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How To Make Easy Vegan Peanut Butter Cups!

One of my favorite Halloween candies growing up was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. They’re so creamy and delicious, but they contain milk-based ingredients incompatible with my current vegan lifestyle. This year, I discovered a recipe on The Cooking Foodie’s YouTube channel for a plant-based twist on the classic treat. The veganized recipe is surprisingly quick and easy, and with some of my tweaks, these cups become spooky dessert showstoppers.

Ingredients:

8 ounces dark chocolate chunks

8 tablespoons coconut oil (5 for the chocolate, and 3 for the nut butters)

¼ cup creamy peanut butter

¼ creamy almond butter

A few pinches of salt 

Special supplies: muffin tin, paper cupcake liners (I chose festive Halloween ones)

Optional decorations: Oreo cookies (I used store brand cookies which were vegan), smarties

 

When shopping for your ingredients, the dairy-free alternatives should be easy to find in most supermarkets. Just make sure you are buying dark chocolate, not milk chocolate, and always double-check all of the labels.

Method:

  1. Place your 6-8 paper cupcake liners in the muffin tin.
  2. Heat some water in a small saucepan and put your chocolate and first 5 spoons of coconut oil in a heat-safe mixing bowl. Once the water is simmering, balance the bowl on top of the hot water so that the heat indirectly melts the chocolate. Stir the mixture until the chocolate and the oil are combined and melted. 
  3. Next, stir together your peanut butter with 1.5 tablespoons of the oil, and your almond butter with the other 1.5 tablespoons. I chose to make some cups with peanut butter and some with almond butter for a variety of flavors, but you can opt for only peanut butter (or any other nut butter you prefer).
  4. Pour 1 to 2 tablespoons of the chocolate into each of your lined muffin tin dents. Place the tin in the freezer for 15 minutes so the initial chocolate layer can set. Once they have hardened, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of your nut butter mixture on top of the chocolate layer. Then sprinkle a bit of salt over the nut butter. This sounds a bit strange, but I find the saltiness balances out the sweetness of the dessert and adds a more sophisticated flavor.
  5. Place the tin in the freezer for another 15 minutes. Remove the tin, and add your final chocolate layer. Do your best to make the layers even, but keep in mind the chocolate shouldn’t be so thick that it’s difficult to bite. If air bubbles pop up, simply tap the bottom of the tin against the counter until the mixture settles. Place the peanut butter cups in the freezer for 15 minutes for the last time.
  6. Now time for decoration! Pictures from Pinterest accounts like Chelsea’s Messy Apron inspired me to make the candy into cute bats. I simply stuck some Smarties on as eyes using the remaining melted chocolate as glue, and I then cut a cookie in half and arranged the pieces like bat wings. You can get creative with different decorations of your choice; these cups are the perfect surface for creating spooky Halloween designs.

And there you have it: peanut butter cups that any home baker can make in less than an hour. They’re plant-based, easily customizable, and best of all, evoke so much nostalgic Halloween joy. Enjoy!

This article is an HCAU x HC at UCLA Halloween and Diwali Collaboration! Be sure to check out the other articles on their site here: 

https://www.hercampus.com/school/ucla/7-spooky-sweets-make-halloween

https://www.hercampus.com/school/ucla/most-delicious-gluten-free-pumpkin-pancakes-perfect-fall-how-make-them

https://www.hercampus.com/school/ucla/how-make-easy-vegan-peanut-butter-cups-halloween

Kate is a San Francisco native and second-year English major at UCLA. When she's not writing articles for Her Campus at UCLA, she enjoys getting lost in a good book and experimenting with vegan recipes.
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