01.29.2016

 

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Yesterday we celebrated Dylan’s 1/2 birthday. Yup, his 5 1/2 year old mind not only discovered that he was halfway to 6 but also discovered that he could get a homemade dessert out of it. I had to talk him out of a full birthday cake (you can’t blame the kid for trying) but we settled on these No-Bake Peanut Butter Cups. Not only are they totally delicious and simple to make but the ingredient list is short and wholesome. I loved seeing the looks on the boys faces when they asked at 7:00 am “can we have chocolate peanut butter bars now?” and my answer was “Sure thing.” That feels good.

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^The 5 1/2 year old in homemade knight armor.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cups slightly adapted from here

makes about 16 small squares

Chocolate Crust:

3/4 cup ground almond meal
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt

Peanut Butter Filling:

1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt

Chocolate Topping:

1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

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Line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper and set it aside. In a medium bowl, stir together all of the chocolate crust ingredients until a moist dough is formed. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the lined loaf pan, and place it in the fridge to set.

To prepare the filling, you can use the same bowl to stir together the peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil and salt. Depending on whether you’re using salted or unsalted peanut butter, you may want to add more salt to taste. Remove the crust from the fridge and pour the peanut butter filling over the top, using a spatula to spread it out evenly. Return the pan to the fridge to set.

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Rinse the mixing bowl, and use it again, if you like, to make the final layer. Combine the cocoa powder, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup, whisking well to break up any clumps. Once the mixture has become a smooth chocolate sauce, pour it over the peanut butter layer, and return the pan to the fridge to set until firm, about an hour or two.

Once the bars are firm, grab the edges of parchment paper to easily lift the solid bar from the pan, and use a sharp knife to slice the bars into your desired size. Store them in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.