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White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Fruit-Sweetened)

Updated: Aug 9, 2021

White chocolate peanut butter cups sweetened with fruit?? I know some of you may be skeptical, but your tastebuds won't know the difference between these and conventional white chocolate PB cups (plus, these peanut butter cups are healthy!). This recipe is made using the plain white chocolate version of my Date-Sweetened White Chocolate (Two Ways) recipe. Prepare to indulge your senses with luscious, creamy white chocolate surrounding a sweet & salty peanut butter center! This recipe is vegan, paleo, sugar-free, and sweetened strictly with dates.



So I finally got around to creating peanut butter cups! I need to perfect my recipe for dark chocolate peanut butter cups and (almond) milk chocolate peanut butter cups. I will also eventually come up with recipes for dark chocolate pumpkin cups, white chocolate pumpkin cups, and cookies and cream cups!! Stay tuned...


In the meantime treat yourself to one of these delectable morsels! (Bonus: I would estimate that 2 of these peanut butter cups equals one serving of dessert if you use the same mold I used. I used Freshware's Silicone Chocolate Candy Molds Peanut Butter cup mold that makes 30 peanut butter cups. I ordered mine on Amazon).



Unfortunately, the peanut butter centers for these white chocolate peanut butter cups tended to float to the top of the white chocolate while I was making them and didn't sink down to the middle/bottom like I wanted them to. It's fine if the peanut butter filling peaks through the white chocolate on top of your peanut butter cups, it's really just a matter of how you feel about the aesthetics/presentation. And if the peanut butter showing through the top of your cups is bothering you, then make (or melt if you have leftover white chocolate) more vegan, date-sweetened white chocolate and pour a very small amount of the white chocolate on the tops of each of the cups and using a new, clean paintbrush spread the chocolate evenly on the top of the cup until the peanut butter center is covered. Then, allow the white chocolate to set in the fridge until solid, and you can enjoy without worrying about the appearance of your goodies.


I made these peanut butter cups using the plain white chocolate version of my Date-Sweetened White Chocolate (Two Ways) recipe. Also, for this recipe you may use either creamy or crunchy natural peanut butter (or your nut/seed butter of choice), as long as the peanut/nut/seed butter is unsweetened, free of hydrogenated oils, isn't too high in sodium, and doesn't have unnecessary additives (in other words, peanut butter [or another nut/seed butter] made with nuts/seeds [raw or roasted, and dry-roasted or oil-roasted is fine either way], minimal salt [or no salt], and a healthy oil is ok [as in 2-ingredient cashew butter made with sunflower oil]).



Nutritional Profile of White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups


Dates- dates are antioxidant powerhouses and are loaded with fiber, protein, iron, potassium, and trace minerals. Dates are also low glycemic and can help control blood sugar.


Cacao butter- cacao butter (as well as cacao powder) is rich in antioxidants, iron, magnesium, fiber, and healthy fats. Cacao is know to boost HDL cholesterol levels (the good kind), help relieve PMS symptoms and menstrual cramps, and have anti-inflammatory properties & fight free radicals (disease-causing particles).


Coconut oil- coconut oil contains healthy fats and fatty acids that are good for your heart, brain, immune system, metabolism, skin, and hair. Coconut oil is a versatile oil and can be used in everything from baked goods to low-heat vegetable stir-fries to hot beverages to smoothies. Also, coconut oil can be used as a hair treatment and you may find (for those of you into natural, non-toxic beauty products) that some of your favorite skincare products contain coconut oil (which has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing effects for the skin).


Coconut butter- coconut butter is essentially puréed coconut (whereas coconut oil is the oil extracted from pressing the coconut meat) and is packed with protein, potassium, and iron. Coconut butter promotes heart health, supports skin & hair health, and is good for digestion.


Coconut milk- coconut milk (and thus, coconut milk powder) is a great source of fiber, protein, iron, potassium, trace minerals, and healthy fats. It has anti-inflammatory properties, antimicrobial properties, and is good for heart & metabolism health.


Sea salt- sea salt is good for the adrenal glands & regulates electrolytes. You want to consume minimal table salt (sodium chloride) and instead use sea salt (calcium chloride) if you're going to use any kind of salt.


Peanut butter- peanut butter is rich in healthy fats, protein, fiber, potassium, iron, and trace minerals. These nutrients are good for the cardiovascular system, nervous system, digestive system, blood pressure levels, red blood cell formation, complexion, and muscular health. (For those of you who can't eat peanut butter: I've found that nut butters made from tree nuts like almonds and cashews are equally satisfying and can be used in place of peanut butter in baked goods/desserts while maintaining a very similar texture and flavor. Give natural almond butter and/or natural cashew butter a try if you can consume them on your diet).


Coconut flour- coconut flour is loaded with fiber, protein, healthy fats, and iron. Coconut flour may help regulate blood sugar and may have antimicrobial properties, too.



