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Peanut Butter Cookie Cheesecake Bars

Indulge in the best of both cookie and cheesecake worlds with these Peanut Butter Cookie Cheesecake Bars! Made effortlessly with refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough, they’re generously layered with a velvety homemade cheesecake filling and topped off with the delightful crunch of Reese’s Pieces for a dessert that’s pure delight.

Stack of Peanut Butter Cookie Cheesecake Bars.


These Peanut Butter Cookie Cheesecake Bars are so irresistible that I couldn’t resist sneaking a few bites myself while baking them. In fact, my husband was so tempted when he saw me making them that he begged me to give some away before he got home from work to prevent himself from devouring the entire pan! That’s how you know these bars are truly a treat worth savoring and sharing.

Stack of Peanut Butter Cookie Cheesecake Bars surrounded by Reese's Pieces.

Ingredients for Peanut Butter Cookie Cheesecake Bars

  • Refrigerated Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Provides a quick and tasty cookie base without the hassle of making cookie dough from scratch. Find it in the refrigerator section at your grocery store next to the crescent rolls and cinnamon bun dough. I used this Pillsbury dough.
  • Cream Cheese Adds creaminess and a tangy contrast and is the base of the cheesecake filling.
  • Granulated Sugar Sweetens the cheesecake filling.
  • Vanilla Extract Enhances flavor with a subtle sweetness.
  • Egg Acts as a binding agent and contributes to the rich, creamy texture of the cheesecake layer.
  • Reese’s Pieces Adds color and a fun, irresistible peanut butter crunch.
Ingredients displayed on counter.

Making the Peanut Butter Cookie Cheesecake Bars

  1. Preheat the Oven: Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line the bottom and sides of a 9×9 inch baking pan with parchment paper. This will make it easier to remove the bars later and keep them from sticking.
  2. Prepare the Cheesecake Filling: In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar until the mixture is smooth and well combined. Then, add the egg and vanilla extract, beating on low speed just until everything is incorporated.
Collage showing four steps to make the cookie bars.
  1. Create the Cookie Base: Take a little more than half of the refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough and press it into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan. This layer will serve as the cookie base for your bars.
  2. Layer the Cheesecake: Spread the creamy cheesecake mixture evenly over the peanut butter cookie dough base. I find it is easiest to spread the mixture with a rubber spatula.
  3. Add Cookie Dough and Reese’s Pieces: Break up the remaining peanut butter cookie dough into pieces, flatten them slightly, and scatter them over the cheesecake layer. Gently press the colorful Reese’s Pieces into the top layer of cookie dough.
  4. Bake to Perfection: Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the cookie dough has turned a golden brown hue and the cheesecake layer is set.
  5. Cool and Set: Once out of the oven, allow the bars to cool at room temperature for about an hour. Then, transfer them to the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours to ensure the cheesecake layer sets properly.
  6. Slice and Serve: After the bars have set, remove them from the pan using the parchment paper. Slice them into squares, and enjoy!
Collage showing four steps to make the cookie bars.

Variations and substitutions

Homemade cookie dough – Feel free to use homemade cookie dough instead of store-bought. You will want a recipe that yields 24 (2 inch) cookies.

Bagged cookie mix – If you can’t find the refrigerated dough you can use a bag of peanut butter cookie mix instead. Prepare the dough as instructed on the package up until rolling into balls. Remember, you will need 24 cookies worth of dough. In most cases, this will be two bags of cookie mix.

Gluten-free option – To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free peanut butter cookie dough. The other ingredients in the recipe are naturally gluten-free.

Different topping options – While I opted for Reese’s Pieces, you can customize the candy topping to your preference. Experiment with colorful M&M’s, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, crushed peanuts, peanut butter cups, or any other favorite candy for a unique twist.

Thicker bars – If you prefer a thicker cookie bar, use an 8×8 inch baking pan instead of the 9×9 inch pan mentioned in the recipe. Be sure to add 2-3 minutes to the baking time to ensure the bars are fully cooked. This variation results in a heartier and more indulgent treat that’s perfect for those who enjoy an extra dose of cookie goodness in every bite.

Peanut Butter Cookie Cheesecake Bars laid out on counter.

