Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Sweet and Salty Chocolate Chip-Maple-Peanut Bars

CakeSpy Note: OMG! It's getting to be that time of year again. The Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Since I so deeply loved attending the 45th Bake-Off as well as the 46th Bake-Off, I thought I would get you excited the 47th one early by sharing all of the sweet recipes in the running. I will focus on sweets! You can follow them by clicking the bakeoff tag below to see the recipes posted so far (as well as recipes from previous Bake-Off events). 

I need to tell you, these bars basically have all the building blocks of what I consider delicious.

Well, first, before any ingredients, let's start with something important. Arlene Erlbach, who created this recipe, hails from Morton Grove, Illinois. I consider Illinois firmly planted in bar country. No, not dives where you drink beer (although yes, that exists there too). I am talking about cookie bars. The midwest just does them right.

Now, back to the actual ingredients. They have maple, which is a quintessential cozy flavor; they have peanut butter, which loves sweets and makes them nice and rich and dense. They have chocolate chip cookie dough, which makes everything better. The peanuts, frosting, and toffee bits are hardly necessary after all that goodness. But no, I am certainly not going to turn them away.

Good luck at the Bake-Off!

Sweet and Salty Chocolate Chip-Maple-Peanut Bars

  • Prep Time: 30 Min
  • Total Time: 1 Hr 40 Min
  • Makes: 16 bars


  • 1 roll Pillsbury refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 3 teaspoons maple extract
  • 1 cup vanilla creamy ready-to-spread frosting
  • 1/2 cup salted cocktail peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons toffee bits


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Let cookie dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften. Spray 9-inch square pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl, break up cookie dough. Add peanut butter and 2 teaspoons of the maple extract. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 1 to 2 minutes or until well blended. Press dough evenly in bottom of pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan on cooling rack, about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix frosting and remaining 1 teaspoon maple extract until smooth. In another small bowl, mix peanuts, toffee bits and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spread frosting evenly over cooled bars. Sprinkle with peanut mixture; press in lightly. Refrigerate about 30 minutes before cutting. Cut into 4 rows by 4 rows. Store covered.