Peanut butter and chocolate is one of my favorite combos and it is absolutely delicious in these super easy Peanut Butter Gooey Bars! I looooove easy these days, let me tell ya. Don’t be put off by the use of a boxed cake mix–they really come in handy sometimes! I added Rice Krispies for a little crispy/chewy texture but feel free to leave them out if you wish. Perfect treat to whip up on a cold winter night (which apparently we are having lots of around here in the Midwest–UGH).
Combine peanut butter, butter, eggs, cake mix and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well combined. Gently mix in the Rice Krispies. Press half the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and pour on the sweetened condensed milk. Top with remaining cake mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack and cut into squares.
Cake mix cookies…or as some call them, CRACK cookies. And I will not lie, they are good. But Sarah, they use a cake mix! Yes, I know. And I’ve discovered that very good things can come from cake mixes…such as Chocolate Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, Strawberries & Cream Cake, Strawberry Cakies and even Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes! And while I much prefer a made-from-scratch-cake over a box mix any day, sometimes when you’re in a pinch and need something quick, a cake mix can be your best friend. Which is totally the case for these cookies. I needed something super quick for a meeting I was going to and recalled having these cookies for the first time at my friend Joelle‘s house. I honestly didn’t believe her when she told me how good they were but once I tasted one, I knew I was in trouble and could probably never trust myself with a batch of them in my house. They turn out super soft in the middle and slightly crispy on the outside. I added semi-sweet and white chocolate chips along with toasted pecans but you really could add in whatever you like and even use whatever cake mix you prefer…spice cake with cinnamon chips, orange cake mix with dark chocolate chips, chocolate cake mix with peanut butter chips…you get the idea!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cake mix, oil, eggs and vanilla until smooth and blended. Stir in white and semi-sweet chocolate chips and toasted pecans. Using a large spoon (or use a small spoon if you want smaller cookies..mine spread and turned out quite large), drop onto pan, two inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes (8 minutes if you want them slightly underdone), rotating pans and switching racks halfway through. Let cool on pan for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.