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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
Calories Per Serving: 1527 kcal

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 Lily,
      Yes that is totally fine to do! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve made this three times now, and I think it’s become my new go-to dessert! Lots of positive feedback from family and friends. I found it helpful to ditch 1/4 cup of flour (adding 2 cups total), which made my cookie bars a little more chewy and moist than on my first try. I also dropped in a couple scoops of extra peanut butter (duh), and I put parchment paper on the bottom of the 9×11 dish to make sure nothing got stuck. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

    1. Thank you so much for trying this one, Lauren! I am really glad it turned out well for you! xTieghan

  2. You need consistency in measurements to get consistent results. Your “lightly packed” may be someone else’s “not packed at all,” etc. That’s why all recipes call for “firmly packed.” If you could take your “lightly packed” (which you have not corrected in the recipe yet” and firmly packed it, how much would that measure? It’s the only way I’ll be sure of getting the same amount of brown sugar as you used.

    1. Hey Michelle, you need 2/3 cup packed brown sugar. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

    1. Hi Lily,
      Yes that would be okay to do! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hi Kayla,
      I haven’t tested this with self rising flour but think you could have success with this recipe. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  3. Hi!
    I am making this for the first time. Just wondering…am I reading the amount of chips as between 2 and 3 cups of chips? Of is it 2/3 cups of chips? Can’t wait to try!
    Everything on your site looks amazing!
    Janis

    1. Hi Janis! It is 2-3 cups! My family loves there chocolate haha, but feel to lessen it if thats not for you! I hope you love this recipe! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  4. I made these tonight and they ended up extremely gooey. The top is nice and crispy but everything else is gooey/doughy, including the bottoms. Very happy to eat warm gooey dough but not able to really cut them up into bars to pack up and share with friends as planned. What do you think was the issue for future? Didn’t cook long enough? I have a terrible oven so it’s likely to blame! Thanks xx

    1. Hi Michelle! It sounds like they were not cooked long enough! Is there anything that went wrong before baking? Please let me know! xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    I made these today for the first time, I followed the recipe exactly as written and baked in a glass 9X13 pan for exactly 21 minutes and they turned out perfectly. This is a stiff batter so (as you and some of the earlier commenters mentioned) I used the back of the wooden spoon (and my fingers) to press the first half of the dough into the bottom of the pan and just took my time as it spread. The 3/4 cup of peanut butter (I used JIf creamy) spread easily over the batter and then I dropped the remaining batter on in dollops and then pressed those together (a bit but not to be perfectly) to cover, as you also mentioned in the comments, and they turned out perfectly! Fun and delicious recipe thank you!

    1. Hi Jolene! This is so amazing to hear! I am really glad this turned out so well for you and thank you for sharing some tips, I am sure they will be so helpful to others! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    These are unreal! I can’t stop making them.
    After a bunch of experimentation rounds (#quarantine2020), I recommend:
    1. Chopping your own semi sweet chocolate bar (as opposed to using chips)
    2. Browning the butter
    3. Adding Oreos after the peanut butter layer
    4. Using an 8×10 pan for thicccness (I increased baking time by a few mins, but obviously the goo factor is necessary)
    Thank you so much! They’re divine!

  7. 5 stars
    Omg! Love these! This is the third recipe of yours I have made this week. During this “stay at home” times, your recipes and posts have been so helpful and needed! And I just placed an order for you book. Thank you!!!

    1. Hi Angel! I am so glad you have been enjoying my recipes and blog! Thank you so much! I hope you are staying well! xTieghan

  8. I followed this recipe to a T, but I’m at 29 mins in the oven and they are completely gooey in the center. I know all ovens cook differently but I can’t image they’ll be done until about 40 mins in the oven. I hope they end up tasting good!

  9. Does “baking dish” refer to a glass dish or are you using a metal brownie pan? Just wondering because I don’t bake at the same temperature when using the two different types.

    1. Hi Karen! I am referring to a glass dish! I hope you enjoy this recipe! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  10. 5 stars
    I made these last night and they were delicious! I didn’t have salted butter, so adding salt, and ran into troubles with layering dough, peanut butter, dough. So, I improvised. They are delicious, not too sweet, hold their softness day two. Would absolutely recommend and will make again!