Raw Peanut Butter Cocoa Maple Squares

Raw Peanut Butter Maple Squares

I am now a convert to raw treats, especially when the sweetness comes from natural ingredients rather than refined sugars that produce a processed high. I'm all for purity, even when it comes to decadence. Being summer here, although not a particularly warm one, raw is also optimal to limit oven sessions.

Looking to feed my insatiable craving for peanut butter, I consulted Rawsome Vegan Baking which is by far one of the choicest books I have received this year because I have discovered a fellow nut fan in author Emily von Euw. I mixed things up just a little bit to suit my fancy, subbing peanut butter for the cashew butter called for in the original recipe. I've no doubt they would have been just as delicious, but I did have a particular craving to satisfy.

For me, peanut butter and chocolate make for the most exquisite pairings. Here, almonds and dates, sweetened with golden maple syrup come together in three layers of goodness. Rich, creamy, with some nutty texture and, yes, decadent, if you fail to resist the urge to eat a queen-sized portion of the pan — otherwise, they are pretty darn good for you.

peanut butter nut squares

Do be sure to check out Rawsome Vegan Baking if you get a chance. I am literally "un-baking" my way through the entire cookbook. Stunning are the vegan and wholesome takes on old classics that nourish while satisfying sweet teeth at the same time. Pretty much all of the recipes include staple pantry ingredients, and with a food processor, nothing more is needed than a bit of motivation to whirl everything together and assemble the creations. The pictures that pair with each recipe are enough to fuel food dreams for years to come and inspire you to recreate, enlarge upon and feast on fine treats for many years to come. Sophistication need not be complicated.

Raw Peanut Butter Cocoa Maple SquaresRaw Peanut Butter Cocoa Maple Squares
Recipe by
Adapted from Rawsome Vegan Baking: An Un-cookbook for Raw, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Beautiful and Sinfully Sweet Cookies, Cakes, Bars & Cupcakes
Published on July 30, 2014

Simple, raw peanut butter and cocoa squares that are just as rich and decadent-tasting as a sugary peanut butter chocolate bar, but healthy because they're loaded with nuts and coconut oil and sweetened only with dates and a little maple syrup

Print this recipePrint this recipe

Crust:
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup pitted dried dates
Middle layer:
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup pitted dried dates
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup dried grated unsweetened coconut
Top layer:
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or other liquid sweetener
Instructions:
  • Line a 8 × 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper. In a food processor, pulse the almonds into a flour. Add the dates and process until the mixture begins to stick together. Transfer to the prepared pan and evenly spread the base, pressing down firmly with the back of a spoon. Refrigerate while you prepare the next layer.

  • In the food processor, blend all of the ingredients for the middle layer until smooth. Spread this mixture evenly onto to the base and pop the bars back into the refrigerator.

  • For the top layer, blend all of the ingredients together until smooth. Spread evenly over the other layers. Cover with foil and set in the refrigerator until firm — at least 8 hours.

  • Once set, use the sides of the parchment paper to gently lift the bars from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut into bite-sized pieces or larger bars if you wish. Keep refrigerated.

Makes 1 8 × 8 inch pan or 16 to 25 small bars

peanut butter nut treats

Let the peanut butter celebration continue:
Raw Peanut Butter Cookies
Cayenne Peanut Butter Cookies
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites
Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Balls

On the top of the reading stack: Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Yamuna Devi

Audio Accompaniment: Ooze

4 comments:

Lucy Corry - The Kitchenmaid said...

Hi Lisa, I saw this on Google+ and wished I could reach into the screen and grab a piece then and there. I too have an insatiable love for peanut butter AND dates, so this is right up my street. Can't wait to make it, thanks so much!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Irresistible! That is such a great treat.

Cheers,

Rosa

Joanne said...

Chocolate and peanut butter is my favorite also! You just can't go wrong with it. These bites look awesome!

janet @ the taste space said...

Looks delicious and decadent. This is one cookbook I still have to get my hands on.. the recipes are so tempting. :)