Decadent Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

Gluten-free peanut butter bars. A flashback treat.

These peanut butter cookie bars are a decadent sweet treat that will make your gluten-free angel smile. Can you cut back on the sugar or the oil? Well, yeah. But. It won't be as wonderful. My take on it? Make a treat a real treat. You'll feel more satisfied. Less deprived.

Not to mention, you'll keep your taste buds happy.

Decadent Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

Originally published December 2005.

Our son Alex is home for winter break; that means I get to play in the kitchen and bake up all kinds of sweet treats. Peanut butter and chocolate = one of his favorite flavor combinations.

Allergen-free note:

To make these dairy-free and nut-free: use your own gluten-free flour mix with a teaspoon of baking powder and a half teaspoon of baking soda added; use Spectrum Organic Shortening; use sunflower seed butter (aka Sunbutter) in place of the peanut butter; use dairy-free chocolate chips. These bars work egg-free, as well with Ener-G Egg Replacer.


1 1/4 cups firmly packed organic light brown sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter- smooth or chunky (or use Sunbutter)
1/4 cup unsalted softened butter or vegan shortening
2 large organic free-range eggs
1 1/2 cups GF self-rising flour mix* such as Pamela's Ultimate Baking Mix
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract
1 12-oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly spray or oil an 10x13-inch baking pan (I line a pan with parchment). Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the brown sugar, peanut butter, butter and eggs and beat until smooth.

Beat in the Pamela's Baking Mix and vanilla until well mixed. The dough will be thick.

Add in the chocolate chips by hand (I use a silicone/rubber spatula to do this).

Spread the cookie dough evenly into the prepared pan. A vinyl or silicone spatula/wedge works well with this thick, sticky dough.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean.

Cool in the pan- on a wire rack.

When cooled, slice into bars; wrap in foil and freeze in a large freezer bag.

Makes 15 to 18 bars.

Recipe Source:

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Karina's Notes:

Self-rising flour or GF Baking Mix saves time-- and pantry space-- but if you don't have any on hand, substitute a mixture of 1-1/2 cups all-purpose GF flour mix, and add 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum.

As mentioned in the notes above, dairy-free margarine or Spectrum Organic Shortening can be substituted for the butter.


Anonymous said...

Do you know of any all-purpose self-rising GF mixes that are also dairy-free, peanut-free and corn-free (Pamela's has milk). I do know abouut Bob's Red Mill mix, to which I guess I could I add baking powder, baking soda, and xanthan/guar gum. I was going to substitute the peanut butter for WF ground almond butter or maybe Sunbutter (totally nut free, from sunflower seeds).

karina said...

Not off hand. There are several out there. Look into Namaste, Authentic Foods and Gluten Free Pantry. You may be able to compare package ingredients on-line at

I've used almond butter in cookie bars and it is yummy!

Anonymous said...

My youngest son was recently diagnosed with Celiac and have found recipes on your site great. He loved the brownies. Looking around your site it sounds like you have sons named Colin and Alex. This could be a strange coincidence as those are my sons'
names as well!!! (Alex has Celiacs).. I'll be back for more ideas soon.

Karina said...

Wow - that is a coincidence. Yes, Colin and Alex it is. May I say, your taste in names is exquisite.


Take care!

ashpolitics said...

Any chance you know how egg replacer works in these? I'm taking my little allergy guy (he has 8 + celiac) to WDW next week and these would be great for the car ride! Thanks much!

Karina said...

Hi Ashpolitics- I have not made these without eggs- but, looking over the recipe, I think Ener-G Egg replacer would work (use formula for two eggs).

Recipes with 2 eggs generally translate well to egg-free using the replacer. Plus- you've got the peanut butter (or any nut/seed butter) to help bind it.

Let us know how it works egg-free.

Good luck!


Karen S said...

Oh. My. God.

These are just amazing! So good!

I'm just blown away by this recipe.

Let's see. I made these vegan and gluten free. I used two TBS of ground flax seed mixed with 6 TBS of warm water to replace the two eggs.

I've been keeping them in the fridge and they are a perfect after work treat. Thank you for such a helpful blog!

Anonymous said...

I made these tonight ( again) and they are just fantastic!!! I'm doing weight watchers to lose a few pounds so I had to lighten them up just a little ( 1/2 the chips & 1/4 c less brown sugar), but they taste just a good and decadent even with those reductions!!!!

I used Tom Sawyer GF flour and added the BP and BS as suggested.

Oh - yeah - these are so great even egg free ( i used 1 heaping tbsp arrowroot powder & 1/4 c water for each egg).

FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My go to treat. I just love your recipes - you are talented!


The Baking Bean said...

Hi! I was inspired by this recipe to create one a little bit different. And vegan as well. I used a caramel puffed rice cereal base, a peanut butter topping and then a final chocolate layer on top. Sometimes when I shop at the health food store, I end up buying things that are free of things I'm not even allergic to, like nuts. This recipe reminded me how much I love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter. You can find the recipe on The Mini Canteen blog. Can't wait for your next dessert post!

Anonymous said...

Yes! Peanut butter cookies are one thing I'm having a hard living without. Mostly because nobody makes a GF one. I can't wait to try this!

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