Monday, October 9, 2006

Atkinson’s Peanut Butter Bar

Ever want a Chick-o-Stick without the coconut? Well, Atkinson’s makes those, too, though they come with the rather boring name of Peanut Butter Bars.


They’re not really bars, either. They’re more like rods. About the size and shape of a cigar or pretzel rod, they’re a hard candy shell with a crunchy peanut butter honeycomb center.

The candy actually comes in a variety of sizes, I usually see a small “changemaker” size with little one bite, individually-wrapped morsels. I like the ratio on this rods quite a bit, it’s a lot more peanut butter honeycomb than it is a hard candy. It has a nice flaky quality with a good salty hit and nutty crunch. It’s really crunchy, which is a great plus and they’re not nearly as messy as the Chick-o-Sticks but also a good all-weather candy.

Atkinson’s also makes something called a Pico-o-Sito which is a spicy peanut butter candy. Sounds pretty good to me, why can’t I find them at a store near me? Atkinson’s does have a nice website where you can order all of their candy and at pretty good prices (and free shipping).

Interesting fact from the website: Chick-o-Sticks & Peanut Butter Bars are vegan - there are no animal products in there (however, it depends on how observant you are on the sugar thing, their site doesn’t say if they use cane sugar or beet sugar).

Name: Peanut Butter Bars
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Atkinson's
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store
Price: $.33
Size: 1.7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 129
Categories: Peanuts, Hard Candy, United States, Atkinson's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:51 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. out of curiosity, how are the two sugars different? one is vegan and one isn’t? am i just dumb? raspberry

    Comment by Pam on 10/09/06 at 9:27 am #
  2. Strange, kind of like a seaside stick of rock with a peanut butter centre. I’m having a bit of difficulty imagining the texture - crispy, hard, crunchy smooth and pastey…

    Doesn’t matter really, anything that has peanut butter is a winner in my book.

    Comment by GTO on 10/09/06 at 9:39 am #
  3. Sounds…odd? It looks like the candy shell tastes like peppermint if i’m to believe my boiled lolly colour coding. Does it have a flavour?

    Comment by leigh on 10/09/06 at 10:50 am #
  4. Oh Wow!  Spoilt for choice when I come by your blog :D

    Looks yummilious but would it be ‘overly’ sweet?  Does it has a peanutty taste?

    Tks for a great job!

    Comment by shionge_ on 10/09/06 at 2:10 pm #
  5. i really like these, although they’re much harder to come by in the midwest - it’s one of those things i should stock up on when we visit the southwest. i kind of prefer the “change maker” size to the bars - and i’m pretty sure they used to be a solid bar, not rods! maybe their bar machine broke so they switched a chick-o-stick production line to p.b.bars :^)

    to leigh - there’s no minty flavor at all. the inside is peanut buttery. the outside layer is off-white with dark brown stripes (not red). it’s been a while since i’ve had one but i don’t remember that part having much flavor on it’s own - it’s more there to keep the center from crumbling!

    Comment by Tricia on 10/09/06 at 4:25 pm #
  6. Cybele's avatar

    Pam - as I have learned cane sugar is often purified to its ultrawhite state by passing it through filters - sometimes made from bone char (charcoal made out of animal bones). Even though the charcoal doesn’t make it into the sugar, the fact that a dead animal was necessary to make the sugar makes it non-vegan. Beet sugar doesn’t need to be filtered that way. Evaporated Cane Juice is also not filtered through bone char. The tricky thing is that very few companies will mention what kind of sugar they use. I know that Jelly Belly uses beet sugar ... but they also use beeswax, which some vegans also do not allow in their diets (or candles).

    GTO - it’s kind of like the center of a Butterfinger or 5th Avenue, but a little less buttery and more crunchy.

    Leigh - yeah, I’ve never understood the shell on them, it’s just a plain hard candy, kind of butterscotchy, an opalescent white with brown strips.

    shionge - thanks for visiting - not too sweet, the saltiness really balances it out and helps the nuttiness shine.

    Tricia - excellent description - I don’t think I’ve ever seen them in the midwest either, I didn’t start buying them until I moved to CA ... and the midwest is closer.

    Comment by Cybele on 10/09/06 at 5:04 pm #
  7. Why do they look shiny…..?

    Comment by Tindy on 10/10/06 at 12:31 am #
  8. Yumm! If there’s one thing I envy Americans, it’s probably their peanut snacks. wink

    Comment by Barbara on 10/10/06 at 5:51 am #
  9. Cybele beet [<<haha] me to the explaination of vegan vs. nonvegan sugar. A very thorough one at that =].

    Yay for vegan candies! I hope there’re more you review, regardless of how much I love every single review!

    Comment by Julia on 10/10/06 at 10:11 am #
  10. I guess I’ll nit-pick your rod vs bar nit-pick:
    If you’re concerned about the cross section being round:

    Bar (n): a straight piece that is longer than it is wide
    Rod (n): a slender bar

    cross section shapery is not specified.  smile

    Comment by Brad on 10/13/06 at 6:36 am #
  11. Every one I have ever eaten has been the small penny size bar, and never, not once, have the stripes been on the candy - it is only the package only… I grew up in FL and now live in KY - I love PBB!

    Comment by Someone on 10/11/07 at 8:27 am #
  12. I would like to know many milligrams of sodium is in you peanut butter bars.

