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

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. We 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.

For today’s variation, I changed a couple odds and ends. 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?

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 love my trusty Ninja (which doubles as a blender!). 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.

If you’re looking for similar flavors in a no-bake healthy bar, try my peanut butter trail mix bars. We LOVE those.

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

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Snack Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 9 squares or 12 rectangle bars
  • Category: Snacks
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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


Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup (114g) honey or brown rice syrup*
  • 1/3 cup (37g) almond meal*
  • 1 Tablespoon (15g) peanut butter (any nut butter works!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (300g) salted peanuts, roughly chopped*
  • 5 Medjool dates, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup (60g) mini chocolate chips*
  • optional but not really: 4 ounces melted semi-sweet chocolate for drizzling

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: These bars are freezer friendly. After wrapping individually, freeze for up to 3 months and thaw before enjoying.
  2. Sweetener: I do not suggest a thinner sweetener like maple syrup or agave– honey or brown rice syrup are perfect.
  3. Almond Meal: 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.
  4. Peanuts: 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.
  5. Mini Chocolate Chips: I like to use mini chocolate chips because you get more in each bite! Regular size chocolate chips work as well.
  6. Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls | Cuisinart Food ProcessorNinja Food Processor | Mariani Pitted DatesSquare Glass Baking Dish

Keywords: chocolate peanut butter snack bars

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

Healthy dark chocolate almond truffles on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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

65 Comments

  1. Rachel @ Mesa Cooking Co. says:

    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 says:

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

  3. 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. 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!! 

    1. 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 says:

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

  6. Leah @ Grain Changer says:

    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 😉

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

  7. Lisa | Garlic + Zest says:

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

  8. Patricia @Sweet and Strong says:

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

    1. Yes! These truly do taste like dessert.

  9. Demeter | Beaming Baker says:

    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!

    1. I KNEW you’d love these. Shocking!!

  10. Michelle @ Modern Acupuncture says:

    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.

    1. I know you’re going to love these!

  11. 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!

    1. 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 says:

    Ooh yummy! I love peanut butter!

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

    1. 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 says:

    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.

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

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

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

  16. Love these! Made them tonight! They are perfect!

    1. Thanks for coming back and letting me know!

  17. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says:

    oooooh these snack bars look FANTASTIC! so gooey!

  18. Diane @ Wine and a Wooden Spoon says:

    Bunny Bunny, peanut butter!

  19. 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.

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

  20. 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

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

  21. Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life says:

    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 says:

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

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

    Tiffany Tales – A British Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

  24. 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 says:

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

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

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

  29. 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!

    1. 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?

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

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

    Thanks

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

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