I love peanut butter cups. I mean, love, love, love. When my brother, sister and I were little we would come home from trick or treating and collectively dump all of our candy on the kitchen table. I’m not sure if the sharing thing was something our parents made us do or if we were just nice kids. I think it’s the former. Anyway, my sister and brother always went for the fruity candies first: skittles, sour patch kids, gummies of all kinds. I always went straight for the Reese’s. To this day I still love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter so making these vegan gluten-free dark chocolate peanut butter cups was long overdue.
This recipe is based roughly on trying to recreate the Justin Brand vegan gluten-free dark chocolate peanut butter cups They’re heavenly. On our last trip to Whole Foods I bought an entire case! Michael just shook his head knowing full well that not one would be wasted. But, it got me to thinking…surely I could make these for cheaper on my own. If I could make them vegan and gluten-free, all the better.
So off I went this morning to Whole Foods. Yes, I’m that crazy lady on her orange scooter that must get to the grocery store before 11am so I can pick up gluten-free graham crackers before it starts raining. If you’ve ever scooted in the rain you’ll understand the urgency. No fun.
I adapted this recipe from Alicia Silverstone’s book The Kind Diet. It’s a good starter book for those beginning their vegetarian/vegan journey and gives a lot of substitutes for everyday items like butter, milk, even cookies.
To make these gluten-free I used S’moreables graham crackers in place of regular crackers. I eat them on their own or with chocolate chips (another dessert favorite) sometimes.
Vegan, Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
1/2 cup earth balance (or butter if you don’t wish to make them vegan)
3/4 cup peanut butter (if you can get your hands on natural peanut butter I would recommend it)
3/4 cup of graham crackers (this came out to about 8 crushed crackers, but S’moreables are really small, I’d say 5 normal graham crackers)
1/8 cup maple syrup
1/8 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unflavored almond milk (rice, soy, regular cow’s milk works just as well)
1 cup vegan dark chocolate chips (milk or semi sweet if that’s what you prefer)
1/4 chopped peanuts (optional)
Melt butter over low heat in a sauce pan. Once melted add graham cracker crumbs, peanut butter, maple syrup and sugar. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
Place 2 tablespoons of mixture per cupcake wrapper. I used a regular size cupcake tin but it would work just as well with the mini tins.
Melt chocolate and milk over low heat. Stir until smooth.
Place chocolate over peanut butter mixture.
Sprinkle with a little sea salt. Add cayenne and crushed peanuts if desired.
Chill in the freezer for 2-3 hours.
Makes 12 cups.
And just because I like the juxtaposition of the healthy cilantro laying against the recipe for peanut butter cups…
Enjoy. I already have!