As a mom of children with life-threatening allergies to peanuts and most tree nuts, I’m ashamed to say I still used to crave peanut butter. I would sometimes sneak in a pb&j sandwich from the deli when my mother-in-law was watching the kids. Yup. That was an actual outing. I would then go home and be worried about touching the kids or kissing them good night. It felt wrong but, I still wanted to eat it.
I remember one night when the kids were sleeping out and we went to a party at a friend’s house. My friend, Niki Grados brought these peanut butter fudge bars for dessert. Needless to say, with no worries of seeing the kids, those fudge bars and I had our own private party. I don’t know how many I ate but it wasn’t pretty. Creamy, sweet peanut butter with a layer of fudge that cracked when you bit into it. So sinfully good.
Flash forward a few years to about 6 months ago. The allergist and I thought it made sense to test the boys to see if they grew outgrew their almond allergies since their numbers were pretty low. This entailed spending a day at the hospital tasting small amounts of almond butter, building up gradually to see if they would be able to tolerate an entire serving without any reaction. Both passed and I was introduced to Barney Butter, a pure almond butter, free from gluten, peanuts and other tree nuts. You don’t realize how rare it is to find almonds that haven’t been contaminated with other nuts.
Since then, Barney Butter has become a very close friend of mine. It tastes even better than peanut butter and is a great source of protein. They have smooth and crunchy varieties. I love them both and am happy I no longer have to sneak around to get my peanut butter fix. My oldest still stays away from it because it reminds him too much of peanut butter but my 5 year old eats it often as a sandwich or spread onto Smoreables. I sub it in for peanut butter in a lot of dessert recipes. This is the one I started with, recreating the dessert I had that memorable night! I wasn’t dissapointed. You won’t be either! You just might be a little mad at me after you eat them all up.
You will need graham cracker crumbs for this recipe. If you would like to make them homemade, the recipe is here. Otherwise, you can use Smoreables or any other kind you like.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
- 1 cup crunchy almond butter
- 3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1½ cup gf graham cracker crumbs (see note above)
- 1½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Line a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan with foil.
- Combine the butter, almond butter, sugar, and graham cracker crumbs in a food processor. Process until the mixture forms a ball. Press into the foil-lined pan using your hands or a spatula.
- Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler over simmering water or in a microwave-safe glass dish in the microwave for 1 minute on high (100%). Stir. If the chocolate has not completely melted, microwave for 10 seconds more, then stir. Spread evenly over the cookie layer with a spatula. Chill for several hours.
- When ready to serve, allow the candy to come to room temperature before cutting into pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Since two of my three boys are allergic to peanuts and/or tree nuts, I decided to try this recipe using Sunbutter instead of Almond Butter. It was a huge hit! All three of my boys (and my husband) loved them! I altered the recipe in minor ways: I used creamy Sunbutter instead of crunchy, since my boys don’t care for the crunchy kind; I used regular graham cracker crumbs since we’re not gluten free; and I was basically just too lazy to sift the confectioner’s sugar. I was really happy with how these came out – I’m a huge Reese’s Peanut Butter cup fan, so it’s nice to be able to make a similar nut-free treat. Next time I make these, I’m going to try putting them in cupcake tins (with wrappers)…one of my boys commented that they’d be even more like Peanut Butter Cups if they were round! Thanks for the recipe!
I am so glad you tried the recipe with Sunbutter and it worked. Thanks for posting your review! This is great information for those who have peanut and nut allergies.
How do you make gluten free graham crackers?
Graham Cracker Crumbs (this recipe is Elizabeth Barbone’s):
1½ C brown rice flour (I use Arrowhead Mills)
½ C cornstarch
⅓ C packed dark brown sugar
1 t baking powder
½ t salt
5 T cold butter
6 T milk
3 T honey
Place dry ingredients in food processor and pulse to combine
Add the butter and pulse until coarse (no large pieces should remain)
Add milk and honey
Pulse until dough forms
Lay out a piece of parchment paper (12×16) and dust with rice flour
Roll dough out until it covers paper (about ⅛” thick), continuing to brush rolling pin and dough with rice flour, as needed
Place parchment paper with dough on baking pan and bake for about 15 minutes, until evenly brown
Remove, cool and place in ziploc and roll over with rolling pin until crumbled
I hope you will try the recipe and let me know how it goes. If you don’t want to make your own, you can use Smoreables.
This looks absolutely amazing! I can’t wait to try it! Thank you, thank you, thank you~
Yay! 🙂 Hope you love it!
Hi Jackie! It’s Katie Rodriguez. I wanted to tell you that I’ve decided to use this recipe to contribute to a “vegan cookie table” at a wedding I’m attending this coming weekend. I obviously can’t make a vegan macaron but it seems that this recipe adapted quite easily to a dairy-free lifestyle (and seems like it will still be quite delicious). Thanks for your great posts and I hope you are enjoying your summer!!! xoxo
Thanks Katie!! So happy you will get to use this recipe! Definitely will still be very yummy with dairy-free chocolate. Enjoy Life has some. I hope we can bake together again soon! 🙂