I shouldn’t admit this, but I still had a few bags of graham cracker crumbs left over from when I made graham cracker chocolate chip cookies. While I hate throwing anything away, I tend be in a never-ending race between waiting for the right recipe to come along, and the expiration date. I still had time left, but I was cutting it a bit close! That’s why I was happy to find this peanut butter pie bar recipe.
I wasn’t in the mood for a pie, but this recipe seemed interesting and different. I noticed that the recipe called for mini white chocolate peanut butter cups, but I didn’t have any, nor did I plan to leave the house. I still had half a bag of milk chocolate chips, so I used those instead. I also added a little more peanut butter to make up for the lack of peanut butter cups called for in the recipe.
The bars came together without a hitch, and baked perfectly. I was surprised by the flavor. I wanted the graham cracker crust to have more of a nutty quality, but it was graham flavor through and through. I decided I liked them by the time I finished the first bar, and half way through my second. These peanut butter pie bars are also incredibly soft and chewy. The next time I make these, I think I will eat one warm with a little ice cream and caramel sauce. Check out the original recipe from the little kitchen to compare. I think I may make these again with the peanut butter cups to see how the flavor varies.
Peanut Butter Cookie Pie Bars
For the graham cracker crust
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 powdered sugar
- 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
for the peanut butter pie filling:
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
- 1/3 cup chunky peanut butter (creamy is fine too)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips (or your favorite kind plus more for the top)
make the graham cracker crust:
Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper making sure that they hang over the side. In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and powdered sugar. Add melted butter and mix thoroughly to combine. Pour the crust into the baking pan and gently press with your fingers, or the bottom of the glass to make sure that the crust has spread evenly in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for an hour.
make the peanut butter pie dough:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat brown sugar, butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy; about 2-3 minutes. Add egg and beat until thoroughly combined. On low speed add the flour mixture and beat until the dough just comes together. You may have to finish mixing by hand. Using a rubber spatula stir in the chocolate chips. Remove the graham cracker crust from the refrigerator and spread the cookie dough evenly on top of the crust. Sometimes an offset spatula helps! Sprinkle a handful of chocolate chips on top to make it pretty.
Bake bars for approximately 22 to 24 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.