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Vegan Peanut Butter Crumble Bars, Two Ways

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Two years ago I posted a recipe for Peanut Butter & Jelly bars.

At the end of the post I wrote: “If you’re gluten free or vegan, I’ll post a similar recipe that you can enjoy soon!”

Tada! It’s here.

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I’ve made these bars three times to work out little kinks in the recipe, and can say that for someone who generally doesn’t love peanut butter cakes or cookies, these bars are good.

One of my latest baking goal is making health(ier) desserts that are good enough to share, and not just something I can enjoy–looking at you super avocado-flavored brownies.–and these fit that criteria.

They’re soft, super peanut butter-y, and melt in your mouth…kind of like a cross between blondies and shortbread. I brought them to a fourth of july gathering with friends and they were all eaten, so that qualifies as a success to me!

Peanut Butter Bars (Vegan)

In a medium bowl combine:

  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup spelt flour (replace with oat flour to make gluten free)
  • 2 tbs sugar or erythritol
  • 1 tbs ground flax seeds
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs peanut flour (optional–can replace with 2 tbs almond flour)

In a small bowl, microwave for 20 seconds and then stir until smooth:

  • 2 tbs maple syrup
  • 3 tbs peanut butter (decrease to 2 tbs if you added peanut flour)
  • 1 tbs melted coconut oil

Stir in:

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until combined. They should form a crumbly, but cohesive dough.

PB&J Option: 

Set aside ¼ cup of dough and press the rest of the dough into a small cake pan (about 6″ diameter) or ramekins.

Meanwhile combine in a microwave safe bowl:

  • 1 tbs strawberry jam
  • ½ cup frozen or fresh berries

Microwave, stirring every 20 seconds, until thick and gooey. It should take around 3-5 minutes. Spread on top of the dough, and then sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup dough.

Bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes. The very top of the bars should be lightly golden, but the bars shouldn’t appear totally baked through.

Chocolate Fudge Option:

Add to the dough:

  •  2 tbs chocolate chips

Set ¼ cup of the dough aside, and press the rest of the dough into a small cake pan (about 6″ diameter) or ramekins.

On top of the bars spread:

  • 3 tbs chocolate fudge sauce (I used this sugar free, fat free fudge sauce, but if you’re aiming for a purely vegan recipe, feel free to use otherwise)

Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of dough on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes. The very top of the bars should be lightly golden, but the bars shouldn’t appear totally baked through.