It’s Candy and sweets season!
We’re already halfway through October which means the next major holiday is slowly approaching — Halloween!! Oh how I wish I could go back to the days of trick-or-treating. It’s not nearly as fun when you have to go buy your own candy!
I remember the post-trick-or-treating candy trades that went down in my house. I always wanted to everyone's Snickers bars and Reese’s. Since I already have a Peanut Butter Cup recipe in Run Fast Cook Fast Eat Slow, I knew it was time to recreate my other favorite candy — Snickers bars!
I love recreating childhood favorite treats using real food ingredients without all of the refined sugar and other nonsense in commercial packaged candies. This homemade version is full of healthy fats, fiber and sweetened with maple syrup and dates. By using natural sugar and pairing it with healthy fats and fiber, you won’t experience the same blood sugar spike you get with a real Snickers bar.
Now, about those Homemade Peanut Butter Snickers Bars…guaranteed to blow you mind! They are super simple to make and use ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. Not to mention they don’t require a blender or food processor. A dense layer of ‘nougat’ and a soft, chewy layer of peanut ‘caramel’ all wrapped up in dark chocolate. You have to try this one!
How do I make the nougat layer?
You mix together the oat flour, almond flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, salt and vanilla. That’s it!
What is oat flour and where can I find it?
Oat flour is made from finely ground rolled oats. I never buy it (although I’m sure you can) because its so easy to make at home. Just add rolled oats to your blender or food processor and process until a fine flour forms, scraping down the sides as needed. See instructions in the recipe below!
How do I make the caramel layer?
By using a combination of peanut butter, peanuts, chopped dates, almond flour, oat flour and vanilla! You simply mix everything together in a bowl until thoroughly combined and you’re done!
DIY/vegan/paleo ‘caramel’ is often made using dates that you puree with liquid into a smooth paste. Instead, I chose to just chop up the dates so you get chunks of chewy dates in the peanut layer. This also means all you need is one mixing bowl — no need for blenders or food processors.
Here are some step-by-step photos so you can see what I’m talking about!
Homemade Peanut Butter Snickers Bars
Makes 12 bars
1 ¼ cup oat flour*
¾ cup almond flour
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
Peanut caramel layer:
¾ cup peanuts
½ cup natural unsalted peanut butter*
½ cup finely chopped dates (about 6 large dates)
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp oat flour
2 tbsp almond flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips
2 tbsp coconut oil
¼ cup chopped peanuts
Flaky sea salt
*To make your own oat flour, add 3 cups rolled oats to your blender. Blend into a fine powder, scraping down the sides as needed. This will yield about 3 cups oat flour.
*I used drippy peanut butter for this recipe. If your peanut butter is thicker and more pasty, add an extra tablespoon of coconut oil. If your peanut butter is salted, reduce to ¼ tsp salt.
Line a standard 9x5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
To make the nougat: In a medium bowl, add the oat flour, almond flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract and salt. Mix together until thoroughly combined and a dough starts to form. Transfer to the prepared loaf pan and press into one even, compact layer. Place in the freezer.
To make the peanut caramel: Using the same bowl, add the peanuts, peanut butter, dates, coconut oil, oat flour, almond flour, vanilla extract and salt. Mix to combine. Transfer the peanut butter caramel mixture to the loaf pan and spread into one even, compact layer. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes to solidify.
To make the chocolate coating: In a small microwavable bowl, add the chocolate chips and coconut oil. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each time, until the chocolate is completely melted, about 1 minute total.
Use the parchment paper to lift and remove the filling from the loaf pan. Place on a cutting board and cut into 12 bars. Roll each bar into the chocolate coating, scraping off any excess chocolate from the bottom, and place back onto the parchment paper. Sprinkle each bar with chopped peanuts and/or flaky sea salt. Place in the freezer to chill for at least 30 minutes.
Store in an airtight container in the freezer or fridge. I like them best straight from the freezer but they can also be stored in the fridge for a softer texture.