Substitutions


See the "Substitutions" section of my Date-Sweetened White Chocolate (Two Ways) post here for substitutions for the ingredients that make up the white chocolate portion of my white chocolate peanut butter cups. If you're not using my Date-Sweetened White Chocolate for this recipe, then you may use dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free white chocolate chips/chunks, a dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free white chocolate bar, chopped, OR a different homemade vegan and sugar-free white chocolate recipe.


For the peanut butter filling: The peanut butter can be substituted with any kind of nut or seed butter, such as almond butter, cashew butter, pecan butter, macadamia nut butter, mild tahini, sunflower seed butter, etc. You can use either creamy or crunchy nut/seed butter (both ways are good). The coconut flour isn't easy to swap out with something, but perhaps you could use almond flour or oat flour? (I'll update this post if I find that one of these flours works). The date paste can be substituted with 1 Tbsp of 100% pure maple syrup (the real stuff, not the fake stuff), coconut sugar, to taste, or stevia or monk fruit, to taste. The vanilla extract may be replaced with vanilla powder, substituted with the equivalent amount of scraped vanilla bean, or may be omitted. The sea salt can be replaced with table salt or can be omitted.



Alright everyone, this recipe is up in my top 10 favorite desserts that I've created thus far, so I hope you enjoy this one!


Keep posted for more treats! <3

Enjoy,

-K.


White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (Vegan, Paleo, Sugar-Free, Fruit-Sweetened)


Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Chill Time: 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours

Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes to 2 hours 5 minutes

Servings: 23 peanut butter cups*


Ingredients:


For the white chocolate:


A double batch of the plain version of my Date-Sweetened White Chocolate recipe:

-1/4 cup and 1 Tbsp date paste (Detoxinista has a great date paste recipe)

-2/3 cup cacao butter

-2/3 cup coconut oil

-1/2 cup coconut butter

-2 Tbsp unsweetened coconut milk powder

-1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

-pinch sea salt


OR


-approximately 2 to 2 1/2 cups vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free white chocolate chunks/chips

-1/2 tsp coconut oil


For the peanut butter filling:


-1/4 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter (or almond butter or nut/seed butter of choice)

-1 Tbsp coconut flour

-2 Tbsp date paste

-1/4 tsp vanilla extract

-pinch sea salt


Directions:


1. Make the peanut butter filling: In a small bowl, mix the peanut butter, coconut flour, date paste, vanilla, and sea salt together until a thick and uniform filling is produced. Cover the bowl and place in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.


2. Make the white chocolate: (if using my recipe): Make the date paste ahead of time. Melt the coconut oil and coconut butter together in the same saucepan on the stove over very low heat. Stir occasionally, and turn off the heat when just melted. Allow to cool slightly. Melt the cacao butter in a saucepan on the stove over very low heat. When just melted, turn off the heat. Transfer the melted cacao butter and melted and slightly cooled coconut oil & coconut butter to a large heat-safe glass bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the unsweetened dry coconut milk powder and date paste to the bowl and whisk until mostly incorporated (your dates won't completely blend yet and that's OK). Whisk in the vanilla and sea salt. Next, use an immersion blender (stick blender) to break up the dates and blend them into the white chocolate better, so the mixture is smooth and uniform (Tip: while the immersion blender is turned on, make sure it is immersed in the liquid and don't lift it up out of the liquid until it has stopped running. Things can get messy otherwise. While the immersion blender is immersed in the liquid, try moving the immersion blender in a circular motion to better incorporate the dates. You'll know your chocolate is ready when you can't see many visible date chunks.) Your goal is to get as smooth a texture as you can get, that's almost free of date chunks (You won't be able to 100% get the date chunks blended and that's OK. You just want to mostly mix the dates into the other ingredients.). Set aside. Melt the white chocolate (if using store-bought white chocolate): in a double boiler, melt the white chocolate chips/chunks together with the coconut oil until liquified. Turn off the heat and set aside.


4. Once the peanut butter filling is workable, remove it from the freezer and scoop 1/2 tsp of filling per cup, roll each 1/2 tsp of filling between your hands into a ball, then elongate the ball into a small cylinder, measuring about 1/2 inch in height and 1/4 inch in diameter.


5. Grab a baking sheet and place your silicone peanut butter cup mold on top of the baking sheet (this will make transferring the silicone mold to and from the fridge easier). Pour a little white chocolate in the bottom of each mold.


6. Then, place the cylinders of peanut butter filling in each peanut butter cup mold and into the white chocolate that's already been poured into the bottom of each mold.


7. Next, pour the remaining white chocolate over the peanut butter cups to fill them almost up to the top of each mold.


8. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the chocolate is set and the peanut butter cups are solid.


9. Serve the peanut butter cups as a topping (on ice cream, brownies, or pancakes, perhaps?), use in a recipe (some suggestions: in cookies, cupcakes, or blondies), store in the fridge for a later use, or eat them straight up! Enjoy!


Store leftovers in a covered container in the fridge.


*NOTE: you will have leftover white chocolate when you make this recipe which can be used in a different recipe or enjoyed straight up. And if you use the silicone peanut butter cup mold mentioned at the beginning of this post you will get 23 peanut butter cups with leftover white chocolate.

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