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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{ 241 comments… read them below or add one }

kaila@ healthy helper blog! April 3, 2012

Such a cute idea! I love it! Graham crackers and pb is a childhood fave of mine!

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Tonya April 3, 2012

oh my gosh! I haven’t even read the blog post yet. i just saw the title and that pic and my knees bout buckled! I’m almost scared to read any further! peanut butter cups in a jar! ok ok calm down…scroll back to the top…

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Tonya April 3, 2012

easy peasy, delicious, healthy, pnutbutterly and mini! LOVE IT!! Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 4, 2012

haha! Thanks for the smile

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Deirdre April 3, 2012

I’m speechless. That looks so delicious. I think I’ll just go for it – all the way and use a large jar instead! In the end, there will be fewer dishes to clean.

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes April 3, 2012

I love this! What an awesome idea :)

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Liz @ IHeartVegetables April 3, 2012

holy monkeys. I need this NOW!. PB And chocolate is my FAVORITE!

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Laura April 3, 2012

This reminds me of my favorite vegan bar at New Seasons… I think it is by Petunias Pies & Pastries… It has the gluten free crust (to die for) and then a thick chocolate slab over the peanut butter filling. oh my goodness – amazing. so am dying to try this!

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Jacqueline April 3, 2012

Oh my goodness! You had me at the title of the post. The pictures are beautiful and I have a feeling these portable peanut butter cups are going to pop up soon in my future! Thanks for yet ANOTHER amazing recipe!

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Heather April 3, 2012

6am yoga classes are the best…completely energizing!!!!

Those look insanely delicious…yummy! I’m pretty sure my boys would love these … I will just avoid sharing the fact they contain tofu :)

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Heather (heathers dish) April 3, 2012

Oh
Em
Gee

I’m in love!

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Angela @ Happy Fit Mama April 3, 2012

This reminds me of something my grandmother used to make for my great-grandmother. The love of chocolate and peanut butter flows through my veins, too! You just can’t go wrong with that combination!

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Heidi @ Food Doodles April 3, 2012

Mmm, these look incredible :D

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Sylvia April 3, 2012

I wonder if coconut whipped cream would work instead of tofu? You know that hard cream that settles at the top of a can of coconut milk? Probably a hella lot of calories and fat that way but I bet it would work. Taste… not sure!

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Jocelyn @ WhatsOnTheWire.com April 3, 2012

I am always looking for vegan dessert recipes, and I just LOVE peanut butter!! Can’t wait to give it a try.

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Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers April 3, 2012

Mmmmm – those look heavenly! I love the mason jar presentation too.

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Angela April 3, 2012

In all of your deserts that feature peanut butter, have you ever subbed almond butter? I see here you’ve suggested sunflower seed butter. I’ve been on a almond butter fix ever since reading several books that all suggest peanuts contain lots of mold and can be taxing on the liver. But this looks amaZING!!! I think I’ll try with PB anyway for a little splurge! Everything vegan in moderation, right?!? Thanks.

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Meg @ Maknwaves April 3, 2012

YAY! These look so good and I have been dying to find a good recipe to satisfy my cravings for Reeses Peanut Butter Cups since I am allergic to EVERYTHING that is in them. Your substitution advice is a great help! I will definitely be making these :)

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Becca April 3, 2012

Where did you find vegan graham crackers?!

Also, instead of soy, people could use blended cashews to make like a cashew cream.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 4, 2012

another great idea re: cashew cream.
It’s not easy finding vegan graham crackers, especially because most contain honey. I looked in about 4 stores for them! I finally found them in bulk, but I admit the ingredient list wasn’t the healthiest I’ve ever seen (containing glucose-fructose….blech). Next time I’m going to try making my own crackers and using it for the recipe. I’ve also heard that Health valley makes vegan grahams but I haven’t found them yet.

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Cait's Plate April 3, 2012

This. is. GENIUS! I am definitely making these soon!!

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Melissa April 3, 2012

Oh wow, these look amazing! Chocolate peanut butter is my absolute favourite. I used to inhale Reese’s PB cups before I gave up dairy. I’m tempted to make these for a wedding favour! I will have to taste test a bunch first though, of course haha.

Are you still planning on starting a running group? I’d like to get in on that if possible. I would also like to work up the courage to try hot yoga. I really have no excuse except my fear of feeling like an awkward newbie. I am thinking of trying Some Like it Hot… do you have a studio recommendation?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 4, 2012

Hey Melissa! I made a list for the running group, but since I injured my knee lifting a box I’m just waiting for that to heal until I start running. Sorry for the delay! Hopefully I can get it off the ground sooner rather than later :) You are on my list though. I tried SLIH yesterday and it was nice, but I hope to try other studios as well to get a feel for what’s out there. There are so many options!

