Fudge Brownie Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars.

Chocolate Chip Cookies, plus fudgy brownies, and peanut butter cups make these outrageous goodies the ultimate dessert bar!

Monster Bars - aka Fudge Brownie Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars. Best dessert bars you could ask for!-2

Some days I like to share my favorite healthier recipes with you.

Today is not one of those days.

Chocolate Chip Cookies, plus fudgy brownies, and peanut butter cups make these outrageous goodies the ultimate dessert bar!

Kevin is especially excited about this recipe. He’s been asking me for the past 10 days when I’ll be posting it. You see, these ridiculous dessert bars are his concoction. He likes to call them Monster Bars because well… they’re quite monstrous.

“Sally, can you please make a chocolate chip cookie layered with peanut butter cups and then brownie batter on top with chocolate chips?”

Kevin also encouraged me to make my Peppermint Crunch Puppy Chow, which was the most popular recipe in 2012 and the 30 Minute Homemade Soft Pretzel recipe is a recipe from his family. I think I need to listen to this man’s requests more often!

Chocolate Chip Cookies, plus fudgy brownies, and peanut butter cups make these outrageous goodies the ultimate dessert bar!

Let’s take a brief moment to reflect on what these insane dessert bars actually are. Are they a brownie? A cookie? A sugar bomb? Your dentist’s worst nightmare? Yes, all of the above.

Today you’re getting a dessert trifecta: chocolate chips cookies + peanut butter cups + brownies. I made the chocolate chip cookie layer from scratch and the brownie layer from scratch and I highly recommend you do the same!

You have a soft-baked chocolate chip cookie layer on the bottom. But not just any cookie recipe – you have to make sure that the cookie dough you use on the bottom produces an extra thick and extra soft cookie bar or else you’ll end up with crunchy, crispy, and thin layer on the bottom since the bars are baked for a long period of time in the oven.

I am never a fan of crunching into a chocolate chip cookie. I turned to my favorite soft chocolate chip cookie recipe for the bottom layer. This is the same cookie you guys rave about! Have you tried my soft & thick chocolate chip cookie recipe yet?

Fudge Brownie Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars

Once you make the chocolate chip cookie dough, spread it across your 9×13 inch baking pan. I used a rubber spatula sprayed with non-stick spray to make this step easier. The cookie dough is extra sticky, so I recommend you do the same.

What’s next? The peanut butter cups. I used a combination of Reese’s unwrapped mini peanut butter cups and Trader Joe’s mini peanut butter cups. They are two different sizes, but both mini versions. You may use regular size peanut butter cups in this layer and even chop them if you’d like.  Go for about 2 heaping cups of mini peanut butter cups.

Can I just eat the cookie dough & peanut butter cups with a spoon please?! ↓

Brownie Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars by sallysbakingaddiction.com

And finally, the motherload of all layers: rich, fudgy brownies with dark chocolate chips inside the batter. I’m obsessed with dark chocolate morsels these days! I use dark chocolate morsels more often than semi-sweet or milk chocolate (both of which could substitute by the way).

I used a homemade brownie recipe for the top layer. If you’re feeling lazy and short on time, use a box mix – but only in an emergency!  My favorite boxed brownie mix is Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate boxed brownie mix. The chocolate flavor doesn’t necessary taste like “dark chocolate,” it is just very rich and fudgy. However, nothing compares to a homemade brownie, especially if the homemade brownie layer is as easy as mine.

I have two homemade chocolate brownie recipes on my website. One recipe uses melted chocolate and another recipe uses cocoa powder. Some may not agree here, but I truly don’t have a preference over cocoa powder or solid chocolate. It’s chocolate either in solid form or unsweetened powder form. Mix it with butter, and you have something amazing. For the top layer, I used the brownie recipe calling for melted chocolate because it makes a larger batch than my brownie recipe using cocoa powder. You need a brownie recipe to cover a 9×13 pan.

Chocolate Chip Cookies, plus fudgy brownies, and peanut butter cups make these outrageous goodies the ultimate dessert bar!

The homemade fudge chocolate brownie layer is insane. It is so dense that it tastes like pure fudge. Sprinkled with dark chocolate chips on top, and mixed with melty peanut butter cups and a soft chocolate chip cookie layer on the bottom – you have pure monstrosity here people!

This recipe makes a large batch – about 24 decent sized and very thick bars, which is perfect for parties, larger families, or pure chocoholics. :) I brought a plate of leftovers into work and they were gone by 9:15am. It’s what I like to call a breakfast of champions.

Chocolate Chip Cookies, plus fudgy brownies, and peanut butter cups make these outrageous goodies the ultimate dessert bar!

Do you like homemade chocolate chip cookies or brownies better? Who cares! You get two favorites in every single bite!

Step aside, skinny jeans. Sweatpants are in style now, right?!

