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No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars (Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free + Vegan)

Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 16 bars
Author Rachel Conners

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dates pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup peanuts raw or roasted, whichever you prefer
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling

  • cups cashews soaked in water for 6-10 hours
  • ¾ cup canned full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ cup maple syrup honey could also be used
  • ¼ cup coconut oil melted
  • ¼ cup peanut butter make sure it's just peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • Chopped peanuts and shaved chocolate to garnish

Instructions

  1. Line an 8” square pan with parchment paper for easy removal, and lightly grease with coconut oil. Set aside.
  2. Add the dates, peanuts, oats, and salt to a food processor or high-powered blender and pulverize until it comes together into a sort of sticky dough, with small peanut bits remaining. Press the date dough evenly along the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. Drain the cashews. In a high-powered blender (I used my Vitamix, but most powerful blenders should do the job), combine the cashews, coconut milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, peanut butter, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and kosher salt. Blend for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture is silky smooth and creamy. You may need to add a bit more coconut milk to get it to blend smoothly if your blender isn’t super high-powered.
  4. Once it’s smooth, taste the mixture and adjust the sweetness/tartness levels, if desired.
  5. When you’re satisfied with the taste, pour 2/3 of the filling into the crust.
  6. Add the cocoa powder to the remaining filling and blend until dark and smooth. Dollop over the peanut butter filling and swirl in with a knife - careful not to over swirl, you don’t want it to get muddy.
  7. Tap the pan hard against the counter a few times to release any air bubbles and place in the freezer to set for at least 3 hours or until completely firm.
  8. Once the bars are firm, cut into 16 squares. I recommend running your knife under hot water to warm it up before cutting the bars with the still-hot (dried) knife. Garnish with peanuts and chocolate.
  9. Serve frozen or let them thaw at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving. Store in the freezer for up to a month.

Recipe Notes

If you follow a Paleo diet, you can switch in almonds and almond butter for the peanuts and peanut butter in the recipe, and the oats in the crust can be replaced by an extra 1/4 cup almonds.