ULTIMATE Cookie Bars

These ULTIMATE Cookie Bars have all of the best combinations to make your mouth water: salty, sweet, boozy, and crunchy. The base layer is a thick peanut butter chocolate chip cookie bar spiked with Jameson and could definitely be eaten on its own, but to make them ULTIMATE, the cookie bars are topped with a Jameson caramel layer and a rich chocolate ganache. A layer of pretzels on the ganache offer a salty and crunchy component because I’m all about that balance of flavor and texture.

The cookie bars were inspired by the upcoming holiday St. Patrick’s Day (hence the Jameson Irish Whiskey), but they would be great on any table for dessert. The Jameson spiked in the cookie bars and the caramel is the perfect amount to balance out the sweetness and goes so well with the peanut butter addition! Since both the Irish whiskey and peanut butter are mellow enough, they both are complimentary to each other and the chocolate ganache. So that each layer sets, you should let the cookie bars sit in the refrigerator before you cut it, but as you can see I was REALLY impatient and cut them and took photo’s shortly after pouring on the ganache so no judgment if you can’t wait. They’re amazingly tasty regardless!

ULTIMATE Cookie Bars

Total time: 2 hours

Makes: 20 cookie bar pieces

Peanut Butter Jameson Cookie Bars

  • 1 ¼ cup AP Flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp Jameson
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips

Jameson Caramel

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp Jameson *

Chocolate Ganache

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup mini pretzels
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 8”x 8” baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, microwave the butter for 30 seconds until completely melted. Whisk in the peanut butter and Jameson until combined. Whisk in both sugars until combined and add the egg and egg yolk, stirring well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract and then the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the dark chocolate chips and pour the cookie dough into the prepared baking pan. Flatten the dough so its an even layer and bake for 22-25 minutes until a toothpick is inserted in the center and comes out clean.
  4. While the cookie bars are baking, start the caramel by melting the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar until dissolved and starting to bubble gently. Stir in the peanut butter and heavy cream. Remove from heat and continue to stir when adding the vanilla and Jameson. *Be careful adding the Jameson as the caramel will vigorously bubble. Let caramel sit while waiting for the cookie bars.
  5. When cookie bars are out of the oven, let sit for approximately 10 minutes before pouring over the Jameson caramel. Spread the caramel evenly over the cookies and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  6. While that is cooling, make the ganache by heating the cream over medium heat until it just starts to simmer. In a heat safe bowl, add the chocolate chips and pour over the cream. Let sit for 1 minute before stirring until it forms a ganache. If you notice the chocolate chips aren’t melting completely, microwave for 15 second intervals, stirring in between until all the chocolate chips are melted. (Shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds total).
  7. Remove the cookie bars from the refrigerator and pour over the ganache. Gently layer the pretzels on the ganache and place back into the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving. Enjoy!

If you make these ULTIMATE cookie bars, I’d love to hear what you think and please tag me on instagram @theladlebearer so I can see what you made!

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