Caramel Peanut Butter Bars

Caramel. Peanut butter. Nuts. Sugar cookies. Butter. Reese’s cups. Fudgy, chocolate frosting.

Yes. All of those things are in this dessert. You’ll probably want to head straight to the kitchen as soon as you print this recipe off. These things are delicious. How could they not be with that list of ingredients up there?

They’re very much like a candy bar and I don’t know about you, but candy bars are my thing. Especially Reese’s. And okay, 5th Avenue bars are pretty amazing, too. Oh, and Whatchamacallits. And, of course, Take Five bars. Don’t forget those.

Snickers bars are pretty darn good, too. About 3 minutes after giving birth to my daughter I instructed my husband to find the nearest vending machine and return with Snickers. He was on vending machine duty the rest of the hospital stay. He was pretty busy, too. I’m not sure how many Snickers bars I ate during the course of my daughter’s first few days of life, but I’m going to guess it was a lot.

Anyway, these aren’t Snickers or any of those other candy bars up there, but they’re amazing anyway.


Caramel Peanut Butter Bars

Yield: 36 small bars

Caramel Peanut Butter Bars


    Cookie Base:
  • 1 pouch Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 15 mini Reese's cups, chopped
    Caramel Filling:
  • 36 caramels, unwrapped
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 1 container (1 lb) chocolate frosting
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts (optional - I omitted this)


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13x9 baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large bowl if you're mixing by hand), beat together the sugar mix, butter, and egg. Stir in the Reese's cups. Press dough into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack.
  3. Meanwhile, in a 2 quart saucepan heat the condensed milk and caramels until the caramels have melted, stirring constantly. Stir in the peanut butter and bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the peanuts. Spread the warm filling on the top of the warm cookie base. Cool completely, about 2 hours.
  4. Spread frosting evenly over the caramel layer. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts if desired. Refrigerate for about 2 hours or until chilled. Cut into small bars, 9 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in the refrigerator. Allow to set at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving if you like the caramel layer to be soft.
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adapted from Betty Crocker

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