Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Magic Bars

gfmagicbarA couple days ago, I went to my first therapy appointment for my out-of-control OCD.

Upon providing my counselor insight to my insane way of thinking and doing things, she told me I did a lot of “magical thinking.”  Her words, not mine.  I asked if that term was a medical term and she didn’t answer me, so I’m pretty sure medical school is like Hogwarts.  Next time you go to the doctor, you should chant a spell and see if they react.  If they do, ask them to grant you superpowers or else you’ll rat them out to the media  (or maybe don’t).

‘Magical Thinking’ is what she described as thinking that is relied on things like superstition.  Say, the fact that I have to repeat questions three times, or must apply two sets of deodorant four times per arm.  That feeds into my “magical thinking” that if I just follow the “magic number”, I’ll be okay.

What I didn’t tell her is that she’s probably right.  I’m totally a magical thinker.  How else do you explain things like shooting stars?  Or raccoons?  Or finding the Betsey Johnson skull romper you’ve been coveting for over a year on eBay and you finally get it in your size after a serious bidding war?  (Please don’t say: ‘science’, ‘biology’/’raccoons aren’t magical’, and ‘super good eBayer’).  IT’S MAGIC, PEOPLE.

Anywaaaays, I decided to put my magical thinking to use and make some seriously mystical magic bars .. hellooooo, anyone else seeing this magic theme?!  If you don’t know, magic bars (aka hello dolly bars, aka seven layer bars) are the most wonderful bar in all the land.  Loaded with chocolate, butterscotch, pretzels, nuts, coconut and smothered in sweetened condensed milk, the flavors + textures are out. of. controooollll, y’all.  No wonder it’s one of my favorite bars to make (I have a TON of variations!!)

DSC_2059ABut one thing I noticed was that typical magic bars weren’t transcending all their magic to everyone.  Gluten-Free folks couldn’t enjoy the magic because of one pesky ingredient, and that’s just not gonna fly with my special brand of thinking.  So when Bob’s Red Mill, the Gluten Free Baking Wizards, emailed me about working with their products, I immediately jumped at the chance to create something overtly decadent, supremely sinful and outrageously indulgent for my Celiac and/or gluten-intolerant friends.  This task was super easy to do since Bob’s Red Mill’s Gluten Free-labeled mixes are free of any gluten product, making them safe to eat.  Just like your average cake mix, these mixes are packed with flavor and are a cinch to make — just add a couple common ingredients like eggs, butter, oil, and water — and you’re halfway to dessert heaven free of pesky gluten.

Plus, if you’re newer to the GF-baking (like myself), all the different varieties of flour substitutes can be a little daunting.  I love that Bob’s takes the guesswork out of it by creating these convenient packaged mixes so I can spend more time eating and less time worrying about flour substitutions and conversions.

With my new gluten-free cake mix arsenal, I set out to create a gooey, chewy magic bar — and boy, did I succeed.  This is easily one of my favorite magic bars yet!!

So, wizard friends.  You ready to take a bite of this magic??


4.7 from 3 reviews
Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Magic Bars
Recipe type: Bars, Gluten Free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Magic Bars that are overloaded with lots of flavor and are gluten-free!!
  • 1 pkg Bob's Red Mill Brownie Mix
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅔ cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pkg refrigerated gluten-free chocolate chip cookie dough (or you could prepare your own)
  • 1 cup miniature Reese's cups
  • ¾ cup peanut butter chips
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips
  • 7 oz (1/2 a can) sweetened condensed milk
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9 inch baking pan with foil, extending sides over the edges of the pan. Mist the foil lightly with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the brownie mix, water, eggs, oil and vanilla with a rubber spatula until combined. Press the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 12 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven (keeping oven on) and rip the balls of cookie dough to spread evenly over the surface of the par-baked bars. Top evenly with the Reese's cups and both kinds of chips. Drizzle the top evenly with the scmilk.
  4. Return the pan to the oven and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and set. Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting into squares. Store leftovers in the fridge.

DSC_2072AFor anyone worried they’ll be able to taste a difference in texture or flavor, I challenge you to tell me that these weren’t made with all-purpose flour.  They’re so dense and fudgy, gooey and chewy and sinfully chocolate-y.  Plus, the brownie base is topped with soft-baked gluten-free chocolate chip cookie dough, creamy sweetened condensed milk, addicting Reese’s mini cups and lots of buttery chocolate + peanut butter chips to really amp up that indulgence.  You will LOVE these bars!

Have a delicious day!

xo, Hayley


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  1. Had no idea Hershey’s was gluten free! This is awesome! My nephew is visiting and he can’t have gluten! These look fantastic!

    • You may want to read the labels on the chocolate. Chocolate is often sweetened with barley malt, which would not be gluten free. Be careful, read labels. Happy dessert making!

