Easy-to-make, four-ingredient Buckeye Bars taste a lot like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and can easily be made gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and vegan.
My grandmother’s recipe for chocolate peanut butter eggs, which she frequently made as buckeye bars or balls, has garnered friends from near and far. Sometimes, however, we want something quick, easy, and maybe even a little healthier.
With just four ingredients, these no-bake bars come to the rescue and also happen to accommodate a multitude of eating styles and allergies.
My favorite things about these buckeye bars is the taste, which just like my grandmother’s recipe, is reminiscent of the classic peanut butter cup. The ease of not having to roll and dip all those little eggs is undoubtedly a bonus!
I’ve made these simple bars many times, originally adapted from this recipe. I prefer less coconut flour than the original recipe, as the proper balance of coconut flour to peanut butter is key to a successful filling. (Tip: make sure to fluff up the coconut flour before measuring and then spoon into the measuring cup and level off rather than scooping and compressing it.)
Coconut flour firms up the peanut butter and provides the classic texture, which is decidedly less creamy that straight-up peanut butter. A modest amount of natural sweetener completes the package.
Click here for the original Chocolate Peanut Butter Egg recipe…
1 cup (256 grams) peanut butter (I use regular creamy)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (90 grams) pure maple syrup
1/3 cup (37 grams) coconut flour*
For the chocolate layer
1 cup (6 ounces/170 grams) chocolate chips**
1/2 cup (128 grams) peanut butter
Optional: flaky sea salt
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment or wax paper, and make sure you have room in the freezer for this pan.
For the peanut butter (bottom) layer: In a medium bowl, stir together the 1 cup peanut butter, maple syrup, and coconut flour until thoroughly combined. Transfer to the prepared baking pan, and smooth into an even layer. (I like to place a piece of parchment paper over the top and press all over with a flat-bottomed measuring cup in order to make a completely flat layer.) Set aside.
For the chocolate (top) layer: In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and ½ cup peanut butter. Heat in 20-second increments, stirring in between, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Optionally, you may melt the mixture on the stovetop in a double boiler. Pour the chocolate mixture over the peanut butter layer. Tilt the pan to distribute the chocolate, using a rubber spatula as needed to create an even layer. For a salty-sweet option, sprinkle very lightly with sea salt.
Transfer the pan to the freezer for 45-60 minutes or until hardened. Remove from the freezer and cut into squares with a large, sharp knife. Tip: It will be easier to cut into squares if you let the bars sit at room temperature for 5 minutes or so.
* Note that coconut flour is very different than other flours making substitution difficult.
**If a dairy-free and/or vegan option is needed, Enjoy Life chocolate chips are a good option.
On the first day, these bars are best stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator as they will be soft at room temperature. After the first day, they become firmer and can be stored at room temperature (for about a week) or in the refrigerator (up to 2 weeks). After 2 weeks, the filling will become a bit drier but they still taste great.
Stored in an airtight container, these bars will also freeze well for 1-2 months. Thaw at room temperature for 10 minutes or so before enjoying.