What was your family’s go-to holiday recipe when you were a kid? For mine, it was these easy, 5-ingredient, no-bake chocolate peanut butter squares. Crunchy peanut butter and graham cracker crumbs meet melted chocolate in a classic but perfect combination.
Not only are these squares a surefire hit at your next party, they are quite nostalgic for me. After getting the recipe from another mom, my mom made them en masse for every cookie party, family gathering, and holiday event. We used to anxiously await the “mistakes” – when a square would crumble upon removal from the pan – because we were allowed to eat those right away! I hope your family enjoys them as much as we do.
This recipe can be made in under an hour, including refrigeration time. But first things first, you have to get your proportions right. Because I didn’t have the same size pan the recipe called for, I used my handy cake pan converter so I could make my squares in a 9 x 9 pan.
Next, I crushed the graham crackers. I recommend putting them in a Ziploc bag and using a rolling pin. Once crushed, add sugar, melted butter, and peanut butter.
Press the peanut butter mixture into the pan to form the bottom layer. I found it useful to press gently with my hands to ensure it was even.
Melt chocolate chips with some butter. There are two methods to do this. Option 1 is to use the microwave. It’s faster, but as soon as the buzzer goes off you need to stir with a fork and pour over the peanut butter mixture immediately. The chocolate will set quickly so you need to move fast. The second option is to melt it on the stove using a double boiler. This takes longer but is a bit more forgiving. If your chocolate isn’t as thin as you’d like it, just add more butter. You are less likely to burn your chocolate too. And if you want to take your time carefully spreading the chocolate in the pan, you can leave some of the chocolate on the boiler where it will stay liquid while you work with the rest. I opted for double boiler, but I leave it to you.
Once you’ve spread the chocolate layer over the peanut butter, now is the time to add any decoration such as sprinkles. Then you can put it in the fridge to set for at least 30 minutes.
The final size of your squares is up to you! Because they are quite rich, I prefer a smaller, bite-sized square (plus it looks like you did more work when you bring it to a gathering!) In a 9×9″ pan, I went for 1.5″ x 1.5″ squares which yields 36 bites.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares
Yields 36 squares (1.5″)
- 2 cups Graham crackers (approximately 12 crackers)
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 2 sticks of butter, divided
- 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
- 9 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Large bowl
- Rolling pin, optional
- 9×9″ baking pan (if you have a different size pan, use the cake pan converter to adjust the proportions)
- Cake spatula
- Place Graham crackers in a sealed plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them until crumbly.
- In a large bowl, mix crushed Graham crackers, sugar, and 1 1/2 sticks of melted butter. Stir until combined.
- Add peanut butter to the mixture and stir until well combined.
- Press into an ungreased pan using your hands or a fork to form an even layer on the bottom of the pan.
- Melt chocolate and 1/2 stick of butter using a double boiler. When chocolate is fully melted and smooth, pour over the peanut butter layer. Smooth with a cake spatula.
- Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes. Cut into desired size, recommended 1.5″ squares.