Buckeye bars are a naturally gluten-free no-bake dessert made with the classic combination of a peanut butter and chocolate layered and sliced into perfect handheld dessert bars!
These peanut butter and chocolate squares are thick, rich, and a mouthful of magic. There’s something about the combination of chocolate and nuts that just works whether it’s peanuts, walnuts, almonds, or pecans! This is why you should get started on a batch of my chocolate-covered almond treats followed by my easy Rolo turtles recipe. Your whole family will thank you!
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Easy No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars
I love a good no-bake dessert especially in the summertime because it means no turning on the oven! This is a quick and easy no-fuss peanut butter treat recipe that requires just a few ingredients and is perfect for peanut butter or chocolate fans and anyone who loves the classic buckeye combination of both of them together! They’re always a part of our family’s favorite rotation of desserts no matter what’s going on. I make them for any and every holiday, but they’re also easily portable for potlucks, the recipe makes enough to serve a crowd for game day gatherings, and they’re great for bake sales. They freeze well which is great for last-minute guests.
These chocolate peanut butter buckeye bars are sinfully delicious. They’re a decadent bite, made with a sweet and chewy peanut butter layer topped with a layer of smooth hardened chocolate that just melts in your mouth. As for no-bake desserts, this one has got to be one of my favorites. There’s just something so amazing about an easy dessert that is basically so irresistible it’s borderline addicting. Good luck stopping at just one piece!
Why this recipe works/why we love this recipe
- A quick and easy dessert that come together in 10 minutes.
- No need to heat up the kitchen with the oven.
- Made with just 6 simple ingredients most of which you probably have in your kitchen cupboards.
- Everyone loves the combination of peanut butter and chocolate!
- They easily serve a crowd and can be cut into mini squares for mini desserts if necessary.
- A flexible recipe that can be made with a few twists.
- Similar to Peanut Butter Balls, another peanut butter chocolate recipe we love.
- Peanut butter – Creamy peanut butter works best for this recipe. It gives the peanut butter layer a smooth consistency which is nicer to bite into.
- Butter – Softened, which will help make the peanut butter even more buttery, soft and just plain delicious.
- Powdered sugar – Gives the peanut butter mixture a nice sweetness but also helps with the texture, giving it a little chewiness and structure.
- Chocolate chips – Depend on your tastes you can use milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, and even dark chocolate. Each will have a different flavor, but each will turn out perfect.
- Coconut oil – Adding coconut oil is optional, but when melted with the chocolate it helps create a smooth finish with a bit of an extra sheen to it. It solidifies nicely along with the chocolate and gives it a melt in your mouth experience.
How to Make this Recipe
This recipe will come together in 10 minutes and the chill time of 2 hours is definitely worth it!
Step 1: Mix peanut butter and softened butter together in the large bowl of a stand mixer or use a hand mixer. Beat until fully blended, scraping down the sides as you go.
Step 2: Turn the speed down to low and add vanilla extract followed by the slow addition of the powdered sugar. Continue mixing at low speed until a ball forms.
Step 3: Pour mixture into the bottom of a prepared 9×9 square baking pan, lined with parchment paper or wax paper, and press down with fingers or the back of a wooden spoon, making sure to get it in the edges of pan..
Step 4: Place chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwaveable bowl and heat for a total of 1 minute, stirring halfway through. Pour melted chocolate mixture over the peanut butter layer and spread using a spatula. Chill the bars in the fridge for about 2 hours until fully hardened.
TIP: Top with a sprinkling of coarse sea salt before serving, if desired. The sweet and salty flavor balance is out of this world!
1: Add a cup of Rice Krispies cereal to the peanut butter mixture fif desired.
2: Top with chopped peanuts before placing the bars into the refrigerator to set.
3. Crumble chopped pretzels over the top of melted chocolate before placing them in the refrigerator
4. Swap the peanut butter for almond butter for a twist.
- Use processed peanut butter. It would be difficult to use natural peanut butter for this recipe, as the oils separate and it doesn’t hold as nicely together as processed peanut butter does.
- Using parchment paper will allow easy lifting out of the pan.
- Don’t skip the chill time. Allowing the bars to set nicely, will give them time to solidify and hold their shape. It’s much easier to cut them and nicer looking when you serve them.
- Use a sharp knife or serrated knife to cut them to as big or as small pieces as needed.
- With that being said, if they are too cold or to solid, you’ll need to allow them to sit for abot 10 minutes at room temperature for easy slicing.
This is a fantastic dessert to make up to a day ahead and keep them chilled in the fridge overnight in the pan. Anything past that you’ll need to transfer them to an airtight container. They will keep fresh for up to 3 days in the fridge.
You can! Wrap them individually for easy storing in a Ziploc bag and that way you can just grab a couple at a time. Allow thawing before enjoying all over again.
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 stick butter softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil optional
- Line a square 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper.
- Add the peanut butter and softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed with a paddle attachment until combined thoroughly, scraping down the sides as it blends.
- Add the vanilla extract and blend on low speed and then add the powdered sugar slowly.
- Once all powdered sugar is added, continue to mix on low speed until a ball forms
- Transfer the peanut butter mixture to the lined pan and press it down with fingers or he back of wooden spoon (press into the corners well)
- In a separate microwave safe bowl, add the chocolate chips and coconut oil and microwave for 30 seconds then stir and heat for 20-30 more seconds.
- Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the peanut butter layer and use a spatula to spread the chocolate evenly over top.
- Place the bars in the refrigerator for approximately 2 hours to allow the chocolate to fully hardened.
- Top with sea salt, if desired.