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Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Swirled Cookie Bars. Sweet, doughy, and buttery, filled with chocolate chips, and swirled with creamy peanut butter. If your day needs a sweet, chocolatey treat, you should be making these bars…because sometimes all you need to brighten your day is a really good cookie!

overhead photo of The Best Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Swirled Cookie Bars

You’ve probably guessed by now, but for whatever reason I am into baking at the moment. All summer long I’ve been baking up fresh fruit desserts (hello to this blueberry buckle, this peach cake, these raspberry bars, and this galette). But with school starting up again this week (Asher’s first day is Thursday), and feelings of fall beginning to settle in, I’m left craving some more classic recipes that remind me of being a kid.

Sooo. Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.

I’ve said this one times too many here on HBH, but when my brothers and I were kids my mom would make homemade cookies at least twice a week. We’d come home from school to cookie dough, eat some, and then help her bake fresh cookies. She’d always make a batch and half to ensure that there was enough dough to fill a 9×13 inch Pyrex pan with extra dough for eating.

She’s a smart thinker.

Honestly, baking cookies with my brothers and my mom are some of my best memories from growing up and it’s always so comforting to be reminded of them. It seems every single year that late August rolls around I love digging back up these memories. Do you guys ever do this? It’s kind of fun to feel like a nine-year old kid again, even if it’s only for five minutes while you stand over the mixing bowl and shovel in spoonfuls of homemade cookie dough…

photo of Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Swirled Cookie dough

Anyway, I’ve been really excited to share this recipe with you today. It’s one that has been requested over and over by friends, family, and you guys, so I’m glad to finally be sharing. Because let’s be real, the combo of chocolate and peanut butter is pretty unbeatable.

Let’s talk details.

It was really important to me that I keep this recipe as simple and classic as possible. There is a time and place for over the top desserts with crazy flavors and things, but sometimes you just need a good cookie bar. One with classic flavors, a doughy center, too many chocolate chips, and a ripple of peanut butter running throughout.

That is these bars.

overhead photo of Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Swirled Cookie Bars in baking pan fresh out of the oven

I used my mom’s base recipe for the cookie dough, which I do believe is the very same recipe that’s listed on the back of the Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips. I think the only changes mom made was reducing the sugar and adding more chocolate chips.

My addition? Salted butter, which I swear is the secret to giving baked goods that extra special touch. If you haven’t tried it, you have to bake with salted butter. You have to.

And now that I think of it, I am 99.9 % sure my mom always bakes with salted butter too, and her desserts are nothing short of perfect. So bake with salted butter. You’re going to love it.

Moving on.

close up photo of Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Swirled Cookie Bars with flower and knife in photo

Cream the butter and sugar. Add your eggs, vanilla, and dry ingredients. Stir in lots of chocolate chips. You could also use dark chocolate chips, but then if you’re making cookie bars why not make them really good…

Hint, hint. Use semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Snack on some dough (only use pasteurized eggs and toasted flour). Then spread the dough in a baking dish. Dollop with peanut butter and add the remaining dough. Bake, smell the deliciousness coming from your oven. Wait (impatiently) for twenty minutes, find some cold milk, grab a fork and eat hot cookies, right out of the pan because it’s Tuesday and summer is coming to an end soon, and sometimes in life, you just need to live a little.

Today is a good day to live a little.

Eat hot cookies with a glass of cold milk and enjoy every last moment of it.

 

close up photo of Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Swirled Cookie Bars

Very dramatic aren’t I? But really, did I sell you? Pretty sure as my mom reads this that she’ll be hopping up from her computer, calling for Asher, and running to the kitchen to find herself some butter, sugar, eggs, flour, chocolate chips, and peanut butter.

Hoping you all have the same reaction, because like I said, sometimes you just have to do what sounds so amazingly good and comforting. Eat cookies now…have salad for dinner (new salad recipe coming Thursday!). And maybe even a smoothie for breakfast.

Balance, it’s all about balance.

And with that, enjoy your Tuesday…and make cookies!

close up of broken cookie bar

If you make these chocolate chip peanut butter swirled cookie bars, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love hearing from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every one of you. And of course, if you do make these cookies, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram so I can see! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

The Best Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Swirled Cookie Bars

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: 24 bars

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar and sugar until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined and creamy. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour, and baking soda, beat until combined. Stir in the the chocolate chips.
    3. Spread 1/2 the dough out in the prepared dish. Dollop and then gently swirl the peanut butter into the dough. Add the remaining dough overtop, don't worry if the dough doesn't fully cover the peanut butter. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-22 minutes, until just set in the center. Let cool and then cut into bars. Store for up to 5 days in an airtight container. 

