Chocolate Peanut Butter Snack Bars

Easy 8 ingredient chocolate drizzled peanut butter snack bars. No refined sugar, gluten free, grain-free, tastes like dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

New month, new week, new day, new snack bar recipe.

This time peanuts, peanut butter, and a whole mess of chocolate are coming together to create what might just be my favorite snack bar combination yet.

Shocking, I’m sure.

Easy 8 ingredient chocolate drizzled peanut butter snack bars. No refined sugar, gluten free, grain-free, tastes like dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let’s rewind to spring 2015. I made vanilla almond snack bars, a homemade KIND bar copycat of sorts, to bring on a camping trip. Sweet, salty, and purely addicting. I remember eating almost the entire batch myself. Since then I’ve made a parade of flavors including cashew coconut, chocolate cherry, pumpkin spice cranberry, and berry cashew. Each variety is wholesome and simple, packed with ingredients you can see, sweet from honey (or brown rice syrup) and dried fruit, and won’t leave you with a mega sugar crash. Grain-free, gluten-free, zero refined sugar, packed with nature’s finest like nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Kevin and I can go through a batch in 2 days and I feel so much better snacking on these homemade bars than $3 store-bought energy bars.

It’s been several months since I posted a new snack bar flavor. And, to be honest, I meant to share this version with you back in the spring! I changed a couple odds and ends since I last made them in April. I added a little more vanilla extract, some extra peanuts, and a chocolate drizzle. I mean there always has to be a chocolate drizzle when peanut butter is involved. Right? Right???

Easy 8 ingredient chocolate drizzled peanut butter snack bars. No refined sugar, gluten free, grain-free, tastes like dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

You only need 8 ingredients. And they aren’t anything out of the ordinary; I’d say the most unique ingredient would be the almond meal. Almond meal is the “flour” to help bind all of the ingredients together. It’s simply ground up almonds before reaching the stage of almond butter. I make almond meal (also known as almond flour, if using blanched almonds and grinding a little more fine) by pulsing whole almonds until they reach a gritty and rough flour-like consistency.

I shared this photo with you before, but here it is again so you can see:

Almond meal for snack bars on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make chocolate peanut butter snack bars on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Sticky honey and 5 finely chopped dates also help bind, while giving the bars flavor and sweetness. A generous Tablespoon of peanut butter does the same: flavor and binding, while peanuts make up the bulk of the bar. I use salted peanuts because I love a salty sweet treat more than anything. You can use unsalted if you prefer and add salt to your taste. About those peanuts: give them a few chops. See them in the photo above? I use my food processor and pulse them a few times. Do you have one? I have two: my trusty Ninja (which doubles as a blender!) and this new one. I use the food processor to roughly chop up the dates too. A food processor comes in VERY handy for snack bar making!

Like my other flavors, the prep couldn’t be easier. Mix everything together in 1 bowl then press tightly into a baking pan. They only take about 20-22 minutes at a low temperature; you only want to bake them until they’re properly set and very lightly browned on the edges. In the past year making batch after batch, I’ve learned that a little extra time in the oven is OK and actually helps the bars stay intact when cutting and eating. But, generally, 20ish minutes is the sweet spot.

Kevin says they taste just like his family’s no-bake cookies. Which are loaded with sugar and butter. And oats. They’re actually nothing like no-bake cookies, but they do taste like dessert! I keep them in the refrigerator and they’re the perfect cold chocolate-y treat for after dinner. And again right before bed. Also along with your breakfast smoothie the next day. (That you won’t SPILL ON YOUR DOG because you have your life together.) And then after lunch. All day long, chocolate peanut butter snack bars totally hitting the spot.

Easy 8 ingredient chocolate drizzled peanut butter snack bars. No refined sugar, gluten free, grain-free, tastes like dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Enjoy this new snack bar flavor!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Snack Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup (114g) honey or brown rice syrup1
  • 1/3 cup (37g) almond meal2
  • 1 Tablespoon (15g) peanut butter (any nut butter works!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (300g) salted peanuts, roughly chopped3
  • 5 Medjool dates, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup (60g) mini chocolate chips4
  • optional but not really: 4 ounces melted semi-sweet chocolate for drizzling
Special Equipment
  • Food processor or small blender to easily chop the peanuts, dates, and make the almond meal (I own and love this one and this one)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F (149°C). Line an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper with enough overhang on the sides to easily remove the bars from the pan. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the honey, almond meal, peanut butter, and vanilla together until combined. Fold in the peanuts, dates, and chocolate chips until combined.
  3. Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan and press very firmly into an even layer. You really want it packed in tight- as tight as possible. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack for 1 hour, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 1 more hour. This firms up the bars which helps them stay compact. Remove bars from the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. You can drizzle with chocolate before or after cutting.
  4. Individually wrap each bar in plastic wrap or parchment. Store at room temperature for 1 week or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. I find they get a little sticky at room temperature over a few days, so I prefer the refrigerator.

