Salted Peanut Butter Dessert Bars

 

I don’t think you guys truly understand how long it took for me to come up with a proper name for these bad boys. Because honestly, they remind me of Twix bars, but they have a creamy peanut butter center like a Reese’s, AND are nutty like a Snickers.

So, when you put it all together you’ve got a vegan ReTwickers bar…

Which just sounds crazy.

Pft, who am I kidding? VEGAN sounds crazy!!

Yes, that’s right. I’ve gone over to the dark side. I guess technically it’s the light side, but I feel like I’m betraying everything I imagined my life would be at 25.  For instance, I used to say things like, “if someone told me I was allergic to dairy I would jump off a cliff” because I couldn’t fathom my life without my beloved cheese or chocolate. But, here I am… one week into giving up meat and dairy and I feel fantastic.

It’s hard to wrap my mind around the way I feel in just one week, but I’ll try to get my fingers to type it out for you. I’ve over eaten on these ReTwickers bars, the vegan mac n cheese I made, and vegan bomb enchiladas in one setting, but instead of the instant remorse I would feel from eating all of that, but with dairy and meat… I feel fine. I was soooo full, but it wasn’t uncomfortable. How is it possible to stuff your face and then NOT lay down clutching your stomach asking yourself why you ate too much yet again? Honestly, as a girl who suffered from bulimia for 10 years, the moment I felt full of anything – it was off to the toilet. But last night was completely different… I was stuffed, and I wasn’t uncomfortable.

That’s what being vegan feels like.

“But Alisha!” You say, “I cannot possibly be vegan; I love cheese too much!”

I’m here to tell you that yes, you can, and you won’t have to sacrifice your taste buds for it either.

Y’ALL KNOW ME!!

I cook, bake, and eat the BEST of the best. My grandmother passed her southern cooking down to my mother, who passed it down to me. Butter and oil (and cheese) was the founding ingredient in all of our recipes. We don’t play. Ok? You can rest assured, I will not share a vegan recipe that won’t leave you fantasizing for the real thing. My recipes are all amazing, and this one, my friends, is no different.

Here’s what you need for the cookie layer (the base layer). Just almonds, pitted dates, coconut flakes, and coconut oil. I’m using my small blender here, which is the perfect size.

My back drop was looking a little boring, so I added this burlap table runner that I found at Target. Voila!

Next, just spread the base layer in the bottom of an 8×8 inch pan lined with parchment paper. Fair warning, you’ll need to hold the paper down while you spread it.

Next is the salted peanut butter layer. Did you know that honey isn’t considered vegan? Ya, I know. Go ahead and use honey (I would), but if you want the true vegan experience, you can find cheap agave nectar next to the honey at Target!

Hold the blender down for about 3 minutes to ensure you’re mixing this layer perfectly. It’ll be a little chunky, and that’s ok!

And spread it 😀 Once again, hold the paper down, it’s a little annoying.

In a small bowl, melt the coconut oil and agave together (30 seconds or less). Add the unsweetened cocoa powder and whisk. IMPORTANT STEP: taste this first before you add it to the bars. If you like the bittersweet taste, you’re good to go! But if you like it much sweeter like I do, please feel free to add more agave here. I added another 1/3 cup.

Spread that yummy chocolate layer evenly and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then cut into bars and enjoy! You can refrigerate these for about 10 days, but they probably won’t last that long!

 

Ingredients:

Base Layer

  • ½ c raw almonds
  • 5-7 medjool dates, pitted (depending on whether you have large or medium sized dates)
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ c unsweetened shredded coconut

PB Layer

  • 10-12 medjool dates, pitted (depending on large or medium sized dates, use your own judgement!)
  • ½ cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 2 tbsp agave (or honey, I won’t be mad)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Chocolate Layer

  • ½ c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ c plus 2 tbsp agave (or more!)
  • ¼ c coconut oil, melted

Directions:

  1. Place all base ingredients into a food processor and blend until you have a smooth but nutty base (1-1.5 minutes). Press the base into the bottom of an 8×8 inch pan lined with parchment paper. You’ll need to hold the paper down to keep it from sliding all over!
  2. Place the peanut butter ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. You may need to stop and scrape the sides once! Using a spatula or your fingers, press the peanut butter layer evenly over the base layer. Set aside while you make your chocolate layer.
  3. Melt the coconut oil and agave in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds or less. Then whisk together until smooth. Add in cocoa powder and continue mixing until creamy. Pour chocolate layer evenly over the caramel layer. Place the pan into the freezer for 30 minutes or until chocolate is solid.
  4. Cut into 10 evenly sized bars and serve. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days.
    Enjoy!
Recipe modified from: Nuts n More

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2 Comments

  1. Mama Sherry
    August 1, 2017 / 5:12 pm

    Yum yum.

  2. Shay
    February 7, 2018 / 11:24 am

    You make me want to try vegan! Thank you!

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