I remember I made these and I left them sitting on the counter. My son, who is averse to trying new things, started eating them — many of them. That's the ultimate sign of success in our house: Eating something with no raised eyebrows or complaints.
Technique tip: Make sure the filling is completely chilled before slicing.
Swap option: You can swap plant-based butter (melted) for the coconut oil in the crust.
- nonstick vegetable cooking spray
- 12 graham crackers, or as needed to make 1⅓ cups crumbs
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons coconut oil, melted, plus more if necessary
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut cream, in solid form
- 1/4 cup vegan dark chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons chopped, roasted and salted peanuts
Heat the oven to 350 F. Spray an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
For the crust:
In a food processor, grind the graham crackers (alternatively, you could use a zip-top plastic bag and a rolling pin to grind the graham crackers). Measure 1⅓ cups of the crumbs and put them in a medium bowl then stir in the sugar. Add the coconut oil and stir well. The crumbs should be moist and hold together when pressed against the side of the bowl. If they don't, add a little more coconut oil.
Pour the crumb mixture into the prepared baking pan. Using a glass or a measuring cup, firmly and evenly press the mixture over the bottom of the pan. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until set. Let cool.
For the filling:
In a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, using an electric mixer, beat together the peanut butter, sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed until fluffy. Beat in the coconut cream.
Spread the peanut butter mixture evenly over the graham cracker crust. Melt the chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave or over a double boiler. Drizzle it over the peanut butter topping in a random pattern. Sprinkle with the peanuts. Refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until set.
Grabbing both ends of the parchment, lift out the square onto a cutting board. Cut into small squares for serving. Keep the bars refrigerated or frozen.