Cooking with Carney: Chocolate peanut butter no-bake bars

Carney Ziegler

In consideration to the looming threat of the freshman 15, September’s recipe theme will feature skinny recipes.

Lately, I’ve been struggling to satisfy my sweet tooth without overdoing it on sugar or carbs that would cancel out my exercise regimine. Seeing as my go-to desserts tend to consist of chocolate and peanut butter (whether it’s healthy or not), I fell in love with no-bake recipes.

These no-bake bars are made with natural peanut butter, cocoa powder and honey in lieu of white sugar.

You just need a handful of ingredients, and they come together in less than five minutes, which makes it ideal for someone with a busy schedule. Without a doubt, the hardest part is putting them in the refrigerator and waiting for them to chill.

What’s nice, too, is that you can add nuts, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, dried fruit or anything else you think you may want for some added crunch.

This recipe is so good it’s bad. It’s delicious, not terribly unhealthy and so easy to make that I’ve made them quite a few times recently. These make for both an easy snack you can whip up at home or in the dorms, as well as something fun to make with your friends.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes. Chill time: 30 minutes

Yields: 9 square bars


  • 1 8×8 inch or 9×9 inch pan
  • 1 saucepan
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup pure honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup oats (rolled, old-fashioned or quick)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • additional mix-ins, such as chopped nuts, raisins, craisins, etc. (optional)


  1. Generously spray an 8×8 inch or 9×9 inch pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Combine peanut butter, honey and coconut oil in a medium saucepan on low-medium heat. Stir consistently until all ingredients have melted.
  3. Remove from heat and add oats, shredded coconut, cocoa powder, vanilla and optional mix-ins to the mixture. Stir until completely combined.
  4. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Carefully cut into 9 squares. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until firm.