Mini Peanut Butter Cups in a Jar

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Last week on Twitter, I asked you guys if you’d rather see a main course or dessert recipe for the upcoming Easter holiday.

Of course, many of you vegan goblins said you wanted BOTH!

I like the way you think.

Actually, the majority vote was for the main course recipe, easily by a 80/20 split. Does that surprise any of you? It’s interesting to note this because my most popular recipes (or should I say, the ones that are clicked on the most) tend to be dessert recipes. Maybe it’s the case that people enjoy drooling over pictures of desserts, but in reality, we tend to make more savoury, main course recipes.

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Well, let me tell you, this isn’t a dessert that you should just look at. You should make this now. And be sure to take a picture because they last much longer.

sigh.

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That was the damage I did immediately after the photoshoot. HA!

Imagine a cross between a peanut butter cup and a chocolate peanut butter torte, with a healthy, vegan twist. This is it! My obsession with this idea started when I came across a peanut butter cup recipe over at The Purple Spoon. I couldn’t get it out of my head for days!

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I wanted this dessert to be mini to keep the portion size in check, so I used these cute and portable 125ml mason jars. They worked like a charm! I picked mine up from Canadian Tire. You can find different sized mason jars at many home hardware type stores, as well as Wal-Mart. If you don’t want to use jars you can use ramekins, but the dessert won’t have nearly as much height to it. Or you can easily double the amount that goes into each dish.

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The first thing you do is make a chocolate graham cracker crust with graham crackers, maple syrup, coconut oil, and cocoa powder. If you don’t want to use coconut oil, you can sub in Earth Balance and you can also sub the maple syrup for another liquid sweetener. I added a couple tablespoons of the crust into 5 mason jars and then pressed it down with my fingers until even.

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Fool proof.

For the second step, I whipped up the insanely creamy and buttery peanut butter filling. I feel all flustered just looking at the picture again!

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My goal for this filling was to make it high in volume, so I used silken/soft tofu to add thickness and body with minimal calories. It was my first time making a dessert with soft tofu and I was a bit hesitant (ok, a lot), but it worked amazing and I could not detect it at all.

Now portion about 3 heaping tablespoons of filling into each jar:

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And place the jars in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

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Now go do some busy work or you will drive yourself insane peeking into the fridge every 45 seconds. I’ve been there…the minutes pass like days.

After the filling sets, melt the chocolate and coconut oil and then spoon a teaspoon of melted chocolate on top of each. Now, quickly twist the jar all around to coat all sides with chocolate. Chill in the fridge or freezer until the chocolate sets. I prefer to enjoy it cold from the freezer, but I let it thaw for about 10 minutes first..if I can wait that long.

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Mini Peanut Butter Cups in a Jar

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Yield: 5 (125ml) mason jars

For the crust:

  • heaping 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp graham cracker crumbs (10 squares) or use homemade PB graham crackers
  • 1.5 tbsp pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (or Earth Balance)
  • 2.5 tsp cocoa powder

 

For the filling:

  • 200 grams soft/silken organic tofu, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup Sucanat or brown sugar, processed into powder (or 3-5 tbsp icing sugar)*see question #6
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste

 

For the chocolate shell:

  • 2.5 tbsp dark chocolate chips
  • 1.5 tsp coconut oil (or Earth Balance)

 

1. If making homemade powdered sugar, add 1/2 cup of Sucanat (or brown sugar) into a high-speed blender and blend until a powder forms. Set aside, but leave the lid on as it needs to settle.

2. In a food processor, process the crust ingredients until crumbs are a bit damp. Add 2 tablespoons of the crust into each jar. Spread out evenly and flatten with fingers.

3. Quickly wipe out the processor bowl. Now add the filling ingredients and process until silky smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.

4. Add 3 tablespoons of filling into each jar and spread gently with a spoon. Place jars into freezer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes to firm up a bit.

5. Remove jars from freezer and melt the chocolate on the stove-top or microwave. Spoon 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate on top of the filling. Quickly, twist the jar around to coat all sides. Repeat for the rest. chill in the fridge or freezer to firm up the chocolate or just dig in as is!

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Ingredient/Allergy Questions you may be wondering about:

1. What if I can’t have nuts? If you can’t have nuts, I suggest using sweetened sunflower seed butter as a swap for the peanut butter. You may also need to swap coconut oil for Earth Balance and be sure to check all other ingredients.

2. What if I can’t have gluten? For a gluten-free crust that works amazing (I even tried it myself), try using this pecan based no bake crust. Of course, double check all other ingredients to ensure they are GF.

3. What if I can’t have soy? That is a tricky one for this recipe. My first thought is to use banana (or banana soft serve!) because it’s sweet, easy, and blends super smooth. You may also want to reduce the sugar.

4. What if I don’t have coconut oil?

Feel free to sub Earth Balance for coconut oil.

5. What if I don’t have maple syrup?

Feel free to sub any liquid sweetener of your choice.

