These vegan gf peanut butter chocolate ganache shortbread bars require just 8 ingredients (plus sea salt) and are the perfect festive fall treat. They fall somewhere in between cookie and candy (think: Girl Scout Tagalong meets peanut butter twix bar), and would make an excellent dessert for any upcoming holiday parties you might have on your social calendar. A crisp layer of vegan, gluten-free shortbread is topped with a fudgy peanut butter layer. The finishing touch? A thick layer of chocolate ganache.
I find it difficult to glance at photos of these bars without trotting off to the kitchen to grab another one or two from the fridge.
It’s that chocolate ganache layer—something about the look of it gets me every time. Thick, fudgy, and mousse-like all at once. Be still my pregnant belly.
These vegan shortbread bars teeter gracefully between Tagalong and PB twix territory.
Although not my intent when creating them, this decadent mashup is nonetheless some sort of chocolate-covered, peanut-butter-coated miracle. I’ll take it.
To make these Halloween-appropriate treats, you’ll start with the shortbread layer.
The shortbread is a slightly revised version of the base used in these homemade vegan twix bars.
It’s made with a combination of oat flour, coconut flour, coconut oil, pure maple syrup, vanilla, and sea salt.
A word of caution:
Please, when making this shortbread, do keep this post about coconut flour in the back of your mind, and refrain from meddling or tinkering with the ratio of flours. Coconut flour works wonders in small amounts (especially in shortbread recipes like this one), but its highly absorbent nature is both a blessing and a curse—too much of it will yield a dry, crumbly shortbread and too little will yield a wet, soggy shortbread. So pretty please, save yourself a kitchen disaster by sticking with the recipe as written—there’s a very good reason to use both oat flour and coconut flour here.
While the shortbread layer bakes (just a speedy 12-minute blast in the oven will do the trick), you’ll get to work on the peanut butter layer.
To make it, simply whisk together peanut butter, coconut oil, and pure maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat until smooth and glossy.
Once the shortbread layer has cooled a bit, pour the peanut butter mixture over top and tilt the pan back-and-forth to evenly coat. Then, pop the pan in the freezer to set.
While the peanut butter layer sets, prepare the chocolate ganache.
Simply heat a bit of coconut milk over the stove. Pour the hot milk over one cup of non-dairy chocolate chips. Let the mixture stand for about 5 minutes, or until the chocolate is wonderfully melty. Then, give it all a good stir until you have a thick, glossy chocolate mixture.
Finally, pour the chocolate ganache over the peanut butter layer, and use the back of a spoon to evenly spread it across the surface. Return the pan to the freezer one final time to set. Then, slice into squares and serve, savor, and repeat.
These vegan gf peanut butter chocolate ganache shortbread bars are all sorts of wonderful.
They’re richly chocolatey, just peanut buttery enough (although, please, feel free to double the peanut butter layer if you’re feeling extra nutty), and grounded by that lovely shortbread layer.
These bars are best when stored in the refrigerator but can also be frozen for up to one month. You know, to satiate your most ferocious chocolate cravings on demand.
Vegan GF Peanut Butter Chocolate Ganache Shortbread Bars
- 1 cup oat flour
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Peanut Butter Layer*
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter**
- 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Chocolate Ganache Layer
- 1 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup full-fat canned coconut milk (vigorously shake can before opening or measuring)
- For the Shortbread Crust
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. (Double-check your pan size—a 9 x 9-inch pan won't work for this recipe.)
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oat flour, coconut flour, and sea salt. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla, and stir well to combine. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes to thicken, stirring once or twice. You should have a soft, slightly spongy dough.
- Scoop the dough into the lined pan, and use your fingers to press and spread it into an even layer. At first it will seem like there isn't enough, but just keep working it out toward the edges. You want a thin, evenly distributed later. Use a fork to pierce the surface (prevents bubbling while baking).
- Bake for 12–14 minutes, or until the edges are just barely turning golden and the crust feels softly set but not yet crisp. Let cool for at least 10 minutes.
For the Peanut Butter Layer
- Meanwhile, make the peanut butter layer by whisking together the peanut butter, coconut oil, and pure maple syrup in a saucepan over medium-low heat until smooth and glossy.
- Pour over the cooled shortbread crust and tilt the pan back-and-forth to evenly coat. Transfer to the freezer for 15 minutes, or until the layer has set (it should lose its sheen and become completely matte).
For the Chocolate Ganache Layer
- Add the chocolate chips to a medium glass medium bowl.
- In a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk over medium heat until it's steaming hot and simmering, but do not boil. If you accidentally heat it to boiling, let it cool slightly until it's piping hot but no longer bubbling.
- Pour the coconut milk over the chocolate chips and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes to melt the chocolate.
- Whisk until smooth and glossy.
- Pour the ganache over the peanut butter layer and use the back of a spoon to evenly spread across the surface. Return the pan to the freezer for 20 minutes, or until the layer has set.
- Slice into squares and enjoy.
- Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month.