Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Bars
If you love chocolate with peanut butter, these decadent, delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Bars are a dream come true!
These out-of-the-ordinary Dessert Bars have the surprise addition of caramel which pushes them over the top. Every bite is like a party in your mouth.
Why You Must Make
- These peanut butter bars are made of peanut butter dough drizzled with caramel, then topped with chopped peanut butter cups and more cookie dough. Are you sold yet?
- The dough is also enhanced by brown butter which provides delicious caramelly undertones.
- The batch makes 24 bars so there are some for you and some to share!!
I was late to the chocolate-peanut butter bandwagon, but once I was converted, there was no going back. My oldest two children have joined me in this…err…addiction, but the hubby and youngest are still not on board. No worries, though; it just means more for me! Nothing better than a batch of classic peanut butter cookies. And since I also adore caramel, these bars were the perfect way to get a triple fix.
- When making your brown butter, stay by the cooktop. You want the butter to brown, not burn!
- Have your eggs at room temperature for easier incorporation.
- Make sure your baking powder is fresh. It will often expire while in the cupboard as it’s not used nearly as often as baking soda.
- PRO-tip: Spray your measuring cup with Pam or another non-stick cooking spray before measuring the peanut butter. The peanut butter will slide right out!!
- If it’s a warm day, chill your peanut butter cups before chopping. The filling will not stick to your knife when they’re cold.
- Make sure to check out How to Cut Perfect Cookie Bars if you plan to make these for someone special!
Frequently Asked Questions
Making caramel sauce from scratch isn’t overly difficult, but you need a candy thermometer so it’s the right consistency. An easier version is to take premade caramels and melt them with some heavy cream.
Making brown butter or beurre noisette is when butter is cooked until the color of a hazelnut (light brown) and develops a slightly nutty, rich, and more intense flavor than ordinary clarified butter. It adds a delicious caramelly undertone when used to make cookies or bar cookies.
First, before you bake them, line the pan with nonstick foil for easy removal.
After they’ve cooled, place the pan in the refrigerator to chill. When they’re cold, remove them to a cutting board. With a sharp knife, slice them into nice squares, but let them come back to room temperature before serving.
If kept in an airtight container, they’ll stay fresh for 3-4 days. For longer storage, they can be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
You May Also Like:
My friends and I are celebrating Chocolate Peanut Butter Day! A made-up holiday where we all indulge in this fantastic combination. Here are a few more recipes:
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse Parfait by Hip Foodie Mom
- Chunky Peanut Butter Stuffed Brownies by Snappy Gourmet
- Peanut Butter Bundt Cake with Chocolate Cheesecake Filling by Overtime Cook
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Ice Cream by Kudos Kitchen By Renee
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Earthquake Cake by I Wash You Dry
- Better Than Reeses Peanut Butter Bars
- Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies
- Plus, Check out ALL my best Bar Cookies Recipes!
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup butter melted and cooked till slightly browned and nutty smelling (browned butter)
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 12 ounces mini peanut butter cups unwrapped and cut in half
- 11 ounces or about 30 caramels
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350º. Line 9 x 13 pan with nonstick foil or regular foil followed by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a mixer, combine brown sugar and brown butter beating until creamy. Add vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in peanut butter until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the peanut butter mixture and gently mix till just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Grease a 9x13 pan. Spread half of the dough onto the bottom of the prepared pan.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt caramels and heavy cream, stopping and stirring at one-minute intervals until completely melted. Stir until smooth.
- Pour caramel onto the bottom layer of the bars. Top with halved Reese's cups. Drop the remaining dough onto peanut butter cups and carefully spread using your fingers.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Serving Size:1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 386Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 273mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 2gSugar: 35gProtein: 7g