These no bake chocolate peanut butter caramel bars are super easy to make and perfect when you want an ooey gooey summer treat!
I've been craving ooey-gooey sweets lately -- you know, melty caramely chocolaty stuff. Usually, when I think of ooey-gooey desserts, cakes, cookies and anything baked comes to mind. But since it's the middle of summer, I'm trying to avoid turning on the oven -- it's just way too hot out for that!
Still, I really wanted a treat, and so did the kids. We've been putting a lot of time and effort into training this little cutie all week, and I think we all needed a little indulgence. Isn't she sweet? She's also super smart, and she's a fast learner, but she's into everything. And, her fur brother is still avoiding her, so she needs some extra attention at night.
But who's complaining?
Anyway, back to dessert. You've probably had no bake chocolate peanut butter bars before. They're pretty common. I've been making them since the older kiddos were small, and my oldest still loves them. I posted a chocolate version when I first started blogging and some peanut butter eggs around Easter
So I thought I would try a caramel version this time.
It's really the same basic recipe except that you add a caramel layer. I took the easy way out with these and used jarred caramel sauce -- because I wanted to keep these as simple as possible. But you could definitely use homemade caramel if you want.
I also added some crushed graham crackers to the top -- just for a little extra contrast and crunch.
The caramel layer is soft and slightly runny and very gooey, which is perfect I think!
How to Make No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Bars
No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Bars
- For the filling
- 1 cup smooth all natural peanut butter
- 1 cup softened butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 cups crushed graham crackers
- 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- for the frosting
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 ½ cups semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- for the caramel layer
- 1 cup jarred caramel sauce
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer until smooth
- Stir in 1 cup of powdered sugar, and mix well
- Add the second cup of powdered sugar and the graham cracker crumbs, and mix until fully combined (you may need to use your hands for this part since mixture is thick)
- Add the chocolate chips, and press mixture into greased 13X9-inch baking dish
- Pour the caramel sauce over the peanut butter layer, and refrigerate until firm
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, melt the second cup of peanut butter and chocolate chips on low heat (you can do this on the stove or in the microwave for about 30 seconds)
- Stir in the vanilla extract
- Pour frosting over the caramel layer, smooth out with spatula, and top with extra crushed graham crackers, if desired
- Store in refrigerator until ready to serve
I took these pictures right after I made the bars, so they're a little wet looking. They firm up in the fridge, and the consistency is fine. I would definitely recommend keeping them in the fridge, though.
We loved these no bake chocolate peanut butter caramel bars, and I don't think they'll last long at all. And, they were exactly what I needed!