Hear me out. You hear vegan, and think “That can’t be good!” Well, I’m here to tell you you’re wrong. These peanut butter cups, based off a recipe in Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet, are amazingly delicious and much better than Reese’s cups. They’re also not made with any weird processed crap like you find in commercially produced peanut butter cups. I mostly followed Alicia’s recipe, except I did not use maple sugar as she recommends. It’s pretty pricey, and you can either skip the sugar altogether (these are plenty sweet between the graham crackers and the chocolate anyway) or substitute natural cane sugar. I also used a mix of almond butter and peanut butter. I’ve put Alicia’s recipe below as it appears in her book, but I’ve included my notes in parentheses. These are sooo good!
1/2 cup Earth Balance butter
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (Smooth is fine, and as mentioned above, I used about half almond butter here–play with different nut butters for these. They are all delicious. Remember to get natural nut butters–no added stuff, just nuts and maybe salt. Period. Regular peanut butter can have a lot of undesirable stuff in it, including high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils.)
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs or 10 graham cracker squares
1/4 cup maple sugar or other granulated sweetener (I’ve left this out before and still ended up with delicious peanut butter cups)
1 cup grain-sweetened, nondairy chocolate or carob chips (I used Sunspire brand, which are sweetened with barley malt.)
1/4 cup soy, rice, or nut milk (I used almond milk.)
1/4 cup chopped pecans, almonds, or peanuts (I used chopped walnuts.)
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. (While you’re melting the butter, process your graham crackers in a food processor if you have squares as opposed to crumbs.)
Stir in the peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and maple sugar and mix well. Remove the mixture from the heat. Evenly divide the mixture, approximately 2 tablespoons per cup, among the muffin cups.
Spoon the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter mixture. Top with chopped nuts. Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 2 hours. (I like to put them in the freezer if I want them to be ready faster!)