One of my favorite quotes, and the most applicable to my life, is “Necessity is the mother of invention” – Plato
I’ve lived in some pretty remote areas where ingredients weren’t available like they are in a city or large town like I live in now. In other words, I had to come up with substitute ingredients for almost everything I wanted to make. While it wasn’t always fun or easy, it definitely expanded my thinking and led me to come up with some great ideas.
One of the better ones being these bars. I remembered them recently while talking with family. That’s when I realized that they had to be something I shared during this crazy time. You know, to help get us through because, chocolate. So by now you’re probably wondering what ingredient is unusual here. Well, believe it or not, graham crackers are not available worldwide. I’d always look through my kitchen to see what crumby items I had when making recipes that called for them . That’s when I discovered just how many chips, crackers, and cookies could create a similar result. My favorite hack for “graham cracker crumbs” is to use salty crackers and add some brown sugar.
That being said, I actually do have graham crackers today but in my search for other options I discovered something else. Ladies and gentlemen, tortilla chips crumbs. They can create the most subtly addictive crunch that makes these candy bars similar to a butterfinger with so much less work. I’m telling you, it’s life-changing!
Okay, so are these the healthiest recipe I’ve ever shared? Not even close. However, if you’re looking for a fun treat to make for your family during quarantine or you’re saving recipes for later, look no further than these bars. Honestly they’re a must try for candy bar fans.
Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Candy Bars (Vegan+GF)
These candy bars with a secret ingredient are what I like to call "cheater butterfingers" to my friends and family. Careful, they're addictive!
- 1 1/2 cups dry roasted peanuts divided
- 1 cup Graham crackers crumb (about 1 package of full crackers ) *see note (I used graham crackers from this recipe
- 1 cup tortilla chip crumbs about 3 cups tortilla chips
- 1 cup natural creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup organic powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups dairy free semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped bars
In a medium to large mixing bowl, stir the peanut butter, vanilla, salt, powdered sugar, and maple syrup until combined. Line an 8x8 inch square pan with parchment and set aside.
Combine the graham crackers and tortilla chips in a food processor or blender and pulse until fine (You should have about 2 cups total). Pour into bowl with other ingredients and add 1 cups of the peanuts to the blender or food processor. Pulse until mostly fine with a few small chunks left. Add to the bowl.
Use a spatula to fold ingredients together (If you're having difficulty feel free to use clean hands or a stand mixer to finish this process as it can get thick). Press the mixture firmly into prepared pan and place in the freezer to chill for about 30 minutes.
In a double boiler, melt the chocolate slowly over low heat, stirring until completely melted. Remove bars from freezer and use the parchment to pull from the pan. Slice bars down the center one direction and divide 8 ways the other direction for a total of 16 bars. Line a tray with parchment and set near the chocolate.
Dip each bar into the chocolate with a large fork and turn to coat all sides. Place the bars on the tray about an inch apart. Chop the remaining 1/2 cup of peanuts and sprinkle over the bars. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the remaining chocolate into a fine-tipped pastry bag (or a sandwich bag with a corner cut) and drizzle over the bars.
Allow bars to set and the chocolate to completely harden. If you're impatient like me you can stick the pan in the freezer for a few minutes. Once dry, remove from pan and enjoy!
*If you are vegan and prefer to not make your own graham crackers you can replace the crumbs in this recipe with a number of lightly sweet cookies or crackers from the store. I think Nabisco makes grahams without honey but Speculoos and Biscoff Speculoos cookies, animal crackers, cinnamon teddy grahams, and Girl Scout's Thanks-a-lots are all vegan. Double check to make sure though.