These vegan peanut butter buckeye bars are a joyful nod to my college days. Having attended undergrad at Miami University (of Ohio), buckeyes were a dining hall favorite. These buckeye bars are a simplified (read: bar-i-fied) version of the original. A creamy, peanut buttery base is coated in a layer of dark chocolate. No need for dipping here. Just straight PBC (peanut butter chocolate) goodness.
If you own a copy of my cookbook (I hope you do), then you might recall the "An Ode to Ohio" Peanut Butter Cookie Dough + Caramel Buckeye Bars from the desserts chapter.
Those are a super snazzy, more time-consuming version of these classic buckeye bars.
I love the cookbook version to pieces, don't get me wrong, but sometimes it's nice to get back to basics, and that's what we've done here...
Much like classic buckeyes, these buckeye bars have two main components: a peanut buttery base and a rich chocolate coating.
Unlike classic buckeyes, this vegan version received a refined-sugar-free makeover. A small amount of pure maple syrup takes the places of heaps of powdered sugar.
Since liquid sweetener is being substituted for dry sweetener, almond flour is added to thicken the peanut butter layer to the proper texture and consistency.
And so, the process of making these delightfully peanut buttery bars goes a little something like this...
Stir together peanut butter, almond flour, maple syrup, and sea salt until well combined. Press the mixture evenly into a lined baking pan and freeze for 10 minutes to set.
Meanwhile, melt a bit of chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave or in a double boiler.
Pour the chocolate over the peanut butter layer, tilt the pan back-and-forth to evenly coat, and freeze for 20 minutes, or until the chocolate layer has set.
Then, slice into bars and enjoy.
These simple vegan buckeye bars are divinely rich, perfectly sweet, and ideal for sharing with friends and family on game day. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Vegan Peanut Butter Buckeye Bars
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 ¼ cups almond flour
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons virgin coconut oil
- Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the peanut butter, almond flour, maple syrup, and salt until incorporated.
- Scoop the mixture into the lined pan. Place a clean sheet of parchment paper over top and use your hands to press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan.
- Transfer the pan to the freezer for 10 minutes to set.
- Meanwhile, add the chocolate and coconut oil to a medium, heat-safe bowl and melt over a double-boiler or in the microwave.
- Once the peanut butter layer has begun to set, pour the chocolate over top and tilt the pan back-and-forth to evenly coat.
- Pop the pan back in the freezer for 30 minutes, or until the chocolate has set and the peanut butter layer is firm enough to slice.
- Slice into bars (a warm knife works well for this).
- Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or freeze for up to one month.