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Stephanie April 3, 2012

Yum!!!

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Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope April 3, 2012

This looks incredible! Love the flavor combinations :)

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Alyssa April 3, 2012

Whew, I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets recipes stuck in my head. When I see something that I want to try (like this recipe for instance) I’ll think about it all day and have dreams about it at night. I’ve thought maybe I needed to get my head checked out;)

Anyways, I’ve been wanting to get some small jars to make mini pies in and now these. Thanks!!

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Michelle Tibbs April 3, 2012

I’m making this today…using PB2 instead of peanut butter. I love PB2, all the protein, none of the fat. Nothing wrong with good fat, but I like my desserts to be guilt free. I can use the extra calories of fat in my entrees!

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Andrea @ Vegvacious April 3, 2012

Holy deliciousness! These look amazing! I love when things are made in small single servings. It helps me with portion control because this is one of those things where it wouldn’t be hard to put back a whole batch!!!! Great recipe Angela!

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Kat April 3, 2012

I had NO idea you could get these jars at Canadian Tire! I am stopping on my way home! Thanks for posting where you got it! I am on a mission lately to find coconut oil which seems to be an elusive product right now.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 4, 2012

Coconut oil can be tricky to find. I’ve found that it’s usually in the natural food section of the grocery store. Otherwise you can find it online or in health food stores.

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Lindsay @ biking before bed April 3, 2012

You can never go wrong with the chocolate peanut butter combination. I would definitely have to make these right before I was leaving the house. Otherwise I would probably just be staring at the freezer waiting for them to be ready.

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sarah April 3, 2012

Wow! I can’t wait to try this! And thank you for being so kind and giving so many other substitution ideas. I always use those little jars to bring vegan overnight oats to work or wherever. Perfectly portable!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 4, 2012

overnight oats in a jar is fun! Sometimes I use a big jar and make 2 servings in it…and then somehow it doesn’t last me a day ;)

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Willow April 3, 2012

What a perfect little dessert! Love the idea of mixing the PB with the tofu… as odd as that sounds to say. :P

And hot yoga at 6am? You go, girl! I can’t wait to be healthy enough to get back to my yoga classes – I miss them so!

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Moni Meals April 3, 2012

Alright Ange, you totally BROUGHT IT as promised. :) It is funny too, with all the list of things you had mentioned, there is no reason one should or could or would not make these! No excuses!! You covered it all/

I will for sure be making these because it is m fav combo of all. Pb and choc with a crust. Done and done. Love that small portion control too. ;)

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Daisey April 3, 2012

This looks amazing! Thank you so much for telling us how to make it GF. I can’t wait to try it!

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Sarah April 3, 2012

I’m drooling…… I wish I could have ONE right now :)

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin April 3, 2012

Yum! These have been bumped up to the top of my “must make” list! I’m going to make them with soy nut butter instead of SSB – it’s my favourite nutless butter and I’ve heard that it actually tastes slightly similar to PB!

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Michaela@pilgrimageofhealth April 3, 2012

How perfect for a party! Seriously, they look delicious–perfect combination of chocolate and creamy peanut butter. I’d love to simply eat the pb filling!

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Anna April 3, 2012

This looks absolutely amazing — I wish I had some now.
I need to buy some ingredients, but I have a feeling it’s going to be delicious when I get there!

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Janae April 3, 2012

I love the jar idea. Would be a perfect little gift!

Are those your new antique painted boards you were talking about (in the photo w/ the food processor & PB)?

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Cookie + Kate April 3, 2012

I want nothing more than to eat a giant jar of peanut butter cup right now. It’s been one of those days! These look incredible, Angela.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 4, 2012

giant jars…now you’re onto something!

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Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers April 3, 2012

This looks amazing!!!! I have no words, I’m speechless!!

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Sara Nickel April 3, 2012

My day seriously just got a million times better after reading this recipe! Thanks for the allergy info and modifications too. I will be making ASAP. Thanks Angela!!

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Bri Carpenter April 3, 2012

oh goodness me! These little guys look delicious! I definitely want to try making these but will have to use the subs for the crust and filling. I’ll let you know how they go!
Thanks for the recipe!!

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Sarah April 3, 2012

I love that you were able to take a crazy delicious-looking yet unhealthy dessert and make it better for you and yet still crazy delicious-looking. You are a genius. Can’t wait for your book to come out!!

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