Peanut Butter Dream Bars

Peanut Butter Dream Bars

These bars are really a summer treat for our family. Our summer cottage is not winterized and, therefore, it is a place we can only visit from May through October. For this reason, it is a capsule of family memories including sticky, sunny days laying on paddle boards floating on the water, star-filled beach fires at night and endless homemade meals full of local produce and hand-picked berries. These bars don’t use any local produce, but are a treat we always look forward to sharing with our neighbour’s niece, Emily.

Photo by Ashley van der Laan

Emily introduced our family to these bars years ago. Every summer when she’d come for a week to visit her aunt, she’d make the bars for everyone to enjoy as dessert. Luckily, we’d be invited over for these dinners that concluded in Emily’s dream bars, and, subsequently, became obsessed with the rich, dense and perfectly balanced ratio of chocolate vs. PB confection. Dan, who formerly detested peanut butter, was flipped to a PB lover because of these bars. They’re that good.

Each summer we’d eagerly anticipate Emily’s arrival. Eventually, Emily decided to make us our own pan of bars. I like to think it’s because she knew how much we appreciated every crumb, but it was more likely because she buckled under the pressure of her family who wanted more leftovers since the Keoghs always ate way more than their fair share. Once Emily started to give us our own pan of bars, we’d covet them. We’d carefully carve them from the pan (leaving no morsels of goodness behind), divide them amongst three freezer bags (we each needed our own, accountable stock) and then ration them for as long as humanly possible. A year until we were reunited with Emily could never come soon enough and then, Emily shared with us the recipe.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Dream Bars

Makes: 20 bars
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate, peanut butter, baking


  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips, melted


  • Line a 7×11 inch rectangular pan or 9×9 inch square pan with parchement paper and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix the graham crackers, sugar, peanut butter and butter until combined.
  • Pour peanut butter mixture into the prepared baking dish and press down until evenly distributed and flattened across the top.
  • Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave or on the stove top in a double boiler. Stir until smooth.
  • Spread chocolate over peanut butter layer.
  • Chill in refrigerator until firm, at least 2 hours. Allow to sit room temperature for 10 minutes before cutting into squares. Serve chilled.
  • Leftover bars can be stored in a airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for 2-3 months.

I’d like to say we make them all the time, but we don’t. There’s something about eating them on the deck of our sweet summer space. There’s also something about eating them with the eternally happy and kind, Emily. However, when we’re missing summer and the friends that fill our long, dreamy days, there is nothing that tastes better.

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