Healthy No Bake Chocolate Peanut butter crunch bars using just one bowl, 5 ingredients and less than 2 minutes! This quick and easy snack or dessert is naturally gluten free, vegan, dairy free and can be made sugar free!
Thank Goodness For Archived Cookbook Recipes.
I may have a shed a tear when my editor told me to nix a recipe which incorporated my favorite childhood snack and my favorite candy bar in one. My copycat crunch bar recipe is one of my favorites because it’s so easy, uses two ingredients and can be made completely sugar free!Just kidding about shedding a tear, I didn’t shed any because I have no heart and no soul and thus, no emotions. 🙂
In all seriousness, the worst part of the cookbook process may have been cutting down on so many recipes I had planned to share. Narrowing it down to just one strawberry recipe, one doughnut flavor, and one oatmeal breakfast was not an easy feat. What was worse was having to actually omit at least 15-20 recipes, including today’s delicious offering.
The best thing about having a food blog prior to the cookbook means whatever didn’t make the cut makes it to the blog….and also saves my derriere when I feel like sharing a recipe and have been a little bit behind on the development/testing/shooting/eating part!
When it comes to flavor pairings, I really don’t think much can come between peanut butter and chocolate, except allergies. To be completely honest, I wasn’t besotted (flashback to my high school essay days) by this combination until I tried my first peanut butter cup back in 2009. To say it was love-at-first-sight would have been an understatement. I was sick, couldn’t taste it, and it enhanced my sore throat.
Fast forward to a week later when I was feeling much better, and I truly got the enjoy this combination, although in the shape of a deformed Christmas tree. I remember bringing back packets of it for my friends back in Australia, and slowly introducing them to this epic combination we were lacking! Now that I’m based across America and Australia, I have this candy at my disposal!
However, I am fully aware that eating multiple peanut butter cups a day is not the best idea, so there had to be other ways to get this delicious combination. To combat this, I wanted to make a faux candy bar, meets healthy snack bar, meets healthy dessert, meets cravings satisfied.
For a potluck bbq, I’d made a recipe from one of my favorite new cookbooks, The Weeknight Dinner cookbook. I’d bought this cookbook with the intentions of broadening my savory creations, but as always, it was the sweets which took my fancy. I adapted on of their chocolate based cereal recipes to give it a healthy makeover.
Crunchy, crispy, smooth and creamy and all words to describe these no bake chocolate peanut butter bars. You bite into it and are met with of these, which are a texture lovers dream! Just like a traditional candy bar, they don’t need any refrigeration and can be stored at room temperature.
Traditional candy bars or chocolate bars (or my beloved crunch bar) use butter, sugar, margarine and several kinds of oil to produce a delicious end product. My version uses just FIVE ingredients, and take less than 2 minutes to whip up! Not only are these beauties completely vegan, gluten free and dairy free, but it also has the option to be made completely sugar-free, so take note below!
The ‘crunch’ factor can come in two folds. The first and most dominant one is in the cereal used. The original recipe from the cookbook used cornflakes, but my preference lies in rice crispy treats, so I used these gluten-free crispy rice cereal. It’s my favorite to use in these no bake bars and these no bake rice crispy cups. If you don’t have a gluten intolerance, any crispy rice cereal will work fine. The second part comes with using crunchy peanut butter. You are welcome to use smooth peanut butter if that is all you have on hand, but I love the added texture of the little pieces of peanuts throughout!
As these no bake chocolate peanut butter bars are based around chocolate (hello), PLEASE make sure you choose a high-quality chocolate bar (baking style or standard) or chocolate chips. I used my favorite dairy free chunks, which I regularly eat on its own. For those who want to keep this completely sugar-free, use your favorite sugar free BAKING bar or chips. Simply melting a generic sugar-free candy bar won’t yield the results you are after. Also, for the maple syrup, swap it for this sugar-free alternative. While not as good as the original, it’s the best sugar-free syrup when used IN recipes.
Snack, dessert or a healthy alternative to a traditional candy bar, these healthy No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bars will satisfy any peanut butter + chocolate + cereal lover out there!
Healthy No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bars (Vegan, Gluten Free) adapted from the Weeknight Dinner Cookbook.
Healthy No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bars
- Line an 8 x 8-inch baking dish or deep baking tray of choice with parchment paper and set aside.
- Add crispy rice cereal into a large mixing bowl and set aside. In a microwave safe bowl or stovetop, combine all your other ingredients and heat until melted. Remove from microwave/off stove and whisk until completely incorporated.
- Pour the chocolate/peanut butter mixture over the crispy rice cereal and mix until combined. Pour into the lined baking dish and refrigerate until firm (at least an hour). Remove and cut into bars.