By now, it’s evident that I love chocolate and that I’m also a big fan of peanut butter. Naturally, one of my favorite treats is peanut butter cups. When I went trick-or-treating as a kid, the first thing I looked for in my Halloween bag was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. That was the main score, for me, especially if they were full-size cups.
As I mentioned in the post that gave my blog its name, until my lifestyle change, I could not be trusted to be around a bag of peanut butter cups. No matter how much I wanted to eat responsibly, I just couldn’t quit at a reasonable serving. Along with potato chips, I just couldn’t keep them in the house. When I caved, I made certain to buy single serving packages, otherwise they would have been my undoing.
As my taste buds evolved, they recoiled at the super-sweetness of Reese’s. I tried some alternative cups, like Jason’s, but over time, they also became too sweet. As with a lot of the other prepared stuff I ruined for Michael and me, I realized if I wanted PB cups, I had to make them myself. These, however, turned out to be trickier to replicate.
Some time ago, I had tried Alicia Silverstone’s recipe from The Kind Diet, but the main ingredient was graham crackers, but that no longer worked for my low-carbohydrate, even less-sugary diet. Missing that combination of melty chocolate and peanut butter drove me to attempt recipe after recipe–from cakes to cookies to protein bars–to get the same satisfaction that I get from a peanut butter cup. I finally gave up. Nothing was cutting it. I had to devise my own recipe.
Through my several attempts at making peanut butter cups, I finally came up with the perfect recipe combination of a firm peanut butter base and spreadable chocolate. The key ingredient I finally ventured to try was peanut flour. Since this is the fifth version of these bars, they came to be referred to as ‘Peanut Butter Cup Disaster Bars’ in our house. They can finally be granted the moniker of just Peanut Butter Cup Bars. I actually make these as bars because they’re far less time consuming (which is really important for me) and they taste just as good.
Peanut Butter Cup Bars
Line a 11 X 7 dish with parchment paper.
Combine in a medium mixing bowl:
- 1/2 c. (112 gr.) Earth Balance butter, melted
- 3/4 c. (194 gr.) natural chunky peanut butter, like Krema*
Add and thoroughly mix:
- 1 c. (120 gr.) Peanut flour*
- 1/4 c. (28 gr.) Almond flour*
- 1/2 t.-3/4 t. Stevia*
- Dash of salt
Spread mixture evenly in pan on parchment paper. Let set in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Break up 2- 3 ounce chocolate bars* into squares and put in a microwave-safe bowl. Add in 1/4 + 1 T. almond milk and melt in microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Stir to thoroughly mix and immediately spread over peanut butter layer. Cover top of dish with parchment paper. Let set for 24 hours before cutting.
A few notes about the ingredients
-Most name brand ‘natural’ peanut butters (like Jif) have added sugar. Look for peanut butter that is just peanuts or peanuts and salt. These require some heavy-duty stirring when you open them, but it’s worth it. You’ll find out how peanut butter is really meant to taste.
-I ordered Protein Plus, Roasted All Natural Peanut Flour online. I choose this one because unlike PB2 and some other peanut butter powders or flours, it doesn’t have any added ingredients. However, I also just saw that Jif sells peanut powder in the local grocery store and it was only peanuts.
-You can read about almond flour in my previous post if you’re unfamiliar with it. Ditto for stevia.
-I use one Equal Exchange 80% Panama bar and one 88% Endangered Species dark chocolate. You can substitute 1/2 cup of chocolate chips for the bars. I can’t do this anymore because even the darkest are too sweet.