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Fudge Brownie Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars

Makes 24 generously sized, thick squares.I used homemade cookie dough and brownie recipes.The chocolate chip cookie dough must produce soft and thick cookie bars to avoid becoming too thin and fragile for the heavy batter on top. Feel free to use a boxed brownie mix for the top layer, but nothing from a box tastes like homemade brownies.Be sure to use a recipe that will cover a 9x13 pan.

Ingredients:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet or milk chocolate)
  • 2 cups mini peanut butter cups (or 2 cups chopped peanut butter cups)

Brownie Layer

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces coarsely chopped semi-sweet chocolate, such as Bakers brand
  • 1 and 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet or milk chocolate)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

Make the brownie layer first, even though it will go on top: melt the butter and semi-sweet chocolate in a medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly (about 6 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature (about 15 minutes - you may use this 15 minutes to make the chocolate chip cookie layer). Stir sugar into cooled chocolate/butter mixture until combined. Add in the eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in the vanilla. Gently fold in the flour and salt. Then, fold in the chocolate chips.

Make the cookie layer: in a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. On low speed, mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chips. Dough will be thick and sticky. Using a rubber spatula sprayed with cooking spray (to reduce sticking), spread the cookie dough all over the prepared baking pan. The layer will be thin, but will puff up as it bakes. Top with peanut butter cups, then pour the brownie batter on top and smooth with a knife or rubber spatula.

Bake the bars for 35-45 minutes, or until the center no longer jiggles and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out relatively clean (a few brownie crumbs may remain).

Allow the bars to cool completely, at least 2 hours, before cutting into squares. Bars remain fresh at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

 

This ain’t my first rodeo. Consider me a layered dessert connoisseur. ;)

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123 Responses to “Fudge Brownie Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars.”

  1. #
    61
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Dessertsposted February 27, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Kevin is just full of good ideas, you should probably keep him around :)

    Reply

  2. #
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    Jocelyn @BruCrew Lifeposted February 27, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Now that is what I would like to have for breakfast…can I come work in your office? Kevin did good with these bars…every single layer is amazing! Although I am crushing on that picture of the raw dough and pb cups! I just want that pan and a spoon :-)

    Reply

  3. #
    63
    Monique @ Ambitious Kitchenposted February 28, 2013 at 12:48 am

    These look incredibly rich and delicious! I’m a huge fan of anything with Reese’s peanut butter cups in it.

    Reply

  4. #
    64
    Liz (Little Bitty Bakes)posted February 28, 2013 at 6:33 am

    I’m just about start working on a little peanut butter recipe roundup myself – have to for the big day! I need to try your pb&j granola recipe – I definitely need to restock my granola stash this weekend, and I’ve got a jar of grape jelly that could be put to use!

    Reply

    • Liz (Little Bitty Bakes)replied on February 28th, 2013 at 6:35 am

      I scrolled down to click on comments and hit the wrong post. Pretend it’s up above. It’s 6:30am. ;)

      Reply

      • Sallyreplied on February 28th, 2013 at 9:00 am

        Hahahahahaha Liz I am cracking up. I’ve definitely done that before. And I don’t blame you. My home page right now is insane looking with all of the pictures, it’s hard to find where to comment!

  5. #
    65
    Laura Dembowskiposted February 28, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Layered treats like these are the best. They’re so decadent and yummy with all the different flavors and textures!

    Reply

  6. #
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    Meghan @ The Tasty Forkposted February 28, 2013 at 9:45 am

    2 words – Totally Amazing!! I’m right there with you when it comes to peanut butter. Girl, you could have made this post into an e-book!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 28th, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      a peanut butter e-book – I like your thinking Meghan! ;)

      Reply

  7. #
    67
    Adrianneposted February 28, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Sally – I’m planning on making these tomorrow for a dinner party tomorrow night but I won’t be the only one bringing dessert. I know you can sometimes cut 9×13 recipes in half and make them in an 8×8. Do you think that would work with this recipe? I’m sure if I just make the whole thing, they will all be eaten since they look AMAZING!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 28th, 2013 at 11:31 am

      Hey Adrianne! You are right that you may cut recipes in a 9×13 in half to make in a 8×8 pan. However, it would be tough to cut this recipe in half because you would have to cut both the homemade cookie recipe and the brownie recipe in half. That’s nearly impossible, especially since both recipes call for an odd number of eggs. I would make them in a 9×13 pan. Trust me, you won’t have too many leftovers!

      Reply

      • Adriannereplied on February 28th, 2013 at 11:32 am

        Good point! I always forget to look at the number of eggs. Thanks Sally!

  8. #
    68
    Danielleposted February 28, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Just a thought but have you thought of using your peanut butter cookie recipe in place of the chocolate chip cookie? That came to my mind immediately! I am a nut butter lover as well! Sooooo making these for my upcoming birthday. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 28th, 2013 at 12:01 pm

      That sounds wonderful Danielle! What a great idea. Kevin asked for chocolate chip cookies on the bottom, so that’s why I went with chocolate chip. Peanut butter sounds heavenly! Let me know how they go. Happy early birthday!

