Happy Halloween, Everyone! When I was a kid, Halloween was my absolute favorite holiday of the year. I loved donning costumes, going house to house trick-or-treating. While never a huge candy fan, I absolutely adored Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I used to horde them, rationing them out each day to make my stash last longer, savoring the saccharine and salty mélange.
Now that I’m a vegan, I covet that crispy chocolate exterior, each bite yielding soft, sweet, creamy peanut butter. I never thought I’d ever eat them again…until Alicia Silverstone’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups came along to save the day. Huzzah!
In her best-selling cookbook The Kind Diet, the vegan celeb reveals a recipe that elevates the childhood staple. Semi-sweet chocolate paired with crunchy peanut butter, adds texture. Sweetened with maple sugar adds a smoky depth of flavor.
I modified Alicia’s recipe slightly. I changed the ratio of chocolate chips to soy milk, to make the chocolate topping silkier rather than fudgier, added a smidge of sugar to the chocolate mixture and omitted the chopped nut garnish.
No tricks, just treats here! When you bite into the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, you won’t believe your taste buds. It tastes eerily similar to the original yet more refined. Indulge your inner child while satiating your grown-up confectionary cravings.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan butter
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter, unsweetened and unsalted if possible (be sure PB is thick & not too liquidy or oily – as some natural PB tends to be – or it may not set properly)
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 10 squares)
1/4 cup vegan maple sugar OR 1/4 teaspoon maple sugar combined with 1/4 cup vegan granulated sugar
1 cup non-dairy semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup-1 cup vanilla soy milk (or rice or nut milk)
2 pinches of granulated sugar
*1/4 cup chopped nuts (peanuts, pecans or almonds) (optional)
1. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
2. In a food processor, pulse graham crackers to make crumbs.
3. If you don’t have maple sugar (which I didn’t!), combine granulated sugar with maple sugar. Stir until completely combined and crumbly.
4. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
5. Into the butter, stir in peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs and maple sugar.
6. Remove heat. Pour mixture evenly into each paper liner, approximately 2 tablespoons per cup.
7. In a separate small saucepan, combine chocolate, milk and sugar. Heat on medium heat, stirring until chocolate has melted.
8. Spoon small amount of chocolate mixture over peanut butter mixture. Top with chopped nuts if using.
9. Refrigerate until set, approximately 2-3 hours.
Yields 12 peanut butter cups