Red Velvet Cookies and Cream Bars, Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars, and Salted Dark Chocolate Almond Bars can all be whipped up in a matter of minutes! These recipes makes it possible for even the busiest holiday hosts to offer a variety of delicious cookies to party guests.
December is one big month of marathon baking for me. I love my job as a baker and the time it affords me to dive into rather lengthy kitchen projects. But I also remember a time when I had an office job and too little time to bake all the things. I often relied on quick and easy recipes for holiday parties and family gatherings. These recipes were developed with that in mind.
Busy cooks will appreciate these time-saving recipes, and even those who have lots of time to bake will appreciate how delicious these bars are!
First up – these dark chocolate almond bars. If you’ve ever had Godiva’s Almond Praline Raindrop truffle and loved it, then you will definitely love this recipe. The filling is silky-smooth and full of almond flavor, just like the truffle.
Sliced almonds on top offer a little crunch, and a sprinkle of flake sea salt makes them irresistible! All of this sits on top of a buttery chocolate cookie crust. We used Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers, but if you can’t find them then Oreos with the cream filling removed will also work.
These bars cut beautifully while slightly chilled from the refrigerator. I recommend slicing them while they are still cold and then serving them at room temperature. They will be super smooth and a little soft at room temperature.
Next are these peanut-butter marshmallow bars. Ooooh this crust. It’s made with crushed pretzels which gives the bars a crave-worthy salty bite!
The filling is made with peanut butter, peanut butter chips, butter (so many butters!) and mini marshmallows. All this is poured on top of the pretzel crust and chilled in the refrigerator until firm. I decided to add white nonpareils and confetti sprinkles to my bars. If you’d like to do this too, sprinkle them on just after you pour the filling in the pan.
These also slice best when chilled. The crumbly crust is a lovely contrast to the creamy filling and fluffy marshmallows. This is definitely a cookie bar for the peanut butter lover in your life!
Cookies-and-Cream lovers – and cheesecake lovers, this one is for you! You could make these bars with regular chocolate Oreo cookies, but we liked Red Velvet Oreos best. The cream cheese filling in the red velvet cookies is really nice with the cream cheese filling in this recipe.
The crust is made of Red Velvet Oreos, too, which gives the cheesecake filling a sturdy (and delicious!) foundation. This was my favorite bar. I think. I love them all, but I ended up having these for breakfast on more than one occasion.
Following you’ll find all of the printable recipes. Enjoy!
No-Bake Red Velvet Cookies and Cream Bars
- 9×9 inch pan
- 1/4 cup 60g salted butter, melted
- 2 1/2 cups 300g red velvet sandwich cookies, crushed (about 25 Oreos)
- 16 oz. 450g or 2 packs cream cheese, softened
- 7 oz. 202g marshmallow creme (such Jet-Puffed)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup 150g coarsely crumbled red velvet sandwich cookies (about 7 cookies)
- Line the bottom and sides of a 9 inch square pan with foil that overhangs all four sides of the pan. Lightly coat foil with cooking spray.
- For the crust, stir together melted butter and crushed cookies in a medium bowl. Press the cookie mixture into the bottom of the pan.
- For the filling, beat the marshmallow cream, softened cream cheese and vanilla in a large bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gently fold the coarsely crumbled cookies into the cream cheese mixture and add to the pan. Spread evenly over the cookie crust. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to 3 days.
- Lift mixture from the pan by pulling straight up on the foil overhangs. Cut into bars or squares while still cool, and garnish with more crumbled cookies or cookie halves.
No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars
- 10×10 inch or 13×9 inch pan
- 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup 10 oz., 300g creamy peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons salted butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups 167g finely crushed pretzels
- 2 cups 20 oz., 600g creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 bag 10 oz. peanut butter chips
- 4 cups 8 oz. mini marshmallows
- White sprinkles for garnish
- Line a 10×10-inch baking pan with aluminum foil that overhangs all four edges. Lightly coat foil with cooking spray.
- For the crust, beat the powdered sugar, peanut butter, and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. When combined, add the crushed pretzels. Press into the prepared pan and refrigerate until firm.
- For the filling, combine the peanut butter, unsalted butter, and chips in a saucepan. Cook over low heat until melted and smooth (you may also microwave at 30 second intervals, if you’d rather). Pour in the mini marshmallows and fold together. Pour over the crust and smooth. Sprinkle with white nonpareils and confetti sprinkles, if desired. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Cut into squares and serve at room temperature.
No Bake Salted Dark Chocolate Almond Bars
- 9×9 inch pan
- 1 package 9 oz. or 252 grams chocolate wafer cookies
- 1/4 cup 60g salted butter, melted
- 12 oz. 338g no-stir almond butter, divided
- 1/4 cup 48g semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 tsp. flake sea salt divided
- 1/4 cup 20g sliced almonds
- Line the bottom and sides of a 9 inch square pan with sheets of aluminum foil that overhang on the sides by at least 2 inches. Lightly coat the foil with cooking spray.
- Grind chocolate wafers in a food processor until fine and powdery. Place crumbs into a medium bowl and add melted butter and 3/4 cup (about 140g) of the almond butter. Mix until thoroughly combined. Press the wafer mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Melt the chocolate chips on the stove top over low heat or in the microwave at 30 second intervals until the chips can be stirred smooth. Place melted chocolate and remaining almond butter in a medium bowl; mix until thoroughly combined. Pour into the pan over the wafer crust and spread the mixture evenly, using a small offset spatula.
- Sprinkle the chocolate mixture evenly with sliced almonds and about 1/8 teaspoon of flake sea salt. Cover and refrigerate about 30 minutes. Lift the mixture from the pan by pulling straight up on the overhanging foil. Garnish with remaining sea salt and cut into bars. Serve at room temperature.
- These bars store best in the refrigerator in an airtight container, and will remain fresh for up to 5 days!