Make ahead tip: These bars are freezer friendly. After wrapping individually, freeze for up to 3 months and thaw before enjoying.

Recipe Notes:

  1. I do not suggest a thinner sweetener like maple syrup or agave-- honey or brown rice syrup are perfect.
  2. You can use store-bought almond meal or almond flour, or you can make your own. Start with 1/3 cup of slivered, sliced, or whole almonds. Pulse them in a food processor until a crumbly meal has formed. Do not run the food processor continuously; you may end up with almond butter. Little pulses are best. You will end up with around 1/3 cup almond meal.
  3. I like to use salted peanuts because they make the bars salty/sweet. If using unsalted, add 1/8 teaspoon of salt to the recipe.
  4. I like to use mini chocolate chips because you get more in each bite! Regular size chocolate chips work as well.

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Preeeeetty sure you’ll love these healthy dark chocolate almond truffles too.

Healthy dark chocolate almond truffles on sallysbakingaddiction.com

SHOP THE RECIPE


Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

Glass Mixing Bowls | Cuisinart Food ProcessorNinja Master Prep | Mariani Pitted DatesSquare Glass Baking Dish

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pays me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Easy 8 ingredient chocolate drizzled peanut butter snack bars. No refined sugar, gluten free, grain-free, tastes like dessert! sallysbakingaddiction.com
Easy 8 ingredient chocolate drizzled peanut butter snack bars. No refined sugar, gluten free, grain-free, tastes like dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

64 Comments

Comments

  1. Rachel @ Mesa Cooking Co. on August 1, 2016 at 8:20 am

    These look great! I totally agree with every you said on store-bought bars – these are just better! Love the almond meal that you included – perfect extra punch of flavor! 

  2. Heidi @ Red Checkered Tablecloth on August 1, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Yes, yes, yes! Chocolate and peanut butter and already gluten free. This could not be better! I am so excited to try these. 🙂

  3. Kirsti on August 1, 2016 at 9:14 am

    Holy yum. I cannot wait to try these!
    I love chocolate and peanut, but I don’t like my desserts too rich, so these bars look like heaven to me. 🙂

  4. Amy on August 1, 2016 at 9:16 am

    I am recovering this morning from about 10 young people (friends of my 22 year old son who came over) and getting ready for my first day back at school. There are more young people coming over this coming weekend-end of summer/off to the real world party and these will be PERFECT!! 

    • Sally on August 1, 2016 at 8:53 pm

      That is a lot of entertaining! And sounds like a lot to prep for and clean up after. Get rest while you can!

  5. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough on August 1, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Drooling over these snack bars! They would definitely help me avoid hangry zone (which happens all too often ;)).

  6. Leah @ Grain Changer on August 1, 2016 at 10:02 am

    110% adding these to my “prep before baby” cooking/baking list! These look like the PERFECT grab-and-go snack!!! Any idea if they freeze well? I’m turning into crazy prep-and-freeze lady these days 😉

    • Sally on August 1, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      Yes yes yes! Up to 3 months. So perfect for when the baby comes as a quick healthy snack!

  7. Lisa | Garlic + Zest on August 1, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Wow!  This looks amazing!  I’m definitely making these!  Thanks, Sally!

  8. Patricia @Sweet and Strong on August 1, 2016 at 11:29 am

    These look amazing!  I love making my own snack bars at home and even use them as a dessert treat sometimes.

    • Sally on August 1, 2016 at 8:49 pm

      Yes! These truly do taste like dessert.

  9. Demeter | Beaming Baker on August 1, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Wait a good, long minute: you like chocolate and peanut butter? Woah!!! 😉 J/k!! Every time you release a choc pb recipe, I get SO excited!!
    I’m planning on getting a new food processor–for the big jobs! I have a lil Ninja just like you do. They’re super sturdy, right? 😉
    “Optional but not really:” Lolol. I totally agree! Without the drizzle, what would be the point of this entire exercise? 🙂 *Light on the word exercise.* 😉
    Happy Monday Sally!

    • Sally on August 1, 2016 at 8:49 pm

      I KNEW you’d love these. Shocking!!

  10. Michelle @ Modern Acupuncture on August 1, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    Sally, sometimes it’s like you’re reading my mind. I was puttering around my house yesterday, wondering what i can make that is healthy but still indulgent… definitely with chocolate… and in the summer heat, I never came to a conclusion. But these! These will be happening in my kitchen tonight. Peanut butter and chocolate? Yes. Yes please.

    • Sally on August 1, 2016 at 8:46 pm

      I know you’re going to love these!

  11. Hayley on August 1, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Surprisingly, I think this is going to be my favourite version of your snack bars too 😉 I’ve made and loved both the vanilla almond bars and the pumpkin ones. They’re a pretty wholesome treat with not too much sugar, so I feel good eating them for breakfast as a work snack. Even these with all that chocolate aren’t a bad breakfast! Question: do you think using packed, pitted dates would work? I have a package of them from baking date square a few days ago (accidentally over-bought). They come pre-pitted and everything, so I’d have to measure them out with a measuring cup. Any idea as to an approximate measurement (1/4 cup, 1/3, etc). Thanks!

