Easy Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars

How to make soft and chewy bar cookies with peanut butter cups (or your favorite candy) from scratch.

Peanut Butter Cups Bar Cookies

Somehow, we’ve collected an odd assortment of miniature candy bars. We’ve literally got half-empty bags pushed into every nook and cranny of our pantry. A few of those bags had one of our favorites, Reese’s peanut butter cups. This soft, tender and easy bar cookie recipe was the perfect way to use them.

Our Favorite From Scratch Cookie Dough for Bar Cookies

This cookie dough is versatile and can be used 100 different ways.

Easy Peanut Butter Cups Bar Cookies

We absolutely love peanut butter cups. Especially the miniature ones — they have the perfect peanut butter to chocolate ratio for us. If you have another favorite — Snickers, Milky Way Bars, or other candy, use it. They work just as well.

Adding the Peanut Butter Cups to Cookie Dough

The cookie dough comes together in minutes — beat butter and sugar, add egg, and then the dry ingredients. Soft, tender, chewy bar cookies! So easy and oh, so delicious!

This post was sponsored by Gold Medal Flour.

Easy Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars

  • PREP
  • COOK

This soft, tender and easy bar cookie recipe is the perfect way to use your favorite candy bars. We love peanut butter cups, but most candy will work for this.

Makes 12 cookies

You Will Need

8 tablespoons (115 grams) butter, softened (1 stick)

1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated sugar

1/3 cup packed (65 grams) brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 1/4 cups (160 grams) all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

20 miniature peanut butter cups, unwrapped and halved


    1Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with parchment paper then lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray or grease with butter.

    2In a large bowl, beat butter, both sugars and the vanilla extract on medium speed with a hand mixer until creamy, light, and fluffy, scraping down the sides as necessary; about 3 minutes. Add egg and beat until combined.

    3In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt.

    4Add the flour mixture, in thirds, to the butter mixture, beating until incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Stir in the halved peanut butter cups.

    5Press cookie dough into baking pan and bake until the top is no longer wet and is golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Cool then cut into 12 rectangles.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Make Ahead: Refrigerate unbaked cookie dough up to 3 days.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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22 comments… Leave a Review
  • Judy December 12, 2023, 12:07 pm

    Can you freeze the bars ?
    I’m going to make these.
    Thank you 😊

    • Joanne December 12, 2023, 12:08 pm

      Hi Judy, Yes, you can freeze the bars. I’d keep them up to 3 months, but make sure that you wrap them very well.

  • Mary November 20, 2023, 12:03 pm

    Hi! Could I use a cup of chocolate chips instead of the peanut butter cups? We gave a peanut allergy in our family. The toll house pan cookie recipe never seems to work for me but these look wonderful!

    • Joanne November 20, 2023, 2:41 pm


  • Ann October 26, 2023, 2:07 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. If I wanted to add peanut butter to the batter, how much would you recommend?

    • Joanne October 26, 2023, 2:48 pm

      Hi Ann, a generous swirl of peanut butter would be lovely. I’d start with about 1/4 cup and see if it looks like enough.

  • Patricia Butler November 1, 2017, 3:46 pm

    How do you adapt this for use with full size Reese’s peanut butter cups? We don’t have any of the minis, but lots of the full size cups.

    • Joanne November 15, 2017, 6:20 pm

      Hi Patricia, You’re looking to add 1 1/2 to 2 cups of chopped candy. I’m not 100% sure how many larger peanut butter cups that will require, but I’d guess 4 to 6?

  • Liggs August 20, 2017, 4:51 pm


    • Joanne October 26, 2023, 2:45 pm

      We are so happy you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Nancy April 15, 2017, 9:29 am

    Plan on making today for Easter! Having family over. My daughter is pregnant and loves peanut butter and chocolate. Really, pregnant or not, who doesn’t love pb and chocolate?! I’ll let you know what I think…..

    • Joanne October 26, 2023, 2:46 pm

      Wonderful! You are right, peanut butter and chocolate is a pretty hard combination to beat.

  • Kathy A Pickens September 2, 2014, 9:35 am

    I love your recipes and would like to subscribe. Thank you so much!

    • Joanne October 26, 2023, 2:46 pm

      Hi Kathy, We are thrilled that you plan to subscribe. Welcome to our community of home cooks!

  • Jeweline January 21, 2014, 1:42 pm

    I made a Pregnant Woman melt with these. My younger sister is Preggos so I was able to occupy her five year old twin boys (they me make the cookie bars) and make her a delectable treat. Cookie (Brownie) points to me.

    • Joanne October 26, 2023, 2:47 pm

      Oh wow, we love this so much (especially that you got the older kids involved). Thanks for coming back and sharing!

  • Robyn December 16, 2013, 2:26 pm

    I love cookies and these are a great idea when you don’t have time to do batches. Like your no-fail blondies — which my family loves — these are going to be on my favourites list. Thanks for sharing your amazing recipes!

    • Joanne December 16, 2013, 2:34 pm

      Thanks so much Robyn 🙂

  • Nicole November 12, 2013, 9:18 pm

    Made these tonight, big hit and we used some of our Halloween candy, thank you!

    • Joanne October 26, 2023, 2:47 pm

      Yay! This is such a fantastic way to use up Halloween candy! Thanks for coming back and sharing, Nicole.

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar December 23, 2012, 6:34 pm

    I love the simplicity to this! Looks awesome!

    • Joanne October 26, 2023, 2:47 pm

      Thanks, Katrina.


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