6. How do I make homemade powdered sugar?

As I’ve seen on Lesley, Ashley and Katie’s blogs, it’s very easy to make homemade powdered sugar. Simply add Sucanat, brown, or white sugar into a high-speed blender and blend until a powder forms (you can also add a bit of cornstarch to it, but I didn’t bother to for this recipe). Allow it to sit in the blender for at least 5 minutes to settle. There tends to be a huge white cloud when you take off the lid, so it’s a bit messy, but it’s a great, natural swap for confectioner’s sugar so I’m not complaining too much. I didn’t measure how much 1/2 cup Sucanat made, so if you are using store-bought powdered sugar I would start with 3 tbsp and add to taste from there. Sucanat also gives the filling a nice golden tone.

7. What if I don’t have mini jars?

Feel free to use ramekin dishes, but I suggest doubling the ingredients since ramekins are a lot bigger.

I imagine they can also be heated up, but I didn’t get that far…

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Whew, am I chatty today or am I chatty today?

Must have been that 6am hot yoga class…I’m bouncing off the walls here.

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{ 246 comments… read them below or add one }

Ileana April 3, 2012

This is such an interesting idea. I love peanut butter!

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Heather @ Better With Veggies April 3, 2012

OMG – this looks amazing!! I love the mini-mason jars you served them in almost as much as the dessert idea (almost). Did you follow that hot yoga class with one of these? ;)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 3, 2012

hah I wish…I could use one right now! Might have to be whipped up again on Good Friday :)

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Stephanie @ Legally Blinde April 3, 2012

Oh my goodness, these look amazing. Peanut butter + chocolate is by far my favorite flavor combination, so these are pretty much as perfect as a dessert can get, in my opinion. Can’t wait to try them out! I gave up chocolate for Lent and am eagerly counting down the days until Easter :) Also, kudos on making it to a 6AM hot yoga class! I think I was turning off my alarm in my sleep around that time, haha.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 3, 2012

I think I was too ;) on my mat…

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chocolate-covered katie April 3, 2012

That was always my favorite part when I did yoga: the last 5 minutes where you get to sleep! :)
(And now I’m really lazy and don’t go at all…)

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Jenna A. | The Paleo Project April 3, 2012

I want to do this with Almond Butter! But sans tofu and lots of the other ingredients. It looks delicious but could also be made so much simpler for my allergies.

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Misty April 3, 2012

So simple and so cute! tied with a easter coloured ribbon and this would make the cutest easter treat for guests! LOVE YOUR BLOG!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 3, 2012

Thank you Misty, you are too kind

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Misty April 3, 2012

could we do a crushed pretzel sprinkle topping?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 3, 2012

now you’ve gone and done it!

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Miranda @ working mom works out April 3, 2012

You are my hero! Now I have to sit at work all day while I think about making this tonight. Oh, the humanity. ;-)

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Kate April 3, 2012

these look insane I love the combo of the graham cracker crust & creamy filling YUM!

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Hailey April 3, 2012

Oh my goodness, I know what I am making for dessert tonight!!! I’m pretty sure I would eat this for breakfast too. This looks like such a delicious, healthy combo! How are you so good??? :-)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 3, 2012

im pretty sure i did eat this for breakfast…

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Emily @ LivingLongfellow April 3, 2012

adorable! A friend just gave me some of those jars asa canning herb gift, but i’m totally using them to make a dessert like this :)

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Janel April 3, 2012

You’re a genius! Unfortunately my husband doesn’t like the chocolate pb combo, so that means I’d have to make and eat these all by myself. Sigh…tough life.

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Sarah with Veggie Kids April 3, 2012

How could it get any better!? I will definitely give these a try along with my little helpers in the kitchen. I’m not sure we’ll make it to the freezing stage as we may dip into it for important taste testing! These look so great!! Love the jars too.

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Shelly April 3, 2012

Oh man, I need to make this for my hubby ASAP. He loves chocolate and peanut butter together!
Also, if you are interested in more desserts with Silken Tofu, you should try 101Cookbooks chocolate mousse. I made this for a bunch of non-vegans and they all asked for the recipe!
It’s so easy and delicious!

http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/000310.html

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 3, 2012

Thanks for the link Shelly! I’ve seen quite a few blogs with a silken tofu pudding recipe…might have to try it out. If its anything as good as the PB one was…oh myyy.

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat April 3, 2012

Oooh yes! I’ll have one for my main course AND one for dessert please! ;)

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Kristen April 3, 2012

Wow those look to die for. They would be cute to send away with the friends/family who can’t stay for dessert. Tie a little spring colored ribbon around the jaw and voila! Instant party pleaser! I’ll be making theses for sure. My fiancé is a sucker for peanut butter, so I’m sure they’ll go over very well around here!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 3, 2012

thats a really cute idea!

