Giant Vegan Peanut Butter Cup

Giant Vegan Peanut Butter Cup

I have ALWAYS wanted to make one of these. Ever since I saw the half pounders at Target around the holidays, the urge to create my own ginormous peanut butter cup has festered deep inside me.

Peanut butter cup - Giant and Vegan

Yesterday, I scratched that long-time itch on my baking bucket list by making a real life giant peanut butter cup.

GIANT easy vegan peanut butter cup

I made it for a friend’s bday (hey Sarah, if you’re reading). I also made these Vegan Salty Chocolate Chunk cookies. I was honestly sort of insistent on the whole thing.

broken giant vegan peanut butter cup

Sometimes people are like “oh, you don’t have to bake me anything,” and I’m like “Please just let me I live for excuses to bake.”

Easy vegan giant peanut butter cup

So here we are. I halved the recipe below and put it in a mini pie dish since Sarah is leaving to go back to China tomorrow.

Vegan giant peanut butter cup

I am sad to see Sarah off. I have a lot of friends (well, not really but let’s pretend) from all different stages of life but there is just something about those friends you did stupid shit with in basements and backseats of mini-vans high school.

Vegan peanut butter cup - giant

The filling is more than ordinary peanut butter. Since true Reece’s have more of a frosting-like filling, I tried to channel my inner candy maker and copy it. You can totally just fill it with regular peanut butter if you’d like. That works too.

broken stacked vegan giant peanut butter cup

This broke coming out of the pan (hence the broken pics; do me a favor and pretend it’s artsy, okay? thanks). So grease that puppy good and allow it to come to room temp before trying to remove from the pan.

egan giant peanut butter cup bite

Without further adieu…I give to you…

Giant Vegan Peanut Butter Cup

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Chill Time: 20-30 minutes
Servings: 10-12 people

Ingredients:

  • 18 ounces dark chocolate or non-dairy chocolate chips (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy butter, softened
  • 1-1 1/2 cups powder sugar
  • sea salt (optional)

Method:

  1. Grease a pie dish. Set aside
  2. Combine peanut butter and non-dairy butter and whisk together (or use an electric mixer) until smooth. Melting the non-dairy butter may help. Using a hand whisk or electric mixer (preferred) whip in powdered sugar. Use as much or as little as desired until a frosting-like consistency is achieved. If you want it looser, use less powdered sugar. If you want it thicker, use more.
  3. Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments until melted, stirring between each increment. When melted, stir in the coconut oil.
  4. Pour a layer of melted chocolate in the pie dish.
  5. Layer peanut butter frosting in the center of the pie dish. Spread.
  6. Pour remaining chocolate over the peanut butter layer.
  7. Place in the freezer to set, at least 20 minutes. Allow to adjust to room temperature slightly before cutting.

Recap: The Seed Experience NYC – Cooking Demo with Guy Vaknin of Beyond Sushi

This weekend I was fortunate enough to win tickets to The Seed Experience courtesy of Beyond Sushi. They had a giveaway and I entered and somehow won! Whoohoo. So on Saturday and Sunday I trekked myself down to Soho and ate a lot of samples and talked to a lot of cool inspiring people and ate a lot more samples and had me a good time.

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The Seed Experience was a collection of plant-based speakers, demonstrations, films, samples, more samples, and what I was most interested in: COOKING DEMOS.

vegan goat cheese for days!
vegan goat cheese for days!

And yes! There was a cooking demo by the owner/executive chef of  my ALL time favorite restaurant Beyond Sushi. You better believe I went in squealing.

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So on Saturday afternoon after I drowned myself in new products like aloe water, maple water, tons and tons of vegan cheese and ice cream (which were all very delicious!) I watched Guy Vaknin (owner/executive chef of Beyond Sushi) make some rolls, speak about how he got where he was, and wow the crowd with incredible avocado filleting skills (seriously, you should have seen it).

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I’m planning to soon post a recipe with a how-to for making black rice sushi but I thought I’d dedicate a little time/space to speaking about Guy:

Turns out Guy started as a chef and did a lot of catering for kosher crowds. Kosher people have lots of dietary guidelines that do not allow them to eat certain things at certain times. I’m not going to pretend I understand the rules well, but Guy mentioned there was rule about not preparing and consuming fish and meat together. But Guy wanted to make a sushi roll appetizer for the crowds. So he started making vegetarian rolls. Though he’s a trained chef, he was not a sushi chef, nor even a vegetarian when he started this concept. He sort of learned it form another caterer, and when he was off duty had no other option other than to master the art.

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Guy, a culinary creative genius, used black rice in his sushi instead of white rice. He said he “saw the reaction,” and knew there was something special about this concept. He started bringing his black rice/vegetarian sushi to vegetarian food festivals, and got lots of positive crowd reactions, inquires, and press, he was inspired to go back to the kitchen and keep working. After a second year vegetarian food festivals, he decided to take a big risk, poured everything he had into one business concept, and started Beyond Sushi. He built the original location on 14th street (between 2nd & 3rd – see my original rave review here) and started by serving vegetarian sushi.

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For a few weeks, customers came in and Guy noticed that some were confused by the different vegetarian vs. vegan options, as some of his original menu items contained eggs and dairy in their rolls and/or sauces. Guy made a lot of personal reflections and seriously considered desires of customers, and decided to turn the restaurant completely vegan, and made the switch to a vegan lifestyle himself. He says he can now “not even picture” life any other way.

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The tiny sushi shop quickly exploded in popularity and has received endless rave reviews and press features for its creative and delicious approach to vegan dining and sushi. Guy still works there 7 days a week, usually in the downstairs kitchen area.

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He puts a phenomenal amount of thought and effort into every roll and every piece of sushi that beyond sushi produces. I was shocked at the time and effort the prep work behind each item on their menu. All the regular rolls have such depth and preparation – including marinating and fermenting of vegetables (often overnight) to get the flavors exactly where he wants them. The rolls of the month are all produced using local, seasonal produce from the Union Square Green Market, which although are more expensive, truly reflect the flavors of the season and the responsible sustainable drive behind the Beyond Sushi concept. It was humbling to see such a successful man so deeply passionate about his craft. He also addressed the possibility of expansion – turns out he has been approached for franchise opportunities, but wants to stay small so the quality of each roll can be carefully controlled. People are hard at work, Guy insists, every morning at 5am, julienning and prepping vegetables and sauces to stuff the rolls with flavor. This care and attention to detail are part of the reason Guy won’t go big (yet). “You can’t mass-produce this,” he said, looking down at his just-crafted roll.

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And as a huge fan having had almost every roll and wrap on the menu, I must agree with him. There is nothing like it. That’s why it’s my favorite restaurant and why I can’t even go to another sushi place since trying Beyond Sushi.

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So thank you, Guy, for the inspiration. And thank you Beyond Sushi for the tickets to The Seed, the inspiration, and for continuously delighting my taste buds. I will forever be a loyal fan and customer – wishing you all the success in the world !