way I feel about this no bake treat.
    Thank you for another great recipe.

    Reply

    • Jamie — November 13, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      So glad to hear you are going to give these a try, Nikki! Enjoy and thanks so much for visiting.
      -Jamie

  8. Vickie — November 13, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I could almost taste it as I read about it. This is definitely going on my dessert tray…all year long. Confession: Like many others…I am addicted peanut butter!!!

    Reply

    • Jamie — November 13, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      Me too, Vickie – me too! Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!
      -Jamie

  9. Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy — November 13, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Mmmm love that peanut butter base! Pretzels, peanut butter, sugar, and butter…I die!

    Reply

    • Jamie — November 13, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Jennifer.

  10. Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction — November 13, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Love quick and easy desserts like this, especially when they involve Ghirardelli chocolate!

    Reply

    • Jamie — November 13, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      Jessica-
      Ghiradelli does make it wonderful! Thanks for stopping by.

      -Jamie

  11. Cindy — November 13, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Can this b doubled and put into a 9 x 13 pan. With a combination of chocolate and peanut butter I need a big batch! Thanks

    Reply

    • Jamie — November 19, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      Cindy-
      I haven’t tried that, but I think it would work just fine. Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you enjoy these as much as we did.
      -Jamie

  12. shannon — November 13, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    These look delicious, and I love the presentation in circles! Are there any tricks to cutting them with the biscuit cutter so that the chocolate doesn’t smudge into the PB part? Or maybe it wasn’t an issue?
    Can’t wait to make these!

    Reply

    • Jamie — November 19, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      Shannon-
      Hello! They honestly don’t smudge all that much if they are really cold when you cut them :) I hope this helps.
      -Jamie

  13. Glory/ Glorious Treats — November 16, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Ooh, these look incredible and they sound pretty easy to make too, so that’s a win-win!

    Reply

    • Jamie — November 17, 2014 at 9:17 pm

      Glory-
      Thanks so much for stopping by!
      -Jamie

  14. Kara — November 16, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    I made these tonight. First off let me say they are delicious. For those looking to make these, when she says use parchment, she means it, if you skip this step (like I did because the parchment went missing at my house again) the bars stick something fierce. I also found that the pretzels were a might bit tough to measure out. It seems like I didn’t end up using enough pretzels even though I used roughly half of a 10 oz. box. They are super quick and easy to make. I think the longest part of the process was sifting the powdered sugar. If someone needs a quick easy and relatively cheap something to take to a last minute potluck or dinner this recipe is a must to have in your recipe stash. They are sort of addictive, one says one more which says one more… ad infinitum.

    Reply

    • Jamie — November 17, 2014 at 9:18 pm

      Kara-
      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience with the recipe.

      -Jamie

  15. 3petitsprinces — November 17, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    forgive me if I missed this in the info above…can natural peanut butter be used?
    These look so delicious, I want to make them as soon as possible! I have everything on hand but only natural peanut butter.
    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Jamie — November 17, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      I haven’t tried it with natural peanut butter so I’m not sure. Let me know how it turns out if you try it!

      -Jamie

  16. Mollie — November 17, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Looks amazing. .can you cut after the frig. …but before the chocolate for nice edges? Thanks

    Reply

    • Jamie — November 17, 2014 at 9:22 pm

      Mollie-
      I think that would work great. Thanks for stopping by.

      -Jamie

  17. Tracy — November 17, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Hate pretzels, so do you think Ritz crackers could work?

    Reply

    • Jamie — November 17, 2014 at 9:21 pm

      Tracy-
      You could use Ritz Crackers but it will give a bit of a different possibly less crunchy texture. I hope this helps.

      -Jamie

    • Tracy — November 17, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      Thanks for the quick response! Love your page on FB! Think I’m going to give them a try to see. If not, then I will know that it was meant for pretzels!

    • Jamie — November 17, 2014 at 9:31 pm

      Thanks Tracy! I would love to know how it turns out.

      -Jamie

    • Tracy — November 19, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      I made these yesterday using the Ritz crackers and my children and I thought they were awesome! My husband on the other hand said he liked them but would probably like the pretzel version better.

    • Jamie — November 19, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      Such a great idea, Tracy! Now I much try this your version – thanks so much for stopping by!
      -Jamie

  18. Wendy — November 17, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    just made these tonight. Fun and easy recipe to make. I’m on a Diet so I don’t get to try them but my boys absolutely love them!

    Reply

    • Jamie — November 19, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      Wendy-
      I’m so glad your boys enjoyed them. Thanks for visiting.

      -Jamie

  19. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — November 18, 2014 at 8:10 am

    I love little circular desserts. And no-bake. These look awesome!