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Christine (The Brighter Side of Life) April 3, 2012

Nasty. In a good way. *sigh*

(at least the portion sizes are small… but of course that doesn’t stop me from eating more than one…)

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Yellow Haired Girl April 3, 2012

What a great idea! I’d definitely eat one of these bad boys :)

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helen April 3, 2012

Ahhh!!! Words cant describe how excited I am by these right now!!! Cant wait to make them. I had a Reese’s pb cup the other day to satisfy a craving but it just didnt compare to the homemade versions following your recipe…. homemade, chemical free #ftw

Can I request more stuff in jars too! :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 4, 2012

I was hoping someone would ask that…I’m pretty obsessed with these mini jars. heh. Maybe a pie?

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helen April 9, 2012

YES PLEASE!

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julie April 3, 2012

oh. my. this is my idea of heaven. thank you!

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Beth April 3, 2012

You did it again! Looks amazing, and I can’t wait to try them!

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Lindsay April 3, 2012

Young Thai Coconut would be a great replacement for tofu as well!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 4, 2012

great idea! I’ve never used it before but now Im intrigued.

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Heather April 11, 2012

Where do you get this coconut? I have never used tofu and it scares me. I would love another way to get the same texture.

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chocolate-covered katie April 3, 2012

Oh but Angela, you didn’t answer my question!!
What if I can’t wait 30 minutes for that insanity to reach my tummy? ;)

The second photo is definitely my favorite. All the best things in the world captured in a little jar.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 4, 2012

waiting 30 minutes is definitely a huge problem with this recipe ;)

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K April 3, 2012

these are adorable!! I’m making this on the weekend! Love the jars too- going to pick them up at Canadian Tire
Will try with banana soft serve, not a tofu fan..

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Noelle (@singerinkitchen) April 3, 2012

Dang this looks so good….looks like the baby is allergic or sensitive to peanut butter or soy. I must test it out. Lovely dessert!!!

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Cat @ Breakfast to Bed April 3, 2012

zomg. those are adorable.

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen April 3, 2012

I made maple roasted cashew butter the other day that I’ve been thinking about combining with chocolate somehow. This just gave me the perfect idea! :)

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Heather April 3, 2012

YUM! I love anything w/ peanut butter so these are on the list to try. A weekend treat perhaps :)

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Linda April 3, 2012

these look fantastic!! I’m pretty obsessed with them right now and its great to see them in a vegan version! love the jars :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 3, 2012

Thank you for the inspiration! It was all I could think about for days…haha.

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Karen April 3, 2012

Amazing! I have everything at the house and will be making these on good friday!! THANK YOU!!

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Destini April 3, 2012

wowowowowowow I wish I didn’t read this at work. I really want one of these! Fantastic idea

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The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh April 3, 2012

Oh girl, you’re killin’ me. This looks AMAZING! But the great this is I bought tofu on a whim and had no idea what to do with it. Thankfully I do now! :-)

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Brittany April 3, 2012

This looks absolutely amazing! I’m definitely trying this one time, I’m obsessed with peanut butter and chocolate!

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Kaylee April 3, 2012

Great recipe! Avocado might be a good alternative to the silken tofu (mixed with agave and a little cocoa powder and peanut butter).

Also…I just wanted to say thanks for an idea–you actually posted a picture in passing, but it’s been my obsession for the past two weeks since you posted it: the banana, almond milk, and sunflower butter bowl! Dear lord! It is so heavenly and I can’t stop eating it…breakfast every day! I’ve also added some chia seeds and let it sit in the fridge for an hour (tough to do), and I also sprinkle fruit-sweetened granola with pistachios and mulberries on top. It’s…perfect. So THANK you! Or maybe I should be angry that I can’t bring myself to eat anything else for breakfast. >:)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 4, 2012

hah that’s so funny! It’s so good, right? I love your idea of chia and letting it sit…I can imagine how thick it gets!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table April 3, 2012

This looks like my new favorite dessert! And with tofu, it’s basically a health food, right? :)

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Jasmine April 3, 2012

Just pinned this, how you don’t mind. It’s too fabulous not to share!

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Averie @ Averie Cooks April 3, 2012

These little parfaits or PB cups in a jar look so delish! I’m sure you saw it was (American) national PB& J day yesterday. You could add a smear of jelly to some of these and be all set :)

But chocolate and PB is amazing :) They look so adorable!

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Amanda April 3, 2012

These sound so good and the small mason jars are too cute. I think I need to make an almond butter variation…yum!

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Alex @ Raw Recovery April 3, 2012

Oh I am SO excited about this recipe!! I love chocolate and peanut butter

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Anna @ The Guiltless Life April 3, 2012

Ooh each layer of that looks like heaven so I can only imagine what it tastes like altogether! I’m curious about the nutritional analysis on this but I bet it’s a lot lower cal than it looks, especially due to the soft tofu, as you said!

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Carrie April 3, 2012

Wowza!!! That looks SO GOOD!

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