I'm just going to put this out there....this might just be the most amazing recipe I have ever been able to come up with in my kitchen.....especially considering the ease and ingredient list! I took my favorite candy bar of all time that is filled with this:
Corn Syrup, Sugar, Peanuts, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Cocoa, Molasses, Whey, Confectioner's Corn Flakes, Nonfat Milk, Salt, Lactic Acid Esters, Soy Lecithin, Soybean Oil, Cornstarch, Artificial Flavors, Tbhq And Citric Acid, Yellow 5, Red 40
...and made a much healthier version with only 6 real ingredients and made it raw.
You won't believe the secret ingredient I used to be able to create this RAW! No scary candy making involved, no thermometers, no cornflakes or awful ingredients. Just....keep....reading on how I came up with this recipe.....
I have seen a few vegan butterfinger recipes on the internet...but they all use corn syrup, molasses, sugar and/or cornflakes. That's fine of course, but not what I was after and none of those are raw. When I came up with this raw version, I was just dying and hoping that nobody else had come up with a raw candy bar version. I searched high and low and the only one I came across, was some raw "butterfinger bites", but I wanted something more like the classic bar, using peanuts, and no oil. Every other recipe I saw was cooked on the stove top.
Peanuts will definitely work best for the authentic flavor. I wanted to create one as close to the famous candy bar as possible.....and these turned out even better than I hoped in my mind. If you can't have peanuts, use almonds, but it just won't taste as much like the candy bar.
My hubby and I both just were kind of stunned at the authenticity of the flavor. Each one I ate, I just kept saying...wow, I'm eating a butterfinger without the guilt!
Butterfinger was my favorite candy bar growing up. What I loved about it was the sweet, chewy, crunchiness that is covered in chocolate. And who doesn't love the combo of peanut butter and chocolate? These taste rich, sweet and amazing. Honestly, that is why I didn't want to coat the entire thing in chocolate...it would be overkill. These are seriously sweet enough, as is. But if you want them covered in chocolate, knock yourself out!
Soooooo, I thought....."how in the world can I create that sticky, sweet and crunch factor without cornflakes and without molasses??"
I was lying in bed one night racking my brain....like I do quite often with recipes.....and some how the stars aligned and this just popped in my head...."wait, dried white mulberries are chewy, slightly crunchy and amazingly, naturally sweet!!" Seriously, the first time I tried them I was blown away by how sweet they are....they taste just like a chewy ball of honey. Tip: I keep mine in the fridge and they become crunchy....even better. They are a superfood fruit that is incredibly good for you!
So, I thought....would it really work?? So, the next day I threw some dried mulberries and some peanuts in my food processor and whirled it about a minute until it was a sticky, crumbly texture. I tried it and whoa, the flavor tasted just like a butterfinger. The taste and texture had that similar sticky, sweet and chewiness of a butterfinger bar! Then I added just a touch of agave and vanilla for that extra sweetness and texture and voila, a raw butterfinger was born.
I order my mulberries from Rawguru, but you can also order them here from Amazon and they are super cheap! I've also seen them at my local HEB and Whole Foods, so for those wanting to make this asap today, run to the store!
It only takes a few quick steps to whip up these "butterfingers"!
I honestly still can't get over that this idea worked and that I can totally eat a "butterfinger" without the awful ingredients or guilt. I hope you all love these Raw Vegan Butterfinger Candy Bars!
If you make this, take a photo and tag me on Instagram @thevegan8 with hashtag #thevegan8! I love seeing all of your gorgeous creations!
- 1½ heaping cups (180 g) dried, not fresh! I ordered these white mulberries (tip on mulberries-store them in the fridge & they become crunchy)
- ¾ cup peanuts (120 g, or use 100% raw if concerned, it will just taste a bit different than the original Butterfinger)
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt (don't omit, it balances out the sweetness and brings out the flavors)
- 2 tablespoons raw agave nectar (42 g) (or you could use coconut nectar)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- You can choose any 1 of the 3 options below for this:
- 1. Melt 5 oz of your favorite raw chocolate bar (5 oz is about 1½ regular size bars (3.5 oz size)
- 2. OR Melt ¾ cup chocolate chips
- 3. OR Make your own chocolate using the following ingredients below:
- ½ cup melted cocoa butter (I use this raw cocoa butter, you should have 120 g)
- ½ cup raw cacao powder
- 3-4 tablespoons agave or preferred liquid sweetener
- Following the exact weight measurements will ensure the right texture result. Agave or coconut nectar works best for the dough, but I wouldn't use maple syrup, since it's not quite as thick or sticky. Make sure to store these in the freezer, as they will have more of a crunch and hold together best. Also, using roasted peanuts will give a more authentic Butterfinger taste, so use that if you aren't concerned about them being 100% raw.
- Line a 9X5 loaf pan (make sure it isn't a 10X5 as that will make the bars skinny and fragile) with parchment paper hanging over the sides, for easy removal later.
- Add the mulberries, peanuts and salt to a food processor and pulse until a crumbly flour forms. You don't want it into a paste, just a crumbly texture (see pic). Add the agave and vanilla. Pulse a few times until sticky large clumps form, being careful not to create "butter". If the dough is not holding as clumps when pressed with your fingers, add a touch more agave. It needs to be forming clumps, as this is what will make the bars hold together.
- Pour out the dough onto the prepared pan and spread out, flat and even, working your way around to the corners. Overlap the parchment paper and press down really hard and evenly. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to harden.
- Gently melt the chocolate to your preferred method and spread over the top of the dough evenly and quickly since the cold bars will start to harden the chocolate. Place back in the fridge to harden the chocolate for about 15 minutes. Remove and very carefully, with a fine sharp knife, cut into 7 bars while they are still in the pan, as they will retain their shape better this way. If they are too hard to cut, let them thaw 5 minutes. Don't leave them at room temperature long though, as they will soften too much. Place in the freezer this time to harden for an hour, then you can remove them from the pan and wrap them individually in plastic wrap, if you desire. Keep them stored in the freezer, and they will retain their crunch that way. They become more firm overnight. You could also keep them in the fridge, but they will be less crunchy.
*Nutrition info is based on the homemade chocolate coating using the cocoa butter. If you use chocolate chips or a chocolate bar, adjust accordingly. For the homemade chocolate, you can totally get away with halving the recipe (1/4 cup) if you want to save on fat/calories. A ¼ cup will give a thin chocolate layer, but if you want a thick layer, do the ½ cup. I preferred the ½ cup layer, but provided nutrition for both.
*For ½ cup of the chocolate coating, nutrition per bar: 306 calories, 24.38 g fat, 20.6 carbs, 5.66 g protein
*For ¼ cup of the chocolate coating, nutrition per bar: 198.6 calories, 16 g fat, 11.72 carbs, 4.98 g protein
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