    Reply

    • Jamie — November 19, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      Brenda-
      Thanks so much for visiting!

      -Jamie

  20. Leslie Burnett — November 18, 2014 at 11:57 am

    I’ve made these with graham crackers for decades. I’ve also substituted Rice Krispies to make it gluten free. I’ll try the pretzel sticks to see how it tastes. Try the Demarle at Home flexipans to have them to pop right out of the mold (from the makers of Silpat).

    Reply

    • Jamie — November 19, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      Leslie-
      Thanks for the tips and I appreciate you stopping by.

      -Jamie

  21. Artist Elaine — November 20, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    These sound wonderful-and super easy! Can’t wait to try them!

    Reply

    • Jamie — November 21, 2014 at 9:44 am

      Elaine-
      Thanks for visiting!

      -Jamie

  22. krunal rathod — November 26, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Can I use semi-crushed muesli instead of using pretzel?
    Kindly reply as soon as possible…
    Tnk you
    N by the way…they look awesome…

    Reply

    • Jamie — November 26, 2014 at 10:21 am

      Krunal-
      I have not tried it with the muesli but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. It might be a little different texture. Let me know how it turns out if you get the chance to try it.

      -Jamie

  23. Stasha Simon — November 27, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    I made these, but I am wondering what will cause them to “set”? Mine seem really liquidy and that is AFTER adding more pretzel crumbs.

    Reply

    • Jamie — December 1, 2014 at 3:22 pm

      Stasha-
      Refrigerating them cause them to set properly. I hope this helps – have a great day!
      -Jamie

  24. Patti — November 29, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    I made them with Snyders Gluten Free Pretzels and they were delicious. Peanut butter balls (very similar, but made with rice krispies) are a family tradition, but these are displacing them both for taste and how little time they take to make. Going to sprinkle some sea salt on top next time.

    Reply

    • Jamie — December 1, 2014 at 3:22 pm

      I love this idea, Patti! I am so glad to hear you enjoyed them!
      -Jamie

  25. Becky — February 8, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Do you think instead of butter, we could use coconut oil? I want to make these for my sister in law’s ladies party on Tuesday, but I need to make them dairy free for her. (GF pretzels are easy to come by)

    Reply

    • Jamie — February 8, 2015 at 11:31 pm

      Becky-
      I haven’t tried the recipe with coconut oil, but I think it will work just fine. Let me know how it goes. :)
      -Jamie

  26. shannon — February 9, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    do these freeze well?

    Reply

    • Jamie — February 10, 2015 at 8:09 am

      Hi Shannon,
      I haven’t tried it, but I don’t see why they wouldn’t freeze well. I’d suggest freezing them separately on a cookie sheet first, then transferring them to a ziptop bag once they’re frozen. Thanks for stopping by!
      – Jamie

  27. Amy — September 29, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Do you think graham crackers would taste good, if not better than pretzels? I can’t wait to make these!

    Reply

    • Jamie — January 5, 2016 at 11:00 am

      Hi, Amy! I think graham crackers would be good, but they wouldn’t have the salty quality of the pretzels. Let me know how they turned out!

  28. Christina — September 15, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    I have 2 questions.
    1) Could you use Nutella instead of peanut butter?
    2) Could you use chocolate chips or chocolate bark instead of Ghirardelli?

    Reply

    • Jamie — September 17, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      Hi, Christina! I’ve never tried Nutella, but I say give it a shot! And you can definitely use chocolate chips or chocolate bark. Enjoy!

  29. Claudia — September 15, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Can you use milk chocolate chips?

    Reply

    • Jamie — September 17, 2016 at 3:06 pm

      You could definitely use milk chocolate chips, but the bars will be a bit sweeter. I hope you enjoy them!

  30. Debbie — December 18, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    I just made these, because of having celiac, and being allergic to peanuts and dairy, I used Snyders gluten free pretzels and Sunbetter in place of the peanuts butter, and I topped them with Enjoy Life dairy free chocolate chips melted with the sunbutter…they are delicious. 

    Reply

    • Jamie — December 19, 2016 at 3:43 pm

      I’m so glad you liked them, Debbie!

  31. cbse books pdf — January 21, 2017 at 5:53 am

    Oh that looks good

    Reply

    • Jamie — January 23, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      I hope you give them a try. They’re as good as they look!

  32. Rana Huston — March 26, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Why does the powdered sugar need to be sifted? Can you just measure out regular powdered sugar? I want to try this today, but I dont have a sifter, lol

    Reply

    • Jamie — March 27, 2017 at 10:55 am

      Hi, Rana! If you don’t have a sifter, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. The sifting gets rid of lumps, but I think you should be fine. I hope you enjoy them!

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