The ultimate peanut butter shortbread cookie bars stuffed with peanut butter chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips. These peanut butter bars taste like a mashup of peanut butter cookies and Reese’s holiday peanut butter candy! Great to enjoy any time of the year including the holidays!
I have had peanut butter on my mind for the past few weeks. First, I made Asian tacos with a spicy peanut butter sauce and then I made a small batch of peanut butter muffins. With the peak of hurricane season in full swing, I always have peanut butter stocked in the pantry. However, I have a confession to make! I c a n n o t stop eating all the snacks I have tucked away in case a big storm leaves us stranded for a few days! Uhhh, how does anyone not dip into their emergency stash?!?! I feel like I’m always replenishing the goods!
Last week I made the most amazing maraschino cherry shortbread bars and it left me wanting more. Instead of making these into cookies and standing by the stove for an hour plus, I thought these peanut butter shortbread bars would be just as good made into bite size cookie pieces.
If this time of year inspires you to bake, this dessert is a must try! Not only are these super easy to make last minute but they also use just a few ingredients most people already have on hand!
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookie Bars
- 3 1/2 sticks margarine, at room temperature* see notes
- 3 cups powdered confectioner's sugar
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 tablespoons milk or water
- 11.5 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
- 7 ounces peanut butter baking chips
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.Prepare a 9 x 13 casserole dish with parchment paper if desired. If not using any paper, no need to grease pan.In a large bowl, cream margarine, powdered confectioner's sugar, and peanut butter for 2 minutes.Beat in vanilla and almond extract.In a separate bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, cornstarch, and salt.With the blender on low, gradually add flour mixture. Wipe down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and beat until mixed. Beat in milk.Slowly beat or stir in chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. Mixture will be thick. Use a spatula or hands to evenly spread and press down mixture into baking dish. Top with additional baking chips, if desired.Bake in oven for about 35 minutes or until the top is slightly golden brown.Allow dish to cool then chill in refrigerator for about an hour. This will allow it to set and make it easier to cut.Remove parchment paper from dish and cut into 48 squares. ALLOW SHORTBREAD BARS TO COME TO ROOM TEMPERATURE BEFORE EATING. THEY HAVE AN UNPLEASANT TASTE IF SERVED COLD.
- Butter may be used in place of margarine. However, I prefer margarine as it allows the shortbread flavor to develop.