      • thedomesticrebel says:

        Raya, thank you for the heads up! I will pay more attention to my chocolate next time 🙂

        • It is my pleasure. Gluten free can be tricky at times. Lots of label reading for me! Oy! Thanks for your great sense of humor! 🙂

  2. I LOVE Bob’s Red Mill! My sister can’t have gluten, so they’re a life saver when baking for her 🙂 She always gets bummed about Reeses PB cups because the season shapes aren’t gluten free — I’ll be sure to make these next time she’s sad she can’t have a PB egg or pumpkin! Way better replacement.

  3. These look absolutely magical! My cousin has been asking me for gluten free recipes so I will send these over to her!

  4. I know that OCD is a serious thing to deal with – I do hope your therapist is able to help! Maintaining your awesome sense of humor will definitely help too! 🙂

    I probably would have laughed at “magical thinking” – a very medical term, for sure!

    LOVE these bars, even though I’m not avoiding gluten 🙂

  5. Tremendous post and gluten-free recipe, Hayley! So nice to see you supporting the GF community. I think everyone who follows you knows your unique brand of magic. It surrounds you like one helluva halo and emits all kinds of wicked goodness! Happy Friday, girl! xo

  6. I like your therapist. I enjoy that she refers to “magical thinking” for you. I just do 😛

    And OHEMGEE these are like everything I love-brownies, cookie dough, peanut butter…..MMMMMM

  7. As a therapist in my former life, I totally endorse magical thinking and magic cookie bars as an effective treatment. I probably should have done my thesis on that in retrospect.

  8. Umm…..???? YUM! Amazing! Delicious! Wow! I need these!

  9. Great recipe. I’m always looking for good gluten free recipes. Thanks.

  10. Magical thinking and cookie bars – that’s a a treatment I can get behind! Good luck in all seriousness, finding a good therapist is tough work, I’ve been seeing a new one this month and I totally feel more comfortable and actually feel better!

    Big hugs!

  11. I don’t care what anyone says, Hayley, you are magical for putting my faves into one gluten free gob of goodness!

  12. My ex boyfriend was OCD. Whenever we left the apartment, he would have to jiggle the door knob five times before we left. Even then sometimes when we were halfway down the stairs, he would look back and ask if I was positive he locked the door. It’s defiantly an inconvenient disease to have. These magic bars look exactly that, magic!

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      Ugh, that’s terrible! I am always so paranoid that I didn’t do something even though I know I did.

  13. Yeah. I’m just gonna pretend for a hot minute that gluten-free means healthy and make and DEVOUR these immediately.

  14. You’re totally magical! And these bars are too. Super amazing!!

  15. Magic bars are one of my favorite bar recipes too! I might have to eat the entire recipe!

  16. You. This. Magic. All of it! Love love love!

  17. Those are such beautiful bars!!

  18. Jo Diehl says:

    These look & sound decadent! What brand of refrigerated or frozen choc chip cookie dough do you use?

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      Hi Jo! For this particular recipe, I used Immaculate Baking Company’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough 🙂 it was on sale at my local grocery store. However, I know Whole Foods and TJ’s carry other brands, and Pillsbury now makes a refrigerated cookie dough. Use whatever’s convenient!

  19. You know how to make gluten free look SO GOOD!! 😉 I want this right now! Do you deliver? 😉

  20. LOVING these. 🙂

  21. Nom nom nom 🙂

  22. they have a brownie mix now!! And who doesn’t love this variety of seven layer bars :)!? Thanks for sharing!

  23. Hayley these look RIDIC GOOD! I have a few bars along these lines, with a cookie dough crumble topping, peanut butter cups, and half a can of sweetened cond milk poured over the top. One of them is actually one of my fave bars of the year. I am loving that you did these as brownies and then the cookie dough; like a two-tone bar. A two-for-one 🙂 And GF too!

  24. What the what?! These are too friggin amazing for words! Gimmee!!!

  25. Tiffany Noone says:

    What a fun afternoon activity for the boys and I. This recipe is so exciting because I am dealing with a new diagnosis of gluten sensitivity. It looks and smells amazing coming out of the oven.

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      Hi Tiffany! Sorry about your recent diagnosis — that’s never easy. But I’m glad you found this recipe because it’s truly delicious and doesn’t taste like it’s made without flour! I really hope you enjoy every bite 🙂

  26. They make pre-made gluten-free cookie dough now?!?!?! I am so making these as soon as possible! I will probably make the brownies and cookie dough from scratch, cuz that’s how I roll. 😉

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      Joanna, do what you feel is best! And YES, the premade GF cookie dough rocks! Happy Baking!! 🙂

  27. Amazing!!!! So many compliments and just as many asked for the recipe!


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