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 }

Adriane April 5, 2012

Angela, I want to make this for a work party but don’t have mini jars. Do you think the proportions would work in a 9×9 dish or a pie dish? Our would I have to double it?

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Fiona April 5, 2012

This is honestly one of the most delicious and fun looking desserts I have seen! I think you are right, we all love to look at desserts, and would make them if we had more time, but more often than not, the savory dishes get made because we all need and expect dinner every day. I am definitely going to try sometime over the next week and will post about my results!

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Jenna April 5, 2012

Mmmmmm! This is sooo tasty! I made it this morning and it was hard to put in the freezer to save for tonight! I was also hesitant on that tofu PB layer but wow was it amazing…I licked the food processor clean ;)
Thanks!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 5, 2012

I know what you mean, I was hesitant to taste it too!

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Jen April 5, 2012

Made these last night and they were awesome! Also, the mini mason jars are adorable. I was so happy to have an excuse to buy them. I bribed my husband with the promise of peanut butter and chocolate to get him to take me to the hardware store for the jars. He’ll do just about anything for the PB/chocolate combo!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 5, 2012

Smart girl ;)

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Susan April 6, 2012

Wow – I was traveling for work and missed your blog for a few days so I was doubly excited to come back and find this! You can bet that I’ll be making this pdq. Thanks for the continued fantastic recipes.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 6, 2012

I’m glad to hear that..have a wonderful weekend Susan!

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Kim April 6, 2012

I just made these and added a thin layer of banana soft serve before the chocolate… heaven…

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 7, 2012

Great idea Kim :) Ill have to try that next time

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Robyn April 6, 2012

These were so very good,,,only shared one with hubby,,,,the rest were all mine!! I am mostly raw and do very little for treats and no sugar other the fruit/grains(little). But I did add 1/2 the sugar to these and next time try adding a few dates instead…Great recipe<3

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Meagan April 6, 2012

Correction to your #1 answer…. Coconut oil is from a seed, not a nut :) I’m allergic to nuts but I can eat seeds just fine

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 7, 2012

Hi Meagan, I recently heard that coconut was debated about being classified in the nuts category since so many people have allergies. Do you know if that’s true?

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Janna April 6, 2012

Well I made these tonight with one substitution….. I was out of silken tofu and didn’t feel much like running to the store and I had some tofutti cream cheese. I must say WOW!!! So yummy like everything I have made from your blog, thank you :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 7, 2012

Glad to hear that Janna! Take care

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Jennifer April 7, 2012

I made these yesterday and they were awesome! I loved them. I think next time I might put some crushed nuts in the crust :) Fantastic idea.
Love your blog,
Jenn from Halifax

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 7, 2012

So happy to hear that Jenn!

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Gonneke April 7, 2012

A dream in a jar!!! <3
I just made this for tomorrow's easter dessert…
the silk tofu was new for me and what a wonderful surprise!
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe…
happy easter! :-)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 7, 2012

glad to hear that! Enjoy & Happy Easter :)

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tatiana April 7, 2012

So I just stumbled on to your blog looking for something vegan and sweet with the stuff I’ve got in my pantry. So I don’t have cute little mason jars but I DO have a tonne of plastic Easter eggs. Guess what’s going in those tonight? That’s right, mini-peanut butter cups! Thank you.

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Brooke April 7, 2012

Just wanted to leave a comment saying that I made these last night and they are awesome! I used your double chocolate torte crust recipe that you linked to in your post and used walnuts instead of pecans. Then, instead of tofu in the PB layer, I subbed 1 banana and did not add any extra sugar. I also increased the PB a little. I did not change the chocolate shell on top. Wow! These are soooo good and I don’t feel guilty eating them. I did wait until the weekend to treat myself, but these make me feel like I’m having a healthy treat. Your recipes are always the best! Keep up the great work and I look forward to the book :-)

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Meenakshi April 7, 2012

Hi Angela,

I just had to make these immediately with whatever ingredients I had at that time. So for graham crackers, which we do not get here in India(atleast they are not easily available), i used cookies, for tofu i subbed cottage cheese and my oh my… i just loved them. I was literally licking the dish clean. well, there were a couple of things i needed to improve on like making the base a little bit harder. I am going make them again today :D.
I will surely try these with tofu sometime.
Love Love Love them. yum!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 7, 2012

thanks for letting me know! Enjoy the rest :)

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sarah@www.sarah-otoole.com April 8, 2012

Oh man these look good! I don’t have any small mason jars but I do have the big ones;) Just kidding..kinda.

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Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner April 8, 2012

Oh my gosh, those look AMAZING! I am a sucker for peanut butter cups — I would TOTALLY make these if I had graham crackers on hand. :)

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Krystal Litt April 8, 2012

A wonderful hit at our Easter brunch. Thank you!

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Von L. April 9, 2012

I made these desserts for our Easter dinner and they were absolutely scrumptious! My kids thank you!!!!

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Kristin April 10, 2012

So good, thanks Angela! I made these for my family on easter and they were all suprised to learn that there was tofu in it. I messed up by putting it in one big pie dish instead of individual ramekins. Haha whoops, definetly made a mess and would have been better off following the original instructions. Would have loved to have an even thicker layer of the peanut butter mixture because it was so friggin’ tasty :)

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Tania April 10, 2012

Amazing! I just made these little cups and I gotta tell you, Angela, you really rock!! I’ve made several of your recipes and they are all wonderful and have been added to my recipe book. I”m passing along your vegan goodness to my friends. Thank you so much!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 11, 2012

Thank you Tania, so happy to hear that!

