Like the majority of people in the U.S. I attended public school. Which means I had the privilege of experiencing the horror that is school lunch. With cheese fries being a side offered every day it’s no big surprise that fatty, greasy desserts were offered with every lunch. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of dessert, but do we really need to have dessert after every meal?
Regardless of the overindulgence of bad public school cafeteria food there were a few lunch desserts that were actually delicious in addition to being unhealthy. One of my favorites that I still find myself thinking about sometimes is the peanut butter bar. They were a layer of peanut butter mixed with probably a pound of sugar with a thin layer of chocolate on top.
Peanut butter bar days were one of the few occasions that I would get lunch dessert in school. I rarely consume peanut butter due to allergies in our household, but almond butter and sunflower seed butter are a pretty great substitution. I found myself having nostalgia for those cafeteria food dessert bars, so I decided to make them vegan and peanut free. The result was a delicious, gourmet version of a childhood favorite.
No Bake Vegan Nut Butter Bars
When you line the baking dish with parchment make sure parchment extends over the sides of the baking dish, so you can easily lift the bars out of the baking dish once they are set up.
- 1 cup creamy almond butter or other nut butter
- 1 cup vegan chocolate chips or chunks
- 1 cup vegan graham cracker crumbs (about 8 graham cracker sheets)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup vegan butter
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- Break down vegan graham crackers into crumbs by adding them to a food processor, or placing them in a ziploc bag and pulverizing them with a rolling pin. You’ll want them to be fine and sandy feeling. Place them in a large mixing bowl.
- Melt the vegan butter in the microwave, and pour over graham cracker crumbs. Mix crumbs with butter until well integrated.
- Sift powdered sugar over butter and graham cracker mixture, and stir together.
- Stir in the almond butter, or other nut butter, until mixture is smooth and well integrated.
- Line an 8×8 inch pyrex with greased parchment paper making sure the edges of the parchment extend outside of the baking dish, and pour almond butter mixture in.
- Using a spatula smooth almond butter mixture evenly over the bottom of the baking dish.
- Melt down the baking chocolate with one tablespoon almond butter in a microwave safe bowl, or on the stove top. If you choose to microwave it do so on 30 second intervals stirring in between warming to prevent the chocolate from burning.
- Once chocolate is melted into a smooth, runny consistency with no clumps pour it over your almond butter mixture. Spread it evenly with a clean spatula.
- Refrigerate for at least two hours to allow bars to set.
- When ready to serve remove bars from baking dish, and place on cutting board. Run a knife under hot water to warm it before cutting to prevent bars from breaking.