kinder, gentler, vegan peanut butter cups

I think these are beyond better than Reese’s. They’re super easy to make and require no baking. This recipe is from Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet, one of my favorite books, especially for anyone “flirting” with a vegan diet.  Here’s a video of her making them for the Oprah show …

 

1/2 cup Earth Balance butter

3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (preferably unsweetened, unsalted… I’ve used them all)

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (I use Kinnikinnick gluten-graham crackers or any whole wheat graham crackers, depending on who I’m making them for)

1/4 cup maple sugar or other granulated sweetener (I used to have a hard time finding maple sugar, but Trader Joe’s now has organic maple sugar in their baked goods section)

1 cup vegan chocolate or carob chips

1/4 cup soy, rice or nut milk

1/4 cup chopped pecans, almonds or peanuts (optional)

Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Alicia uses the 12-muffin sized tin in her recipe. I use the smaller, 24-sized tin just because I prefer them more candy than cookie-like. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and maple sugar and mix well. Remove the mixture from the heat. Drop an even spoonful of the mixture into each muffin/candy cup.

 

(Before I add the chocolate, I put the pan of peanut butter in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes because I find the chocolate sits on top of the peanut butter better this way, otherwise it seeps through… Alicia does it all at once.)

Combine chocolate and milk in another pan. Stir over medium heat until chocolate has melted. Spoon chocolate evenly over peanut butter mixture. Top with chopped nuts if you’d like. Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 2 hrs before serving.

 

serving suggestion: make peanut butter parfaits by placing a scoop of vanilla coconut milk ice cream in a glass, top with a peanut butter cup, add another scoop of ice cream, another peanut cup……. keep going, or take a deep breath and practice moderation :)