Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Bars with Mini Marshmallows and Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Do you have any habits that ever make you feel like less of a “foodie”? I have a couple – I enjoy milk chocolate more than dark, and I prefer creamy Skippy peanut butter over the versions that just contain organic roasted peanuts and salt. I’ve tried – I really have, to like the natural stuff, and even went a couple of months sampling various brands of the wholesome versions, but I’ve loved the creamy more sugar-filled peanut butters my entire life and I just don’t see that changing anytime soon! If any of you have brand suggestions you love though, I would be open to a little more testing!

I’ve been trying to eat a little more healthy than usual, and Apolinaras is insisting we buy almost everything organic now that I’m pregnant, so he was frowning when I picked up two huge containers of Skippy peanut butter at Costco the other weekend and started dancing towards the cart with them. I won him over though, partly by mentioning that I need the regular creamy stuff for baking, which is true! I’ve only ever used creamy Skippy or JIF peanut butter when I’m baking and who knows how the texture of natural peanut butter would affect the texture of my treats. As a side note, I’m contemplating adding a tab that lists what standard ingredients I use and brand recommendations. Would this be helpful?

Anyway, the first thing I did when we got home was enjoy a big spoonful straight out of the jar and it was gooooood. Mmm, just typing this post up is making me crave more! Then I dreamed up a dessert to use my beloved peanut butter in and came up with these bars. I swirled chocolate and peanut butter cookie dough together in a large pan and then topped the bar cookies with mini marshmallows and chocolate covered pretzels. Uh huh, they’re as good as they sound!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Bars with Mini Marshmallows and Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cookie Dough:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Toppings:
2 cups mini marshmallows
2 cups coarsely chopped chocolate covered pretzels

Directions:
To make the chocolate cookie dough, heat oven to 350˚F. Place butter and sugars in a large bowl and mix until creamed. Mix in egg, vanilla, and melted chocolate until smooth. Mix in flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt.

To make the peanut butter cookie dough, place butter and brown sugar in a large bowl and mix until creamed. Mix in egg and peanut butter until smooth. Stir in flour and salt.

Drop large spoonfuls of chocolate and peanut butter cookie dough randomly in a single layer into a greased 13×9-inch pan. Use a knife to swirl the two types of dough together. Top evenly with mini marshmallows and then the chocolate pretzels; press into the dough. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and marshmallows are golden brown. Cool completely and cut into 24 bars.

Nutrition: 253 calories, 13.6g fat, 1.3g fiber, 4.3g protein per bar
Cost: $0.62 per bar

15 Responses to Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Bars with Mini Marshmallows and Chocolate Covered Pretzels

  1. Whoa, these have ALL the good things in them! And yes, I have a few bad foodie” habits. I, too, love Skippy peanut butter… And Mrs. Bud’s Chicken Pot Pie. So bad, but so good! :)

  2. I was going to say something about how pregnancy has encouraged you to come up with the best combinations, but then I realized you always do anyway :)

  3. Have you tried Planter’s PB yet? I’m a tried and true Jiff kid; sorry but I don’t even like Skippy. But I’ve found that I really like it and it’s consistency. It bakes up great too! Oh, and these bars look phenominal. I’m thinking of using Pretzel M&Ms for the choc covered pretzels. Yummy!

  4. I have moods where I NEED Skippy and nothing else will satisfy me…but then I also have moods where I NEED trader joe’s natural peanut butter (it’s just so salty. love.). But I always bake with Skippy! These sound like the best.

  5. Mmmmm, these look so good! I like milk chocolate better too! I’m a JIF girl, but I definitely agree that the processed peanut butter is better than natural. Although, my sister recently got me into Peanut Butter & CO, and while I’m not sure if it’s organic, I believe it’s free of the hydrogenated oils that JIF and Skippy contain.

  6. There are several things I just can’t give up that make me feel like less of a foodie: Diet Coke, and blue box macaroni to name a few:) I do love Smucker’s natural pb though and have a hard time going back to my once beloved Peter Pan. My husband won’t touch the natural pb, so I still by the Peter Pan for him. These bars sound fantastic and I love the salty/sweet combo!

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