Crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside, these Peanut Butter Blossoms Bars are the perfect twist on the classic Christmas cookie that will bring the whole family together and please all of the peanut butter-chocolate combo lovers out there!
When I think of Christmas desserts, Peanut Butter Blossom cookies are what comes to mind first. These classic cookies were a favorite for all of us growing up, especially for my dad.
I must say this chewy peanut butter cookie dough is one of my best cookie recipes. I’m always complimented on them, and they’re requested everywhere I go for the holiday season. I could have a cookie tray of ten types of cookies, and the peanut blossoms are always what are gobbled up first!
However, I love a good bar cookie. If you haven’t made bar cookies before, you’re missing out! When they are baked at the right temperature for the right amount of time, you get the outer layer crunchy and crispy while still retaining the gooey, doughy texture on the inside. There is nothing better!
I also really love chocolate, and I wanted to increase the chocolate-to-cookie ratio on the classic peanut butter blossoms cookies for my own tastes. The typical cookie size for peanut butter blossoms does not accommodate more than one Hershey Kiss, and they look very silly when you try. That’s another reason why I wanted to develop my peanut butter blossom recipe into bar form. Plus, no need to roll out individual cookie dough balls. It’s so much faster to spread the dough out in a 9×13 pan and bake!
Read on to see how I make these amazing cookie bars, or you can skip to the recipe card for easy access to the whole recipe.
To make these delectable peanut butter blossoms bars, you need:
- All Purpose Flour, Baking Soda & Salt – These dry ingredients are Christmas cookie baking staples.
- Butter – Butter contributes to the perfect taste and texture. I do not recommend subbing this for something else. While some make these recipes with shortening, I much prefer natural fats in baking. Shortening is a highly processed vegetable oil that offers little nutritive value.
- Peanut Butter – Of course! This gives the classic peanut butter cookie taste and texture. Choose creamy peanut butter, not crunchy.
- Sugar – This recipe uses equal amounts of white and brown sugar in the dough. While you can use whatever brown sugar you have, I highly recommend dark brown sugar. It has a higher molasses content and gives a richer flavor and softer texture to the cookie bars.
- Egg, Milk, and Vanilla Extract – Staple cookie went ingredients.
- Hershey’s Kisses or Chocolate Stars for topping the cookie bars.
Preparing this delicious cookie in bar form is super easy.
1. Prep Dry Ingredients
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
To a large bowl, add 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt. Whisk to combine, then set aside.
2. Mix Wet Ingredients
Soften the butter to room temperature by taking it out of the refrigerator several hours ahead of time, or by carefully softening using your microwave (use the butter setting if you have it, otherwise just microwave the stick for 5 seconds at a time, rotating the butter to a new side after each 5-second run, until it is soft but not melted). Add the stick of butter to the bowl of an electric mixer, then add your peanut butter, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of the white sugar. Cream together until smooth and fluffy. Add your egg, milk, and vanilla and mix until well combined.
3. Add Dry Ingredients to Wet Ingredients
Carefully pour your bowl of dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Turn on your mixer to the stir setting and let it mix until evenly combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for a few more seconds if needed. Turn off the mixer and remove the bowl.
4. Flatten Dough into Pan
Scoop out your peanut butter cookie dough into a 9×13 pan. With the amount of fat in this recipe, you shouldn’t need to grease the pan, but it would not hurt to layer the bottom of the pan with parchment paper if you would like. Use a rubber spatula to flatten the dough into an even single layer throughout the whole pan, and then use your fingers to flatten and compress the dough so it is smooth.
5. Coat with Sugar
Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup of white sugar on top of the peanut butter blossom bars and use your fingers to spread it out into an evenly thin layer across the entire top of the bars.
Bake the bars in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes until they are golden brown, the middle is set, and a fork comes out clean when you poke it.
While the cookie bars bake, you can unwrap Hershey’s Kisses, or simply use Chocolate Stars from your local grocery’s bulk bins if you don’t want to deal with all of those wrappers!
