This post is sponsored by the National Peanut Board. I received compensation, but all opinions and content are my own.
S’mores are the quintessential and obligatory summertime treat. Ooey toasted marshmallow with melted chocolate sandwiched between crunchy graham crackers evokes all of the summer feels from backyard bbqs, long, sun-filled days at the lake or beach and late night camp-fire storytelling. It’s a childhood favorite that even adults can’t resist. Want to know how to make this classic combo even better? I got you, boo. Homemade graham cracker cookies and the addition of creamy nutty peanut butter take classic s’mores to new heights. This vegan peanut butter s’mores bars recipes is easy to make, crowd-pleasing and travels well for packing on trips or sharing at the next cookout.
Peanut Butter Makes Everything Better
Are you a peanut butter lover? I’ve been caught spooning this delicious creamy nutty concoction straight from the jar on many occasions. Peanut Butter and Jelly cracker sandwiches are one of my favorite “dessert” snacks, and I love peanut butter and chocolate anything. Peanut butter is a versatile and affordable pantry staple that can be added to meals from breakfast to dessert year-round, including summertime, for a tasty and nutritious boost. Adding peanut butter to s’mores is one of those delicious no-brainer recipe hacks you will never regret. When the smooth, nutty peanut butter mixes with the melted chocolate and sticky marshmallow it becomes a flavor explosion and party in your mouth. And while s’mores are a dessert, it’s still nice to know that with just 2 tablespoons of peanut butter you’ll be fueling your body with eight grams of protein, two grams of fiber and 12 grams of unsaturated fat.
Vegan Peanut Butter S'mores Bars
Yield 16 2" bars
Classic summertime s'mores are made even more delicious in these easy to make and take bars with a filling of smooth creamy peanut butter, dark chocolate and vegan marshmallows all sandwiched between a homemade graham cracker cookie crust.
Graham Cracker Cookie Crust
- 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) softened vegan butter alternative
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3-4 tablespoons unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 2 thin 3.5oz 70% vegan dark chocolate bars
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 10 oz. bag of vegan marshmallows or 1 10 oz. container of vegan marshmallow creme
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly grease the bottom and all sides of an 8"x8" square pan with vegan butter or shortening. Cut 2 pieces of parchment to 8"x16" which will leave about a 2-inch overhang on all sides of the pan to act as handles to lift out the finished bars. Press in one piece of parchment then lightly grease the top of it before laying the second piece of parchment over it in the opposite direction. Greasing the pan and parchment will keep the parchment from sliding around.
- Cut a third piece of parchment to 8"x16" and place into bottom of the pan. This will be for the forming the top crust.
- In a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or a hand mixer, cream together softened vegan butter alternative and brown sugar until fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Beat in maple syrup, vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons of the milk until evenly combined, about 30 seconds.
- In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
- Add dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix until combined, about 1 minute.
- If mixture seemed too dry, mix in remaining 1 tablespoon of milk to form a thick cookie dough that holds together.
- Divide dough in half and press one half of the dough into one smooth even layer into the bottom of the prepared pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork. Then lift out the crust using the top piece of parchment paper. Set top crust aside for later.
- Press the other half of the dough into the pan in the same manner as above to form the bottom crust and prick with a fork as above.
- Pre-bake bottom crust at 350˚F for 10 minutes. Then remove from oven.
- Unwrap chocolate bars and place onto the bottom crust. The chocolate will start to melt, which is ok.
- Melt peanut butter in the microwave for 30 seconds in heat safe glass measuring cup or in a double boiler, to help make it easy to pour and spread. Pour peanut butter over chocolate bars and spread with an offset spatula. It is ok if peanut butter and chocolate start to mix.
- Top peanut butter layer with marshmallows or spread with marshmallow creme.
- Place the top crust you made over the marshmallows by sliding it off of the parchment and onto the marshmallow layer.
- Bake bars at 350˚F for 20-25 minutes, until top crust is golden brown. Then remove pan from the oven and cool bars in the pan on a cooling rack to room temperature.
- Run a knife along the edges to loosen sides then lift bars out of the pan using the parchment overhangs.
- Cut into 16 2" bars and serve at room temp or slightly warm.
- Leftover bars will keep in airtight container at room temperature for several days.
- Once bars have cooled and are cut you can warm them in the oven or microwave right before serving for a gooey melted chocolate and peanut butter effect.
- To let some of the marshmallow peak through the top crust and get toasty, break up the top crust into rough torn pieces and place over the marshmallow leaving gaps. The marshmallows will puff up and leak through the top crust.
- Feel free to use smooth or crunchy peanut butter and any type of chocolate you prefer.
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