A Clueless Vegan - Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups


Clueless, the omnipresent movie of my tweenage years, was a touchstone of sorts. Alicia Silverstone absolutely slayed the role of Cher (in an Oscar worthy performance IMHO) and practically invented a new category of the American teen: smart, pretty, sweet and rich Valley Girl. Overnight, Alicia’s (er..Cher’s) influence dominated teen mall culture. My peers started speaking in Cher-isms and many of the girls (and a few guys) emanated her sense of style. Alicia was on the track to superstardom and I was smitten.


For whatever reason, Alicia never became the next Julia Roberts or Meryl Streep. Maybe Alicia was uninterested in all of the Hollywood hoopla, maybe the timing wasn’t right, maybe she should have turned down that role in Scooby Doo 2, or maybe it was never meant to be, but Alicia is doing just fine. Her Vegan cookbook, The Kind Diet, was a best-seller (look how great she looks on the cover) and she is a proud member of PETA.

I am not a vegan, but several of my close friends are, and while I love the idea of a plant-based diet, it is not in my DNA. Thankfully, Alicia’s book offers something for everyone. One recipe in particular caught my eye: Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. This recipe seemed like a great way to continue my “healthy January” kick.

Alicia is correct. These treats are the most “ridiculously delicious things in the entire world”. And the recipe is simple with very few ingredients (beware: vegan butter is not cheap). One thing to note: vegan butter “grease” is not the same as regular “grease” and I had trouble with the vegan “grease” smearing the eco-friendly liners (Alicia is eco-friendly as well…who knew?). Perhaps you should use a thicker liner or double them up. Regardless, these were addictive. “I’ll just have one” turned into “OMG, I just ate three”. Bring the whole batch to your next vegan or non-vegan dinner party or be prepared to inhale the whole batch yourself.


RECIPE adapted from Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet


½ cup Earth Balance butter
¾ cup crunchy peanut butter (preferably unsweetened and unsalted)
¾ cup graham cracker crumbs or 10 graham cracker squares
¼ cup maple sugar or other granulated sweetener
1 cup grain-sweetened, nondairy chocolate DO NOT USE CAROB (ugh)
¼ cup nut milk (soy is fine as well, but almond or cashew milk is better IMHO)
¼ cup chopped pecans, almonds, or peanuts

1. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
3. Stir in the peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and maple sugar and mix well.
4. Remove the mixture from the heat. Evenly divide the mixture, approximately 2 tablespoons per cup, among the muffin cups.
5. Combine the chocolate and milk in another pan. Stir over medium heat until the chocolate has melted.
6. Spoon the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter mixture.
7. Top with chopped nuts.
8. Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 2 hours before serving.