Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Bars

Peanut Butter Swirl Bars

No healthy recipe today! Not for you. It’s Friday. You dig?

The problem is, if you only eat healthy foods all the time, sooner or later you’ll face-dive right into a vat of Reese’s and just not be able to stop. It’s human nature. Deprivation is not the way. Take that, Hollywood celebrities who pay people to whip up healthy cuisine 24/7!

If you want chocolate, eat it. If you want kale, eat it. See how that works? And eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re not. Pretty basic philosophy, and it allows you to eat bars like this when the mood strikes. These are phenomenal.

Peanut Butter Swirl Bars

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about social media and the duplicity of the whole process. We all put on our happy faces and go to work every day, and we’ve extended that approach to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and what-have-you. People see the best pictures, ones we’ve staged ourselves. They see enviable beach getaways, Hallmark-worthy family scenes, and written dedications to loved ones that are cheesier than a Lifetime movie.

It’s really tempting to present a version of your life that isn’t reality. We can put whatever we want out there, and it’s rarely a reflection of what’s really happening. So I guess my question is, why?

Peanut Butter Swirl Bars

Some of it is obvious. I’m definitely not going to post my son vomiting everywhere on New Year’s Eve with a joking #FML. Nor am I going to talk about those days when my patience and energy is worn so thin after a long day at work that all I want to do is Netflix binge rather than play endless games of Connect Four with the kids. And I definitely won’t post a video of my daughter angrily calling me a “poopy butt” when we’re not seeing eye to eye.

If we all realize how deceptive social media is, then I guess its power is somewhat lessened. But I’ve read so many studies about how social media is making us feel worse about ourselves and feeding an unhealthy obsession to project ourselves outward.

Peanut Butter Swirl Bars

No solutions here, people. I’m on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. Follow me! Insert winky face here. In all seriousness, though, I have no answers. I just felt like babbling about it for a while.

Speaking of babbling, I could go on all day about these bars. In my house, dessert falls under two categories: give it away because people need it, or give it away because I’ll eat the whole batch in ten seconds if these don’t truck the heck outta here.

Peanut Butter Swirl Bars

Definitely option two. I ate a few and then got them out of the house. The base is a soft peanut butter cookie bar, and then you swirl melted milk chocolate into the top. It’s easy and it’s decadent. That’s my favorite combo!

Peanut Butter Swirl Bars

And now, feel free to share these bars all over social media. Or not. Hey, none of us is immune from the pull of a seemingly perfect life. I will tell you one thing, though: these bars are perfect, and they don’t need Facebook to make them feel like hot stuff. They’ve got that all going on by themselves!


Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Bars


1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup milk chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined.
  4. Press the mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with the chocolate chips.
  5. Bake the bars for five minutes. Remove from the oven and swirl the now melted chocolate with a knife, creating a swirled pattern.
  6. Return the bars to the oven for 25-30 minutes.
  7. Cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container.




I fulfill many roles in life: wife, mother, teacher, everlasting learner. This site is dedicated to one role that expresses my creativity in ways that I find consistently challenging and rewarding: baker. Inventing new ways to enhance food, especially if that food involves chocolate or peanut butter (or both!), is a passion of mine. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you.

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    Fridays are definitely the perfect time to indulge! And I’ve wondered the exact same thing about social media too. It’s all a front really, everyone posing in their perfect lives, which are not-so perfect behind the cameras, tweets, etc. Definitely something to think about! These swirl bars look SO good, Mir! Love this Friday treat!
    Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…30 Minute Thursday: BBQ Chicken QuesadillaMy Profile

    1. Mir

      It is a front, and I would say that it’s harmless except that I’m not sure. Thanks, Gayle!

  2. Kate @ Framed Cooks

    Definitely with you on the Friday indulgence (and this looks like a perfect one…I mean, peanut butter swirl? Who could say no to that??). And good food for thought on social media. Although I am definitely comfortable venting from time to time on Twitter, that’s for sure! Happy weekend to you!
    Kate @ Framed Cooks recently posted…Easy Steak Stir-FryMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Ooh, I’ve gotta read your venting tweets! I’ll find you there next time I go!

  3. annie@ciaochowbambina

    This is my kinda Friday fun! If you need a place to send them, I am willing to take them off your hands…such a humanitarian. 😉 I hear you on the social media front. Between its phoniness and the sadness we see on the news 24/7, I think we should all just stick to reading food blogs – what do you think?! Have a great weekend, my friend!
    annie@ciaochowbambina recently posted…Chicken Breast in Lemon-Herb Sauce with Roasted Swiss ChardMy Profile

    1. Mir

      You are the best of humanitarians, Annie. And we should read exclusively food blogs because we’re all so nice!

  4. Medha @ Whisk & Shout

    I’ve been having a lot of conversations with people my age about how social media perpetuates depression among college students, especially freshmen who are adjusting to the new lifestyle. Seeing pictures of everyone seemingly 100% happy and with a friend group right at the beginning of the school year can make people feel inadequate and isolated. I definitely don’t have a solid friend group and college is hard (I mean, it’s been ONE semester) but when I look at my own FB albums, I realize how much I’m contributing to that pool of happy projections. It’s interesting because it’s not lying to post your happiest moments online, it’s just card-stacking, because it feeds into the belief that you feel that great 24/7. ANYWAYS, these bars look amazing! I don’t think I will ever get over a good PB/chocolate dessert.
    Medha @ Whisk & Shout recently posted…Miso Soba Noodle Soup with Jalapeños, Shallots, Basil, and TofuMy Profile

    1. Mir

      All true and well said, Medha. It is completely card-stacking, but I wonder who it benefits. Apparently not our self-esteem!

  5. Michele @ Alwayzbakin

    Haaa! Haaa! Loved this post. They say people can get very depressed from looking at too much social media because everyone’s life looks perfect. Perfect like these bars! Oh my! Wish I could get my hands on one.
    Michele @ Alwayzbakin recently posted…Almond Brown Sugar BiscottiMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Yep, I try not to be glued to social media, which means my blogging success is more limited. But it’s probably a worthwhile trade!

  6. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust

    I so agree with you!! I’m SO tired of the sugar-shaming. I was just ranting to my husband about it today. It’s not healthy not to give into cravings sometimes, it’s all about moderation!! And I LOVE THESE!
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust recently posted…Golden Oreo BrowniesMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Sugar-shaming is the newest fad, and it’s just as stupid as the low-fat craze of the 80s. Balance, people! Why doesn’t anyone get that?

  7. Linda @ Today She Loves

    Lol, every time I’m on my phone and someone makes a comment about it, I tell them “social media is my life!!!!” I’m not sure if they’re taking it seriously or not, but I’m certainly not! Or if I don’t update my status regularly, my ‘friends’ think I’m depressed and then gossips to my ex so he can gloat. Ugghhh /endrant.

    The chocolate bars look awesome and I love the swirl effect. Peanut butter is a huge plus! I’m not all about that diet, so feel free to pass some my way. 😉
    Linda @ Today She Loves recently posted…Matcha White Chocolate Chip CookiesMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Tell your friends to ease up. Life is supposed to be about more than sharing pics! 🙂

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