Notes

*If you don't have salted butter, you can use unsalted butter and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt in place of the salted butter. 
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Comments

    1. Hey Angelina,
      Happy Sunday! Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed! xTieghan

  1. 2 stars
    I had high hopes and instead of adding peanut butter, I did peanut butter m&ms with chopped up caramel chocolate bars instead of the peanut butter and chocolate chips. I baked this for an additional 7 minutes from what the recipe had stated. I started with 20, then added the additional 2 (20-22 minutes) along with an extra five. It still seemed underbaked, but I let it cool before cutting and serving. Still extremely underbaked, quite disappointed in this one.

    1. Hi Kiley! I’m so sorry this recipe didn’t turn out the way you hoped! Thanks for the feedback and for letting me know! xTieghan

    1. Hey there! I am not too sure, I haven’t tried this recipe with that before! I would say maybe 20 mins and keep an eye on them from there? xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    I’m eating one of these cookie bars as I type this. Yum! When I made them last night, I thought I’d seriously underbaked them (they fell quite a bit in the middle and seemed soft) but I think this is just one of those desserts that tastes better over time. This morning they were perfectly ooey gooey and chewy, will definitely make this recipe again!

    1. Hey Claire,
      Awesome! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed and appreciate you giving it a go! Have a wonderful week:) xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    Made these today, so yummy! Mine came out on the cakier side but because I hadn’t made them before and didn’t know if I preferred them more chewy or cakey, I wasn’t super careful about measuring the baking soda (didn’t level it perfectly). The dough/batter spread and filled out my whole pan and they taste amazing! I’ll be making these again 🙂

  4. Wow! I made these and they blew my expectations out of the water! Yum yum yum!!!! I’m only slightly ashamed my husband and I devoured these in less than 2 days. I’m already looking for an excuse to make them again!!!!

    1. Hey Meagan,
      Thanks a bunch for giving this recipe a try, I am thrilled that it was enjoyed! Have a great week:) xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    I made these with quite a few modifications but I thought my notes might be helpful to some. I used the recipe as a jumping off point and kind of made it my own. The original recipe is probably quite good but I can’t comment on that.
    My daughter is allergic to eggs so I subbed in a scant 1/4 cup half and half for each egg. I also melted butter and then mixed with sugar. I subbed in 1/4 cup honey for 1/4 of granulated sugar (and put the remaining 1/4 granulated sugar in as well). I added a very ripe banana mushed up to the batter. I also mixed 1/3 cup peanut butter into the batter itself before adding flour and chocolate chips. I then followed the instructions for dough layered with peanut butter layer followed by dough on top and baked according to instructions with a few extra minutes added to make sure they were done. They came out quite good. They are slightly crumbly because of the lack of eggs but that is typical with all eggless baked goods. They were delicious and we all loved them and I plan to make them again. Thank you for the inspiration and the base recipe!

    1. Hey Angela,
      Thanks a lot for giving the recipe a try, I am delighted that the recipe was enjoyed! Happy Sunday! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    I made this recipe a while back and LOVED it!! I used skippy pb and it was fantastic. I want to make it again but only have Justin’s on hand, would that work? Thanks!!

    1. Hey Shelby,
      I am thrilled you liked the recipe, thanks so much for giving it a go! Yes, that will work. Happy Sunday:) xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    These are soooo good! The first layer was a little difficult spreading over the bottom of the pan because the dough is very thick but then I realized it didn’t matter that it wasn’t perfectly spread and it evened itself out as it baked. Two things I did differently; first I didn’t read the whole salted/unsalted butter controversary before I made these. 🙂 I think I may have used unsalted butter and secondly all I had was crunchy peanut butter. Still came out so yummy, perfect with a cup of hot tea or a glass of cold milk. New family favorite and going into the Christmas cookie gift boxes.

    1. Hey Kayla,
      Either one will work:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  8. Why didn’t the middle cook on the chocolate chip peanut butter swirled cookie bars? It was a beautiful color brown. The toothpick went in the center and came out what I thought was dry but The entire middle was like mush.

    1. Hey Tina,
      So sorry you had issues with the recipe. Was there anything you adjusted? I would bake longer:) I hope this helps! xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing!! My husband immediately claimed these his new favorite dessert! Absolutely loved them!

        1. Hi Harriet,
          Yes, you can use an equal amount of gluten free flour. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx