One of our family's favorite recipes, classic chocolate peanut butter swirl bars have a blondie-like chewy base topped with dark chocolate twisted throughout, making it a crowd favorite.
For even more delicious cookie recipes like this, check out our Simple Cookie Recipes page!
This recipe for chocolate peanut butter swirl bars have a long history with me. I've been making them since I was a teenager and so I'm calling them "classic" because they've been around awhile, a-hem. And this is a recipe that has stood the test of time - it is still a favorite of everyone who tries them. Well, almost (read on for that story!).
Growing up, my father was a peanut-butter fanatic (and still is), so we would make a lot of peanut-butter recipes, especially if they included chocolate. Since these bars were so easy, they were one of the first things my mom taught me to make. I made them often enough in high school that a few classmates mentioned them when signing my yearbook!
What does that say about me, that even in high school I was known for food? #foodbloggerinthemaking
Speaking of food blogging, for the fourth year in a row I am joining Erin from The Speckled Palate for The Sweetest Season, a week-long cookie fest to get you ready for the holiday baking season. Click here or the image above to see a running list of all the yummy treats we're all publishing this week!
The Story: Just "sugar & lard?"
Before Brian and I were officially dating and were in the "flirtation" stage, we went to a youth group function (I think it was to watch "It's a Wonderful Life"), and I chose to bring these cookies because I had gotten so many compliments on them in the past.
Oh, yes, I was out to impress.
When I saw him eating one (who am I kidding, I was waiting to pounce...), I made a bee-line to the cookie table, where I asked casually, "What do you think of those?"
"Um," he said through the bite in his mouth, "it's kinda like a bunch of sugar and lard rolling around in my mouth."
Yeah. That was the response I was after.
In fact, it was so far from anything I'd ever heard about these that I was speechless for a moment and then sorta laughed, "well, I made them."
"Oh. Well, they're good, too!"
I've since learned that this man basically likes two kinds of desserts: chocolate chip cookies and chocolate chip ice cream (with extra chocolate chips). On special occasions he might go for cheesecake with...you guessed it - chocolate chips.
I married him anyway. And thankfully had kids who love these bars as much as everyone else (almost) does.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Bars Recipe
To make these easy bar cookies (that may-or-may-not knock the socks off your loved ones, ha!) you'll need basic ingredients: peanut butter and chocolate chips plus, butter, eggs, flour, sugar (brown and white), vanilla, baking powder, and salt.
And no lard.
(And yes, if you're looking hard, I forgot the white sugar in the photo above - oops...)
Like most cookies, you simply cream the peanut butter, butter, and sugars before adding eggs and vanilla before adding the dry ingredients.
You can probably figure out why it was a cookie I was taught to make early in my baking career. Let's call this kid friendly in more ways than just eating!
Spread the dough as evenly as possible in a baking pan and then sprinkle a bag of chocolate chips all over the top.
You can use any kind of chocolate chips - extra dark are our favorite.
Put the pan in a preheated oven for 5 minutes and then slide the pan out and run a knife through the melted chocolate chips to marbleize the top. This is how you get the chocolate throughout the blondie-like base.
To make the swirls pretty, run the knife first long-ways with the pan and then up and down from edge to edge like shown above.
Tip: You'll want to thoroughly cool these bars before cutting or you will ruin the pretty top.
This is a case of "do what I say and not what I do." As you can see, I did not wait for the chocolate to cool completely before cutting. They were a little harder to cut with a lot of cookie and chocolate on the knife, but the tops weren't ruined. The cut edges would've looked better, though, so I still think it's a good tip to wait to cut them until the chocolate is firm.
Unless you're a blogger who is fighting the dimming daylight. #truth
Chewy, peanutty and chocolatey, these peanut butter swirl bars are still SO good.
Once you make them you can decide for yourself if these cookies will impress your friends and loved ones (or soon-to-be-loved ones…).
Classic Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Bars Recipe
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/3 cup softened butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon. salt
- 2 cups dark chocolate chips* equals a 12-ounce bag
- Beat the peanut butter, butter, and sugars together in a large bowl.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy.
- Blend in the flour, baking powder, and salt until mixed well.
- Spread evenly in a 13x9-inch ungreased pan. Sprinkle the bag of chocolate chips over the top as evenly as possible.
- Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and run a knife through the chocolate to marbleize.
- Return to oven for 20 minutes until golden around the edges.
- Cool thoroughly (to keep the top and edges intact) and cut into 24 bars.
This recipe has been updated - it was originally published November 2009.
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