Did you have a good summer? Did you treat yourself to any souvenirs to remind you of your travels and adventures? We collected some seashells at the beach, received a handmade lamp from my grandmother-in-law to remind us of her and the afternoon she spent teaching us how she makes stained glass, and, oh yes, received a copy of my father-in-law’s chocolate peanut butter bars recipe. This souvenir I am happy to share with you, especially since my father-in-law perfected making the bars dairy free.
We used Enjoy Life chocolate chips, peanut butter, Earth Balance margarine, and regular graham crackers, which are typically dairy-free (see notes below for other special diet options). Actually we used cinnamon graham crackers because that’s what was in the house. Usually my father-in-law uses plain graham crackers in his chocolate peanut butter bars, but I liked the hint of cinnamon.
My in-laws first tasted these chocolate peanut butter bars at an office Christmas party, we enjoyed them as a vacation dessert in June, and I’m certain they’re perfect for any occasion in any season.
Special Diet Notes & Options: Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally peanut-free, optionally tree nut-free, soy-free, optionally vegan, and vegetarian.
For a grain-free version, try the No Bake Peanut Butter Bars at Beaming Baker.
For nut-free and peanut-free chocolate “peanut butter bars”, be picking with your “butter”. I’ve noted SunButter as an option in the recipe, but you may like a seed-free choice like PeaButter or WowButter.
- 1 cup dairy-free margarine, melted (I use Earth Balance)
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (organic, gluten-free, or vegan)
- 2 cups confectioners' / powdered sugar
- 1 cup + ¼ cup creamy peanut butter, almond butter or SunButter, divided
- 1-1/2 cups dairy-free chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life)
- ¼ teaspoon salt, omit if using salted peanut or nut butter
- In a medium bowl, mix melted margarine, graham cracker crumbs, confectioners' sugar, one cup of the peanut butter, and salt (if using) until well blended.
- Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13-inch pan.
- Melt the chocolate chips and the remaining ¼ cup of peanut butter in a pan over low heat until melted.
- Spread the chocolate mixture over the crust and refrigerate the bars for at least one hour.
- Keep the bars cold until ready to slice and serve.
- My father-in-law recommends storing the uneaten bars in the refrigerator - though there are no guarantees that any will be left!