PB Max was a candy bar that was popular in the late 80’s and early 90’s with a crunchy whole grain cookie, creamy peanut butter filling, covered with milk chocolate. Make this copy cat recipe today!
PB Max Candy Bar
A quick history lesson for all of you about the PB Max; It was a candy bar made by Mars from about 1989-1994. The PB max had a whole wheat cookie on the bottom, a thick layer of creamy, sweetened peanut butter, and then little crunchy balls on top of the peanut butter, covered in milk chocolate.
The candy bar was discontinued because apparently the Mars family didn’t like peanut butter despite making $50 million in sales. (Thats according to Wikipedia.. so obviously it’s hard, fast truth. 😉 )
To be completely honest, I was 2 years old when the PB Max Candy Bar was discontinued. My Brother in Law, Brett, however was very much alive and LOVED the candy bar. I have done extensive research and came up with the closest version possible.
PB Max Recipe
After literally 3 days of research, recipe testing, and taste tests with people who lived in the PB Max, Dumb and Dumber glory days, I think we have finally nailed a copy cat recipe.
The whole wheat cookie is similar to a homemade graham cracker. We will actually use the same cookie dough as the base cookie to make our crumbles that will top the peanut butter layer.
The Peanut butter layer consists of creamy peanut butter and powdered sugar. Pretty basic, but absolutely delicious.
The chocolate classically used back in the day was milk chocolate, so that is what i’ve used also.
What is in a PB Max Candy Bar?
Whole Grain Cookie & Crumbles
- butter: I use salted butter in this recipe, if you only have unsalted on hand just make sure to add a pinch of salt to the dough when adding the flour!
- brown sugar: Pack that brown sugar!! We use brown sugar over regular granulated sugar for both the flavor and coloring.
- egg: Just one egg is needed in this recipe.
- whole wheat flour: Whole wheat flour is a must to make these PB Max bars similar to the original. If white flour is used, you’ll end up with a something similar to a sugar cookie bar, which isn’t right.
- baking powder
Peanut Butter Layer
- Peanut Butter: We are looking for creamy peanut butter and creamy peanut butter only. 🙂
- Powdered Sugar
- Milk Chocolate: You can use chocolate chips or dipping chocolate if you have some. If you totally prefer semi-sweet over milk chocolate, be my guest! Just know that the original used milk chocolate.
How to Make a PB Max Bar
Assembling the PB Max bar may take a little time, but it is easy and so worth the end result.
Once your cookie bases & crumbles have baked and cooled, mix together the peanut butter and powdered sugar.
Spread a generous amount of peanut butter mixture onto the cookie base, and then top the peanut butter with the cookie crumbles, as shown above.
Repeat with all of your cookie bases. Once all of your cookie bases have been topped with peanut butter and crumbles, they need to go into the freezer for 15-20 minutes before being coated in chocolate. This is important, the peanut butter will be a melty mess if they are not frozen.
Dip and roll each PB Max bar in melted milk chocolate and allow them to set up on a parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
***I like to use my Instant Pot to melt chocolate and keep it melted for as long as needed. If you have an Instant Pot and want all of the chocolate melting details, head over to my Instant Pot Chocolate Melting Hack post.
How to Store your PB Max
You can store your homemade PB Max at room temperature in an air tight container for up to 4 days, although the whole wheat cookie may become less ‘crackery’ the longer it is kept by the peanut butter layer.
If you’d like to keep yours for longer than 4 days, feel free to wrap them individually with plastic wrap and freeze them. Pull them out of the freezer about 30 minutes before your PB Max Craving hits. 😉
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Check out some of my most popular Dessert Recipe!
- Sugar Cookies
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- Brownie Mix Cookies
- Eggless Cookie Doughs
- Sugar Cookie Frosting
- Funfetti Cookies
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PB Max Recipe
Whole Grain Cookie/Cookie Crumbles
- 1/2 cup salted butter softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
Peanut Butter Filling
- 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 11.5 oz bags milk chocolate chips
Whole Grain Cookie/Cookie Crumbles
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Using a hand mixer, combine the softened butter and brown sugar until completely combined and smooth.
- Add the egg and vanilla into the bowl, and mix thoroughly.
- Add the baking powder and whole wheat flour to the bowl and mix until combined, the dough should be in little crumbles, not in one big ball.
- Take half of the dough crumbles and arrange them on half of a cookie sheet. If your dough has comepletley come together, take half of the dough and crumble it into small peices onto one side of a cookie sheet.
- Flour your counter, take the remaining dough and roll it out like you would sugar cookies. Roll it out until it is 1/4- 1/2 inch thick. Cut off the rough edges, cut into 9 squares. (cut in thirds vertically, then in thirds horizontally.)
- Use a Fork to poke holes in the cookies so they don't puff up while baking.
- Transfter the square cookies onto the other half of the cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350° for 15-20 mintues, we want to dry the cookies and cookie crumbs out completley so they become like a cracker, mine take closer to 20 mintues, just watch them so they don't burn.
- Take them out of the oven and allow them to cool completley.
Peanut Butter Filling
- While the cookie and cookie crumbs are cooling, mix together the peanut butter filling.
- In another bowl, with clean beaters, combine the creamy peanut butter and powdered sugar until well combined, completely mixed together.
Assembling the PB Max
- Once the cookie base has cooled completley, take one base and spread a generous amount of peanut butter filling onto the base, creating a dome of peanut butter onto the cookie.
- Press the cookie crumbles all over the top of the peanut butter. Set aside on a plate or pan that will fit in your freezer.
- Repeat with remaining cookies.
- Freeze for 15 minutes or until you can no longer press into the peanut butter mixture.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave or double boiler* until completely melted.
- Cover each PB Max with milk chocolate by dropping the cookie into the chocolate, base side down and then turning the cookie over to completley cover the top. Remove the cookie from the chocolate, letting the excess chocolate fall off, then let them dry on a parchment paper, wax paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Repeat with remaining PB Max Bars.
- Allow the chocolate to completley set up before eating, you can speed up this process by tossing them back into the freezer for a few mintues.