    Comment by Dolores Sherrod on 3/04/08 at 8:33 am #
  13. These were one of my Grandfather’s favorite candies when I was growing up. I loved going to his house on the weekends….he shared!
    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM Good memories!!

    Comment by chip on 4/04/08 at 10:05 am #
  14. does anyone remember the grape ones?

    Comment by tlatrice on 5/07/08 at 5:57 am #
  15. What happened to the stripes on the peanut butter bars?  I hadn’t had one for a long time and just purchased a bag.  No stripes!

    Comment by Crafting in the midwest on 8/14/08 at 3:24 pm #
  16. Does anyone know where I can get the small individually wrapped peanut butter bars - not RODS in the San Fernando Valley?

    Comment by Ellen on 10/02/08 at 10:16 am #
  17. I’ve just returned from a trip to Florida. I bought Gonzo Atkinson’s Mini Peanut Butter Bars in a 2 oz cellophane package, somewhere on I 95. Ga, Fla, or SC?...stamp on package is 782881. Can I be assured they are not contaminated with salmonella?  I did eat one similar package with no apparent distress.

    Thanks! I love them!

    Comment by Mary Lou on 1/28/09 at 8:14 am #
  18. Cybele's avatar

    Mary Lou - your best bet in these situations is to consult the FDA’s recall site (though that only lists recalled items):

    The good news? Atkinson has made a public statement on their website here:

    They did not source any peanut products from PCA or King Nut. You should be safe.

    Comment by Cybele on 1/28/09 at 8:20 am #
  19. These also come in sugar free version…And it does not have the after taste.,,, I think they taste just like the original

    Chick o stick comes in sugar free too and its awesome I keep the mini’s in my car for a sweet break when I need it

    Comment by KD on 4/07/09 at 8:14 am #
  20. I have been experiencing some very hard pieces of peanut butter bars in the last several bags I have bought. Some are very stale and leaves a very displeasing taste in your mouth. Peanut butter bars are our favorite kind of candy and I buying them especially for my diabetic husband because they do not hurt his sugar and my 4 year old grandson loves them. Please take care of this.We will not stop buying this candy,we would like them to taste fresh.These are the miniture bags that I buy at the Dollar Store in Hiddenite,NC Thank you for listening.

    Comment by vicky banks on 9/22/09 at 4:33 am #
  21. Please tell Vicky Banks to check the Best if Used by date on our packaging for Peanut Butter Bars. Do not buy of consume old product. Peanut butter can go bad if it gets too old.

    ALSO, check to confirm the bag came from Atkinson Candy Company. A lot of companies buy Peanut Butter Bars and Chick-O-Sticks and put them in their own bags. Sometimes, thy don’t protect the candy as they should or they don’t remove the oxygen from the bag like we do.

    If the candy was bagged by Atkinson Candy Company and still has time on its dating, please return the bag for a replacement.

    To get the best peanut butter candies , try to find the candy in Atkinson’s own bags. It makes a big difference!

    Comment by Pam on 10/05/09 at 9:44 am #
  22. It’s like a Bolster or Butterfinger without the chocolate.  I buy them @ Dollar Tree and although they’re always fresh, I see no sell by/ use by date on the package.  They seem to sell them in the cooler months from September thru March or so and they’re always good.

    Comment by D. Morgan on 9/06/10 at 3:10 pm #
  23. I buy my Atkinson’s Peanut Butter Bars at HEB grocery stores.  They are packed in 4.5 ounce bags under HEB’s house brand, Hill County Fair, sold for 99 cents.  They are always fresh, any time of year.

    Comment by Kathryn on 2/04/11 at 11:40 am #
  24. I saw a post from Atkinson stating people should check the “best if used by” date. My husband likes these and I decided to nab one.. It was horrid. I have eaten (and liked) them before so I think they may be expired but I cannot interpret the expiration date from the package. Please explain.

    Stamp reads:


    Is this the expiration date? How is it read?

    Comment by Misty on 10/06/12 at 6:16 pm #
  25. Misty,

    Where did you see this post from us? Our expiration dates always read as “Best by” on the individual wrapper, so I’m a little confused as where these numbers and letters are coming from.

    Get back with us and send us a picture if you can, so we can help you out.


    Atkinson Candy Co.

    Comment by Atkinson Candy Co. on 10/08/12 at 7:41 am #
  26. I saw the reply post that stated to check the best by date a few posts up from mine on this page. Dated 10/05/09. I think I threw the candy away because I was pretty sure it was bad but I bought it at the store down the street. I will go back and see if any of the other packages have the best by date because I’m curious. If not, I would be glad to mail a package to you if you would like. I would hate for someone to get sick if they are expired.



    Comment by Misty on 10/29/12 at 1:36 pm #
  27. What happened to the stripes on the peanut butter bars?  I hadn’t had one for a long time and just purchased a bag.  No stripes!

    Comment by mark redman on 7/05/15 at 11:12 pm #
  28. I haven’t had these or found them, but Chick-O-Sticks, of course, are naturally all over the place.

    Y’know, I believe that in a way that Atkinson’s may be sort of like Necco—making a lot of nostalgic “Small town” type iconic candy (as does Necco,though New England based as the full version of their acronym says, with their wafers and Mary Janes being perfect for a little red schoolhouse-type midwest town just as much as for a New England town)(though Chick-o-Stick, their main one, is over a CENTURY YOUNGER than Necco Wafers,established in 1847!) and buying other candies like the Long Boy, etc.

    Comment by SteveCarras on 9/28/15 at 9:27 pm #
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