Brownies & Bars

Peanut Butter-Swirled Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

These Peanut Butter-Swirled Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are a quick and easy recipe that is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth!

There’s the traditional way of making a cookie: you make the dough, form little balls on a sheet pan, and then bake them. However, you don’t have to make
them like that. As much as I love cookies, I know I can’t be the only one who doesn’t always want to take the time to roll them and bake multiple trays.

That’s where these peanut butter-swirled chocolate chip cookie bars come in; all of the dough gets dumped into a baking pan and out comes soft-baked cookie bars with globs of peanut butter throughout. No dough balls, no cookie sheets going in and out of the oven every 10 minutes, just super simple steps!

Peanut butter not your thing? Feel free to replace it with your favorite nut butter, or just leave it out completely for a simple chocolate chip cookie bar recipe. That’s right… you’re getting a 2-for-1 here people!

You don’t need any sort of fancy ingredients for these peanut butter-swirled chocolate chip cookie bars; in fact, you’ll likely have everything already in your pantry. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Butter: The one and only. All good cookie recipes need it.
  • Sugar: This recipe uses just a little over 1/2 cup of sugar (granulated and dark brown); you can’t reduce the sugar without seriously affecting the final structure and texture of the cookie bars. These bars aren’t overly sweet though, don’t worry!
  • Egg: Only one large egg is needed here, which helps deliver a chewy final result!
  • Vanilla: It enhances all the other flavors. Leaving it out will result in cookie bars that taste a little bland.
  • All-purpose flour: Only 1¼ cups of all-purpose flour is needed!
  • Baking powder & baking soda: Helps to create a soft, slightly fluffy cookie bar.
  • Chocolate chips: I love using semisweet chocolate chips, but you could also opt for dark chocolate chips for this recipe. When it comes to baking with chocolate, make sure to use the highest quality one that has the fewest ingredients.
  • Salt: Cookie bars, like most desserts, made without salt taste a little plain, so don’t skip it!
  • Peanut butter: These are peanut butter-swirled cookie bars after all…

Making these peanut butter-swirled chocolate chip cookie bars is insanely simple. Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Beat together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until well combined. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips until evenly incorporated.
  • Spread half of the cookie dough out into the prepared pan. Dollop and then gently spread/swirl the peanut butter into the dough. Add the remaining dough over top.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle with flaky sea salt (if desired). Let the bars cool completely before cutting.

Serving: You can serve these cookie bars warm or at room temperature. They’re best served within the first 3 days of being made. I like to reheat them a little in the microwave before eating!

Storage: Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container and can be kept at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Leftovers can also be wrapped in plastic wrap surrounded by tin foil and then be frozen for up to 2 months.

PEANUT BUTTER-SWIRLED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE BARS: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I reduce the sugar?
I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s doing more than lending a sweet flavor; it’s actually helping with the overall structure and texture of the cookie bars. If you’re worried about them being too sweet, you can, however, reduce the granulated sugar by 2 tablespoons (25 g).

Can I double this peanut butter-swirled chocolate chip cookie bars recipe?
Yes! You can easily double the recipe, and bake it in a 13×9-inch pan. You can adjust the ‘servings’ slider from 16 to 32 in the recipe card to get the proper measurements. Just keep in mind that your cookie bars might take a few minutes longer to bake overall.

PEANUT BUTTER-SWIRLED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE BARS: TROUBLESHOOTING

Help! My cookie bars came out dry! What did I do wrong?
If you used cup measures as opposed to weight measures, your ingredients were probably a little off. As weird as this sounds, measuring cups aren’t as accurate as you think. For example, somebody who scoops the measuring cup into the flour will have way more than somebody who uses a spoon to scoop the flour into the same sized measuring cup (and the person who spoons the flour into the measuring cup will probably still have more than the needed amount). This is why you should really be measuring by weight with a kitchen scale instead—it’s much more reliable and completely eliminates any inconsistencies.

Alternatively, if you measured your ingredients by weight and the cookie bars still came out too dry, you overbaked them, which is pretty self-explanatory. Make sure you remove the cookie bars when the center is just set; the residual heat of the pan will continue cooking them as they cool down.

Print

Peanut Butter-Swirled Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cookie Bars
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 16 bars
Calories 239kcal

Ingredients

  • 113 g unsalted butter softened
  • 75 g dark brown sugar
  • 75 g granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150 g all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 215 g semisweet chocolate chips divided
  • 95 g creamy peanut butter
  • flaky sea salt (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line an 8×8-inch pan with parchment paper then set it aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips until evenly incorporated.
  • Spread half of the cookie dough out into the prepared pan. Dollop and then gently spread/swirl the peanut butter into the dough. Add the remaining dough over top, don't worry if it doesn’t fully cover the peanut butter.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes, just until set in the center. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle with flaky sea salt (if desired). Let the bars cool completely before cutting.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 bar | Calories: 239kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 142mg | Potassium: 141mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 200IU | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg

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Mike Johnson

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