“If you like peanut butter, you’ll love this bar.”
Sold. This is how easily I am lured into buying treats at bakeries, especially PureBread. (Read about my love of PureBread in my Cherry Chocolate Buckwheat Scones post). Anything coconut, peanut butter, fig… I feel the need to bring them home.
After a long hike to the stunning Joffre Lake, I totally zonked out in the car. Zzzzzzzz… When I woke up, our car was parked right in front of PureBread. Dreams do come true, thanks dad! It was late afternoon and the tiny bakery was nearly sold out for the day. I did manage to leave gleefully with a loaf of fresh cherry pecan bread, a mega fudgey brownie, and one of their new two-inch-thick peanut-butter-on-shortbread creations. Life was good.
This Peanut Butter Shortie, as they called it, was all about the salt and peanuts. While it was more salty than anything else, I loved the concept of having a shortbread base and crunchy peanuts within the fudge. So I set my heart to recreate a healthy, vegan, and gluten free version for you all today!
A thick layer of subtly sweet coconut flour shortbread holds up a dense layer of salty, rich, and textural peanut butter fudge. One side is then dunked into a luscious vegan chocolate ganache and adorned with more roasted peanuts. It’s the fancier way to enjoy salted crunchy peanut butter. The shortbread reminds me of eating almond butter, where it sticks to the roof of your mouth and you have fun trying to scrape it all back down with your tongue; special trademark of this coconut flour based cookie.
After the pan was stuffed into the freezer, I shamelessly licked all my spatulas and the bowls clean; dat peanut butter fudge mixture is deeeeeeeeee-vine. Peanut butter is good enough to eat out of the jar with a spoon, but mix in some coconut cream and maple syrup and oh mah goodness. No words. Just grunting noises.
Okay, I admit I may have gotten too excited and dumped a bit too much chopped peanuts into the fudge. But if you love crunching on roasted peanuts, by all means add ¾ cups of it! Another note for success: coconut flour is finicky and the amount of liquid needed really depends on the humidity of where you are at the time. If the shortbread dough is too dry, add some more almond milk; if it’s too wet, add some more coconut flour (just a tablespoon at a time though). It’s really that simple!
Are you ready to experience a peanut butter-lover’s heaven?
- 1¾ cup coconut flour
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp molasses (or more maple syrup)
- ½ cup almond milk
- A pinch of Himalayan pink salt
- ¼ cup soft coconut oil
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup full fat coconut milk, at room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp pink Himalayan salt
- 1½ cup all natural peanut butter
- ½ to ¾ cup chopped roasted peanuts (or use crunchy peanut butter)
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 tbsp maple syrup, or more to taste
- ¼ cup almond milk, warmed
- ¾ cup chopped roasted peanuts
- Preheat oven to 350⁰F and line an 8” square baking pan with parchment paper, being sure to go up the sides.
- Mix all the shortbread ingredients together in a mixing bowl until thoroughly combined. Mixture should stick together when pressed between two fingers. If not, add additional almond milk as needed.
- Evenly press the dough into the bottom of the prepared baking pan and bake for 14 to 16 minutes. Once baked, let it cool completely before proceeding.
- Make the fudge by combining all the fudge ingredients (except for the chopped peanuts) in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until completely smooth and uniform. Fold in the chopped roasted peanuts.
- Spread the fudge mixture evenly over the top of the cooled shortbread. Place in the freezer until firm.
- Once the fudge is firm, make chocolate coating by mixing the cocoa powder, coconut oil, maple syrup and almond milk in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl. Spread chopped roasted peanuts in a separate plate.
- Cut the bars into 9 squares, then cut each square diagonally to make 18 triangles. Dip one side of the triangle into the chocolate ganache then press the chocolate covered side into the chopped roasted peanuts. Return to the freezer briefly to allow the chocolate coating to set. Store finished bars in the freezer or fridge.