We have officially entered into summer. I don’t know what it’s like in your neck of the woods, but so far my summer has been more hazy (and rainy) than lazy. Not that I’m complaining, I think that we established here that the dog days of summer aren’t exactly my favourite. But I had all these no-bake treats planned out, to save you from your oven, and I have a sinking suspicion that they’re going to run out just as the heat kicks in.
And sure I could save them for later, but would you really want to wait for these peanut butter bars?! I didn’t think so 😉
I was actually really excited to make them because I’ve been dying to use my new found graham cracker crumbs in something. I’ve been searching for vegan-friendly graham crackers (or crumbs) forever. Picking up boxes to check the ingredients whenever I saw them, every time being disappointed to see that pesky ingredient staring back at me. Honey… I’ve heard that brands do exist, like Sweet & Sara or Nabisco Graham Originals, but neither of these are sold in any store near me… I suppose I could just bake my own, but to go through all that work just to smash them up seems like a hassle… Though in retrospect, I’m not sure that it’s really any more of a hassle than searching for honey free graham crackers for 6 years, but I digress 🙂
If you can’t find vegan-friendly graham crackers where you are, there’s a recipe for vegan graham crackers that are also gluten-free on Oh She Glows. Or you could simply sub in your favourite crunchy cookie, like Crunchy Sugar Crisps from Enjoy Life (I’ve used them in a similar way before and they worked out great!)… Oh, and I guess I should mention that I finally found my graham cracker crumbs at Bulk Barn!
Whew! Now that we’ve sourced our crumbs, we can move on to the fun stuff! And believe me it’s going to be worth it. These bars are so delicious and decadent. And did I mention EASY?! I like to get right in there and mix it all with my hands. I tried using a spoon, but it just wasn’t happening for me. So if you have a little sous chef, this is totally something they can help with!
This will be the first time I’ve ever told you to save the natural peanut butter for something else. Unfortunately, it’s just not ideal for these, so be sure to pick up a small jar of the “regular” stuff when you’re getting your crumbs… Also, I know it’s hard waiting, but PLEASE let them chill for at least 3 hours. You don’t want to cut into them before they’re set. And when you are slicing them, I suggest wiping the blade clean after each slice. This will keep them looking neat.
What ingredients do you have a hard time finding?
No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars With Chocolate Ganache
Author: Starr Wong @ The Misfit Baker
Recipe Type: Dessert
Makes: 12 bars
- 1 1/2 cup Vegan Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 1 cup Powdered Sugar
- 1/3 cup Vegan Butter, melted (I used Earth Balance)
- 1 cup Smooth Peanut Butter (not natural)
- 3/4 cup Coconut Milk (full fat, canned)
- 1 cup Non-Dairy Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1/4 cup Peanuts, chopped and toasted
Line an 8-inch square pan with foil, leaving enough overhang to use to lift the bars out when finished. Set aside.
Stir together the graham cracker crumbs and powdered sugar. Mix in the the vegan butter until thoroughly coated (I find it easiest to use my hands for this). Add the peanut butter and mix until completely combined (again, I find it’s best to use my hands). Firmly and evenly press the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Set aside.
In a sauce pan heat coconut milk until just starting to simmer. Remove from heat and sprinkle in the chocolate chips. Let sit for one minute then stir until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Pour over the peanut butter base, spread the ganache to the edges, an smooth surface. Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the top.
Chill until firm (3 hours – overnight). Lift bars from pan and slice into 12.
Store in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container for up to 5 days. Best served chilled.