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!

Fudge Brownie Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars-- a little bit of everything in ONE!

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

Today is not one of those days.

Fudge Brownie Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars-- a little bit of everything in ONE!

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!

Fudge Brownie Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars-- a little bit of everything in ONE!

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. 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.

Fudge Brownie Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars-- a little bit of everything in ONE!

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. 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.

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!

Fudge Brownie Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars-- a little bit of everything in ONE!

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

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make! ♥

Fudge Brownie Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars

I use 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. 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 packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
  • 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 (measured correctly)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet or milk chocolate)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. Make ahead tip: Bars freeze well up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then allow to come to room temperature before serving. Warm them up in the microwave for a few seconds if desired-- they're great with melty ice cream!

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© 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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133 comments

  1. Kevin is just full of good ideas, you should probably keep him around 🙂

  2. 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 🙂

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

  4. 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!

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

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

    • 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!

  8. 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!

    • 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!

  9. I think my husband would fall in love with me all over again if I made these for him! 😉

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

  11. 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…

  12. 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!

    • 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 🙂

  13. 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!

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

  15. 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 🙂

  16. 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.

  17. 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

    • 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!

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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!

  21. hi,made this a few months ago and it was really great!!. I’m planning to make it again, but this time I’ll add some caramel syrup in between the layers…what you think?? thanks for all your delicious and no-fail recipes! 🙂

  22. These are unbelievably delicious. I made the homemade cookies and brownies. Can’t imagine any other way. YUM!

  23. Hi Sally! These cookie bars look awesome. I would like to bake them for my Christmas platter, but I’m wondering if they would freeze well?

    Thank you!

    • absolutely! I find they freeze well up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then allow to come to room temperature before serving.

  24. My daughter makes the cookie/Reece’s/brownie mix.. I love it.. It is pretty rich.. Her name for it is Diabetes in a Pan

  25. If I want to use another type of candy due to peanut butter allergies what would you suggest?

  26. 🙂 I will take sixteen of these, please.

  27. Hi Sally,

    I only have a 22cm x 30xm glass dish, which is quiet thick like a casserole dish. Do you think this will work? I am scared the cookie base might not bake completely whilst the brownies does.

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