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Janet WIlson April 10, 2012

just wanted to tell you that I made these last week and they were incredible! Great recipe!!!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 11, 2012

yay!

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Heather @ For the Love of Kale April 11, 2012

WOW. The end.

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Monica Sutherland April 11, 2012

I just finished making this recipe and my filling was much thicker – how did you get it so creamy (and spreadable with the crust??) more almond milk?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 12, 2012

Did you use soft or silken tofu? If so, then Im not sure, but yes you could try more almond milk. The thickness of the PB might impact things too.

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Stacey April 11, 2012

I made these without the crust last night for my boyfriend’s birthday. They are amazing. I blogged about them and linked to you.
http://stawojo.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/chocolate-peanut-butter-delight/

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Winter April 15, 2012

I made these this morning and they were delicious. I had to use light cream cheese in mine since, for whatever reason, no place in town had silken tofu. I had to add around an extra 1/4 cup of peanut butter though so the cream cheese didn’t dominate in flavour though. I also thought I’d go crazy and double the recipe to yield more cups/jars filled, but it ended with me adding more peanut butter filling to the jars… oopsies. So now I’m left with extra graham crust that I’ll be using to make more of these treats with. ;)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 16, 2012

hah nice…glad you enjoyed them!

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Karine F April 16, 2012

Ok! Gotta say, I just made those little guys (not quite the same recipe, I changed it a little because I did not have graham cookies) and OMG!!!! This sis SOoooooooooooo worth it!!!!

I’ll post something about it tomorow and will linked it to your original recipe. Thank YOU it’s so frikkin’ yummy!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Pamela April 19, 2012

Curious if the tofu be substituted with anything? I’m not supposed to have soy?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 19, 2012

check out my substitution suggestions in the post :)

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Pamela April 19, 2012

Duh- oops! I sHould have read the complete post. Thanks! Sorry

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Barb C April 20, 2012

A couple days after I drooled over this post, I saw those little mason jars in the store and knew that was a sign I had to make them. Well, I’ve made them twice! My family LOVED them, and I love that the tofu lightened them up a bit. Adorable and delicious and healthful – how can you ask for anything more?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 20, 2012

Hi Barb, thats great to hear! Thanks for letting me know, I always appreciate it.

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Katalin April 20, 2012

These are DELICIOUS. I made a double batch today in a muffin pan lined with parchment liners. They are perfect!!!

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Katherine April 23, 2012

These lil bad boys are firming up in the freezer right now… Instead of 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp graham crumbs I just used 1/2 cup and added 2 tbsp ground flax. Didn’t have coconut oil so just a splash evoo…. The tofu mixture tastes amazing… Light and creamy and dreamy, everything tofu isn’t.. You have amazingly done it again. Thankfully the jars come in a 12 pack so I’ll have to double the recipe next time, sigh.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 23, 2012

ground flax is a great idea!

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Mara May 5, 2012

Angela, I’ve made this 3 times now – addicting!!! Husband, boths sons (4 & 2) devour this dessert before I can say seconds anyone? I’d say it’s their fave hands down. I could simply drink the filling, haha! I didn’t have almond milk and used unsweeted coconut milk which worked fine. I also bought lite silken firm tofu in error which worked. I’m wondering if you will be coming out with a coconut cream pie version soon, please!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can only imagine what you would come up with. Something simply divine as usual!

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Sherlock May 6, 2012

OH MY GOSH! This looks insane! I am literally drooling right now. I’ll do as you say and make this now….*whoosh*

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Marcy May 21, 2012

These are to die for. And the perfect serving size. The PB rocks. And I was inspired to wing it with some pineapple and coconut next. They’re freezing now! Ice “cream” for summer. Yippee!! And no tofu taste at all.

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beti May 23, 2012

this is such a delicious idea! I can’t wait to make a lot of them just for me

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Yvette July 2, 2012

Just made these using frozen banana instead of tofu, and they’re dreamy. Used much less sugar–about 2 Tbsp total. Thanks for a great recipe!

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Carol July 4, 2012

I made these for our Fourth of July BBQ. Made 16 jars, wrapped red, white & blue ribbon around the lids and never got to have one, they were gone before I could get a jar. Thank goodness I kept “testing” the process. ;) Best part is I am the only vegan in the family so 14 people ate them not knowing they were eating tofu and found them absolutely delicious! The only change I made was a thicker chocolate shell. Thank you for yet another yummy recipe!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 4, 2012

Wow carol that is such a cute idea!! What lucky family members ;) Great call on the thicker shell too!

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Tammy August 12, 2012

These look YUMMY!!! I may have missed it somewhere, but how many jars does this recipe make? I may have to make these fot a get-together and want to know how much I need to multiply the ingredients by.

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Kimberly Andresen-Reed August 17, 2012

I was thinking about making this using cashew/almond creme instead of the silken tofu. I just found packages of ready-made organic cashew and almond creme at my local Hyvee and it’s pretty thick and should work well.

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Kimberly Andresen-Reed August 20, 2012

I may have found a substitute for tofu in this recipe, cashew and almond creme, which you could make at home of course, but I also found it locally packaged under the name MimicCreme (organic, gluten free).

The texture I’d imagine is similar and it’s actually really solid with the peanut butter mixed in, even without freezing or refrigerating.

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