Tips for success

  • Properly line the pan – Line the baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang on the sides. This makes lifting the bars out of the pan easier for slicing.
  • Room temperature ingredients – Make sure the cream cheese and eggs are at room temperature. Room temperature ingredients blend more smoothly, resulting in a creamier cheesecake layer.
  • Even layers – Press the cookie dough into the pan evenly for a consistent base layer, and spread the cheesecake mixture evenly over it for a balanced flavor in every bite.
  • Brick-style cream cheese – Avoid using whipped cream cheese from a tub and opt for brick-style cream cheese instead. When the whipped variety is heated it changes the structure of the cream cheese and causes it to become watery.
  • Cool and set properly – Allow the bars to cool to room temperature for an hour before refrigerating for at least two hours. This ensures that the cheesecake layer sets properly and makes for cleaner, easier slicing. Cooling the bars to room temperature is crucial because putting hot cookie bars directly into the refrigerator can cause them to sweat and develop a sticky texture.
  • Slicing tips – To achieve clean and neat slices, use a large, sharp knife and wipe it clean between each cut.
Close up shot of a single Peanut Butter Cookie Cheesecake Bar.

Storage

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. 

The cookie bars can be frozen for up to six weeks. Be sure to wrap them well in plastic wrap or foil and store them in an airtight container. Thaw the bars in the refrigerator before enjoying them.

Peanut Butter Cookie Cheesecake Bars FAQs

What can I use as a garnish for this pie?

To determine if the bars are fully baked, check for a golden-brown appearance of the cookie dough and a set cheesecake layer. To test the center’s doneness, gently shake the tray. If the center wobbles a lot, it needs more baking time. However, if the center only wobbles slightly but is mostly set, the bars are ready. Keep in mind that they will continue to firm up as they cool.

Can I use a different type of cookie dough?

Yes, you have the creative freedom to experiment with various types of cookie dough to customize the flavor of your Peanut Butter Cookie Cheesecake Bars. While the recipe calls for peanut butter cookie dough for its rich and nutty taste, you can certainly explore other flavors such as chocolate chip, sugar, oatmeal, or even snickerdoodle cookie dough. However, it’s important to keep in mind that your choice of cookie dough will significantly influence the overall flavor profile of the bars.

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Stack of Peanut Butter Cookie Cheesecake Bars surrounded by Reese's Pieces.

Peanut Butter Cookie Cheesecake Bars

Author: Mandy
Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookie Cheesecake Bars combine velvety cheesecake and chewy peanut butter cookies topped with Reese’s Pieces for a heavenly dessert. Easy to make and perfect for sharing!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cool Time 3 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9 Pieces
Calories

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (16 ounce) package of refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough
  • 1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • ½ cup Reese’s Pieces

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9×9 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Press a little more than half of the peanut butter cookie dough into an even layer in the bottom of the pan to create the base.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth and well combined.
  • Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low until just combined.
  • Spread the cream cheese layer over the peanut butter cookie dough base.
  • Break up the remaining cookie dough into pieces, flatten them slightly, and scatter over the cheesecake layer.
  • Gently press the Reese’s Pieces into the top layer of cookie dough and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the cookie dough is golden brown and the cheesecake layer is set.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature for an hour before refrigerating for at least two hours to allow the cheesecake layer to set.
  • Once set, remove from the pan and slice into squares to serve.

Notes

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  • The cookie bars can be frozen for up to six weeks. Be sure to wrap them well in plastic wrap or foil and store them in an airtight container. Thaw the bars in the refrigerator before enjoying them.

Disclaimer: Nutrition information is estimated based on automated calculations and should be considered as an approximation. These estimates are provided as a courtesy. Please use your own brand’s nutritional values to verify accuracy.

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Robert

Tuesday 28th of May 2024

Where did you find the cookie dough and is there a work around? We don’t have it around us.

Mandy

Wednesday 29th of May 2024

The cookie dough can typically be found in the refrigerated dessert section at the grocery store where the crescent rolls and cinnamon rolls are. If your store doesn't carry it, you can use a packet of peanut butter cookie dough prepared according to the package directions, or your favorite peanut butter cookie recipe. Make the dough and use it as you would the refrigerated dough in the recipe. The key is to use a recipe that yields 24 cookies.

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Kimberly

Saturday 2nd of March 2024

These are so amazing and easy! I wasn’t sure I would like the premade cookie dough but they are still ridiculously good. Everyone that tried them LOVED them.

Semihomemadekitchen

Saturday 2nd of March 2024

I'm so glad to hear you loved them! They are one of my favorites when I need a peanut butter kick.

Rujina

Saturday 21st of October 2023

Looks easy to make.. Going to try.

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