      Reply

  9. #
    69
    CenterCutCookposted February 28, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    I think my husband would fall in love with me all over again if I made these for him! ;)

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 28th, 2013 at 12:17 pm

      Kevin definitely LOVED that I made them for him!

      Reply

  10. #
    70
    Emily @ Life on Foodposted February 28, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Oh my goodness, I just had a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie and I still want one of each. Amazing!

    Reply

  11. #
    71
    Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchenposted February 28, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Sally, Sally, Sally! Seriously?! Why must you do this to me? :) I have a feeling I couldn’t even wait for these to bake before settling in with a spoon (or spatula). Give that guy a high five from me! I think he’s onto something…

    Reply

  12. #
    72
    Aprilposted March 15, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Heavenly – I made the Brownie Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar, I used your chocolate chip cookie recipe but a box mix for the brownies (Ghirardelli like you suggested). These are AMAZING! I will definitely make them again but will try your brownie recipe next time. I didn’t have much time to make them so the box won. I am excited to try more of your layered desserts!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 15th, 2013 at 11:17 am

      Hey April! thank you so much for the report back – I’m glad you liked these! The box mix does save a few extra steps for sure. Thank you for reporting back about them. I want one right now :)

      Reply

  13. #
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    sidposted April 18, 2013 at 11:58 am

    hi sally im from manila i tried making your cookies a recipe and one thing i can say to them it’s the best ive iver tried and tasted home made esp the death by choc and peanut butter cookies. My sisters even loved it too. Finally ive found a great recipe! Looking forward for more yummy recipes!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 18th, 2013 at 2:59 pm

      That’s wonderful, Sid! Thanks for letting me know.

      Reply

  14. #
    74
    easyfoodsmithposted June 7, 2013 at 11:36 am

    These bars are to die for! Your creations are truly awesome. Love your blog. Pinned it!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on June 7th, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      Thanks for pinning these!

      Reply

  15. #
    75
    Sherryposted July 22, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Is it okay to use light brown sugar in the cookie dough recipe? I hardly ever have brown sugar on hand since I hardly ever use it. Thanks! If it makes a big difference in the recipe, I will buy it, though :)

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 22nd, 2013 at 6:02 pm

      Hi Sherry – yes, light brown sugar would be ok as opposed to dark.

      Reply

  16. #
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    Barbaraposted December 16, 2013 at 10:23 am

    All of your brownie recipes look amazing. (actually all of your recipes for that matter!!!) Was curious to know if you have ever tried making these or any of your brownie recipes in mini baking cups for individual bite sized pieces. I would guess baking time would need adjusting, or maybe even oven temp. Just wanted something a little neater and easier to package for party platter or gift giving.

    Reply

  17. #
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    Kara Cposted February 8, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    Hi Sally :)
    So glad to read that everything is moving along nicely with all the wedding planning & that u have settled in comfortably in the new apartment.
    I am thinking of making these tomorrow to share with my husband’s family..have made them before, once I even layered 1/2 with PB cups & the other 1/2 with Rolo’s..do u think using Snickers bites would work? Also I think the very 1st picture on this post shows the bars in a glass baking pan..am I right? Do u recommend baking these in a glass pan or a metal pan?
    Thanks much!
    Kara

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 9th, 2014 at 9:35 am

      Hi Kara! I actually baked these in a metal pan – the one pictured. The first photo’s background is the entire sheet of brownies taken out of the pan – just not fully sliced yet. You can use a glass pan, though. The bars may take a little less time, since they’ll most likely brown quicker. Snickers bites would be so good here!

      Reply

  18. #
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    Food loverposted March 11, 2014 at 5:10 am

    You have the best recipies I have ever seen!!
    Most people use some ingredients that are found only in certain places, not all over the world. I love it that all your recepies use such basic ingredients and taste great

    Reply

  19. #
    79
    Baileyposted March 24, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Hi! My fiance LOVES peanut butter and chocolate and I am so excited to find this recipe. I am going to use your soft & thick PEANUT BUTTER cookie recipe on the bottom with Reeses Easter Eggs and then your cocoa powder brownies (cuz thats what I have on hand!) He’ll be super surprised when he gets home. Thanks for all the fantastic recipes you do. Can’t wait to try the Red Velvet Oreo Brownies.

    Bailey

    Reply

  20. #
    80
    Rachaelposted April 7, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Hi sally! So I made these and everyone is CRAZY about them! Absolutely everyone! I am going to bring some in one of my classes for my classmates to try too. My boyfriend loves them so does my roommate and her boyfriend! Everyone is threatening to eat the whole container! So delicious! (I kept eating the crumbs as I cut the admittedly). I made mine in a glass pan unfortunately. It is the only 9×13 my grandmother had. So I forgot about the fact that it would take less time in a glass pan than metal…so my cookie layer was pretty dark but still tasty! And her pan has a curve shape so my bars on the outside had a funny shape but they came out so well and I was so excited I had to tell you!! I cut my bars in half because they were incredibly thick and ginormous! Thanks for the killer recipe!

    Reply

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