7. Cover in Chocolate!
Immediately press chocolate kisses or stars into the baked cookie bars while they are still hot. Make sure you press them down firmly, otherwise, they will fall off when cool. You can decide what kind of chocolate-to-cookie ratio you would like, but if you’re like me, you will find these best with every inch covered in a chocolate treat!
8. Cool & Serve
Allow these bars to cool completely before cutting and serving. Enjoy!
Tips & Variations
If you cannot find any chocolate kiss candy at the store (because let’s be real–that can be difficult this time of year!), you could simply cover the top of the bars in chocolate chips and then press them down firmly into the hot bars after baking. They would be just as delicious.
You could also arrange peanut butter cups across the top of the bars! Full-size or mini cups would both work perfectly.
This peanut butter blossoms recipe also works fabulously for individual cookies. If you want to make the cookie version, make the dough as directed here, then use a standard cookie scoop to size the dough into 1-inch balls, roll each ball in your hands until smooth, and then roll in a bowl of sugar to coat it. Evenly space the dough balls on a cookie sheet and bake. Raise the temperature to 375 degrees F for the cookie version and bake for 10-12 minutes.
These are one of my favorite Christmas cookies, and while they’re not a super healthy dessert, they are perfect for celebrating the holidays! They are great to bring to a cookie exchange. For more ideas, check out my Dark Chocolate Crockpot Christmas Crack.
Enjoy these peanut butter blossoms bars for dessert with a cold glass of milk.
This recipe makes 20 bars. For one serving, the nutritional information is as follows:
- Calories: 249
- Protein: 3.8 grams
- Fat: 12.4 grams (6.7 grams saturated)
- Carbs: 31.9 grams
- Fiber: 1.2 grams
Store these bars in an airtight container. They are best eaten within 3-4 days for peak freshness and texture.
If you would like to freeze these, cut the bars and stack them neatly into a freezer bag. The chocolates may fall off in the freezer. Make sure you press them down well when you are assembling the bars out of the oven to reduce the risk of that happening.
If the cookie base is falling apart, that means you did not bake it long enough. Make sure you bake until it is golden brown, set in the center of the pan, and a fork comes out clean. This takes 30 minutes in my oven, but all ovens vary so be prepared to adjust.
Let’s face it–these are not a low sugar treat. While I typically love sharing healthier baking recipes, this one is more of a classic Christmas dessert. For one cookie bar, there is 21.7 grams of sugar.
Did You Make This Recipe?
Make these peanut butter blossoms bars ASAP! Your loved ones will be so grateful.
Then, please leave a comment and review! It means the world!
Peanut Butter Blossoms Bars
- 1 3/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup Butter I use salted
- 1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
- 1/2 cup Dark Brown Sugar firmly packed
- 3/4 cup Granulated White Sugar divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup
- 1 Egg
- 2 tbsp Milk
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 20-80 Chocolate Stars or Hershey Kisses
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Into the bowl of a stand mixer, add butter, peanut butter, dark brown sugar, and 1/2 cup white sugar. Cream together until smooth. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla extract and mix to combine.
- Add the dry flour mixture to your stand mixer bowl. Beat on low speed until an evenly mixed dough forms.
- Scoop the dough out of the mixing bowl into a 9×13 baking pan. Spread the dough into an even layer and press the dough flat with your fingers.
- Add 1/4 cup sugar on top of the cookie bar dough and spread around with your fingers. Add more as needed so the whole top of the bars is coated in crunchy sugar.
- Bake the bars for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown, the middle is set, and a fork comes out clean when poked. Remove from the oven and immediately arrange your chocolate kisses on top of the bars. Make sure you press them in firmly, or they may fall off easily when the bars cool. I like to cover the whole top with chocolate candies, about 80 for the whole pan (4 per bar). But you can adjust the amount you use to your tastes.