    • Sally on August 1, 2016 at 8:46 pm

      I think they’d be just fine. And I’d say about 1/2 cup. Let me know how it goes!

  12. Gracie | Craftily Baking on August 1, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Ooh yummy! I love peanut butter!

  13. carole on August 1, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    The two recipes for the bars and the truffles contain very similar ingredients (choc., dates etc) are their tastes similar too except for texture?

    • Sally on August 1, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      These taste more peanut butter-y and, of course, have more texture. The others are filled with almonds, much more smooth, and taste like pure chocolate.

  14. Irina @ Zesty Delights on August 1, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    Sally, you got my mind buzzing with ideas! You got so many variations and flavors. This recipe is simply delicious, and I am curious to try pistachio-white chocolate duet.

    • Sally on August 1, 2016 at 8:42 pm

      Love the sound of that flavor! I had pistachio on the mind as my next recipe test.

  15. Georgie on August 1, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    Yes! Can’t wait to make these 🙂 Going to have to try the berry and cashew ones too mmmmm

    • Sally on August 1, 2016 at 8:40 pm

      The berry cashew have been the most popular on my blog!

  16. shannon on August 1, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    Love these! Made them tonight! They are perfect!

    • Sally on August 1, 2016 at 8:39 pm

      Thanks for coming back and letting me know!

  17. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) on August 1, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    oooooh these snack bars look FANTASTIC! so gooey!

  18. Diane @ Wine and a Wooden Spoon on August 1, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Bunny Bunny, peanut butter!

  19. Laura on August 1, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    I love all of your snack bar recipes, and these will be perfect to pack for my daughter’s school lunch! Will these stay OK at room temperature for a few hours, or will they get sticky/messy? Should I put them next to a cold pack, or would that be too much? She will love these, thank you for the recipe! I love ideas for healthy snacks.

    • Sally on August 2, 2016 at 7:21 am

      I’d stick them next to a cold pack. Especially in the hot summer months, they will get a little sticky.

  20. Amy on August 1, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    Hey there Sally!

    I love your blog so much 🙂 I’ve just created my own blog because I was inspired by you and your work, so thank you!

    Much love to you and have a beautiful day xx

    • Sally on August 2, 2016 at 7:20 am

      Congratulations on your new blog Amy! Thank you so much.

  21. Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life on August 2, 2016 at 12:52 am

    Oh Sally, you’ve done it again! You always know just how to make my 3pm cravings show up! I can’t wait to make these and pack them in my lunchbox to soothe my afternoon munchie monster 🙂

  22. Julia @ HappyFoods on August 2, 2016 at 3:35 am

    These bars look perfect! Must try them soon – very soon! 🙂

  23. TIFFANY on August 2, 2016 at 3:59 am

    These look so amazing. I will def be trying out this recipe x

    Tiffany Tales – A British Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

  24. Mir on August 2, 2016 at 6:21 am

    This is my favorite snack bar recipe you’ve done because, you know, the PB/chocolate factor. No way should that chocolate ever be optional!

  25. Harper Slusher on August 2, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Mhmm, these look sooo delicious!! Peanut butter and chocolate are one of my favorite flavor combos!

  26. Karly on August 2, 2016 at 10:40 am

    They perfect way to satisfy my PB and chocolate cravings in one! Love love these and I know my kids will, too! Well, if they can convince me to share, that is! 😉

  27. Miranda on August 2, 2016 at 10:44 am

    These look like such a tasty, satisfying snack! Plus peanut butter and chocolate is like, the best!

  28. Monica on August 2, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    This looks so good, Sally! I don’t think I’d be able to stop munching, and munching on these once I start!!

  29. Marta on August 3, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Dear Sally,

    Those look amazing! I would love to try them but I recently was diagnosed to be fructose intolerant which means I can not eat dates or any other dried fruits. I can see them added to keep the bars together in many bar recipies – any idea what could I use as a substitute? Thank You!

    • Sally on August 3, 2016 at 11:38 am

      That’s a tough one. They’re key for helping the bars stick together! How about using an extra 1/3 cup of chopped peanuts and an extra 2 Tablespoons of brown rice syrup?

      • Marta on August 3, 2016 at 12:01 pm

        Thank You! I will try it as You wrote and let You know how it came up 🙂



  30. Ana Rios on August 8, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Do you have a recipe for crispy or crunchy snack bars? not chewy.

    Thanks

    • Sally on August 8, 2016 at 7:08 pm

      You can bake them a little longer for extra crunch. Otherwise, I don’t have a crunchy version at the moment.

Reviews

Questions

  1. Tina on May 7, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    do we know how many calories these are ?

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