Who else absolutely loved PayDay bars as a kid? Personally they bring up such nostalgic memories as these were a favorite of mine and my family's.
Earlier this month, my parents came into town to celebrate my dad's birthday, so it just seemed right to whip up a special treat to celebrate. And while cake is always fitting, I thought why not try a little healthier version of this treat we all love?
Thus, these Healthy PayDay bars were born, and I can't tell you just how incredibly easy they are to make. You'll only need a handful of simple, pantry-staple ingredients, which is always a bonus.
To create the caramel-y center, you'll start with coconut cream (which is essentially a thicker, creamier version of coconut milk). Add this to a sauce pan with a little maple syrup to sweeten, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
Allow this to reduce and thicken before adding your creamy peanut butter. I always recommend a brand that only uses peanuts and is free of added oils and sugar. The result is the most delicious, caramel-y mixture that makes for the perfect center of these PayDays.
To your loaf pan, you'll sprinkle a layer of peanuts, and then top with your peanut butter mixture. Finish it off with another layer of nuts, and place the pan back in the freezer to set up.
After a few hours, simply cut into bars, and that's it! Store these in the freezer as they get gooey quickly at room temperature.
I can easily say this recipe has become a new favorite over here, and I hope you feel the same!
- 2 (5.4 oz) cans coconut cream
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups dry roasted peanuts
- Flaky salt for topping (omit if using salted peanuts)
1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, and set aside.
2. To a small sauce pan, add coconut cream, maple syrup, vanilla, and pinch of salt.
3. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat, and allow to simmer for ~30 - 40 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat.
4. Stir in peanut butter, and mix completely.
5. Add 1 cup of peanuts to the button of your loaf tin, spreading into an even layer.
6. Pour “caramel” mixture over peanuts, and smooth into an even layer.
7. Sprinkle the top with your second cup of peanuts. If peanuts are unsalted, sprinkle with flaky salt (I love Maldon).
8. Place loaf tin in the freezer for at least 3-4 hours to set up before cutting into bars.
9. Store in the freezer. Enjoy!
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