Homemade Reese's Peanut Butter Hearts (Vegan, Paleo)
A few years back I made these peanut butter hearts for a boyfriend I was seeing at the time who LOVED sweets. I made them with *real* ingredients (white sugar, real butter and milk chocolate), and they tasted 100% true to the original Reese’s peanut butter hearts, I just couldn’t believe it. The trick to that cakey peanut butter texture is to make the peanut butter into a dough by adding powdered sugar, butter and a bit of flour. This also allows the peanut butter to be rolled out into a dough so shapes can be cut out.
Well, as my final Valentine’s day paleo dessert this year, I decided to make a healthier version of these Reese’s peanut butter hearts. I made them two ways: with peanut butter and with almond butter. The almond butter is the paleo version since peanuts are not technically paleo. But all the other ingredients are paleo-friendly and vegan! I made my own powdered sugar from coconut sugar, used dairy-free butter and coconut flour for the dough part, and dipped them in paleo chocolate. I also used white chocolate here (from Lily’s, which is sugar free but still uses dairy, so you can use these if you choose or just use the dark chocolate!)
These homemade & healthier Reese’s peanut butter hearts taste just like the original!
The real Reese’s version obviously uses milk chocolate, which you can absolutely use, but I used paleo dark chocolate here (I always use Hu Kitchen chocolate, it has the best flavor and works the best in recipes in my opinion), and Lily’s white chocolate as I made a few for some friends for Galentine’s Day. Whatever chocolate you use, they will still taste SO close to the real thing! The peanut butter mixture and taste is spot on. However, you can also use almond butter in replacement and they’ll still taste really close and be just as delicious!
The homemade Reese’s peanut butter hearts are vegan, paleo-friendly, gluten & dairy free and still DELICIOUS...
It really amazes me how you can use clean ingredients and still achieve ultimate flavor. These are made with peanut butter or almond butter, coconut flour, unrefined powdered sugar, and dairy free butter. Best part, they are no bake. They’re the best gluten free dessert! For a paleo version, use almond butter.
These vegan peanut butter hearts are 'no bake'!
That's right, no oven! No baking needing here, which makes them a quick and easy dessert. The only heating needed is the melting of the chocolate.
What do I need for the homemade Reese’s peanut butter hearts?
A rolling pin
Smaller heart shaped cookie cutter, about 1-2” (you can use any shape or cut them into squares)
How to store the vegan peanut butter hearts:
These store best in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 7 days, or can be stored in the freezer for 3 months. I actually prefer them right out of the freezer!
What is in the homemade healthy Reese’s peanut butter hearts?
Peanut Butter or Almond Butter: Make sure your peanut butter or almond butter is unsweetened and natural, just nuts and salt as the ingredients. Use almond butter for a paleo version.
Coconut Flour: This helps absorb moisture in the dough, I do not suggest subbing it with other flours
Dairy Free Butter: Any dairy free butter, or real grass fed butter, will work here. I always use Miyoko’s
Unrefined Powdered Sugar: I used powdered coconut sugar in this recipe but any powdered sugar or replacement should work, as long as it’s in powdered form!
Vanilla Extract: Adds a touch of vanilla to the dough
Chocolate chips of choice: Any chocolate chips of your choice. I always use Hu Kitchen because they’re paleo and have a great flavor and texture.
Coconut Oil: This helps thin out the chocolate for easy dipping, and a thinner coat, I prefer refined so it has no coconut flavor
Sea salt: Optional sea salt flakes for topping, also in the dough if the peanut butter or almond butter does not have salt added
How do I make my own unrefined powdered sugar?
To make your own unrefined powdered sugar, place any granulated sweetener in a high speed blender for 30-60 seconds. I use my Vitamix and place the sugar in my dry container. I prefer to use coconut sugar because it is my go-to low glycemic sweetener but you can use any granulated sugar, even monkfruit. Powdered sugar is great to have on hand for frostings, icings, and shortbread cookies so I like to make a bunch and store it for later. For this recipe, I used coconut sugar.
1/2 cup natural peanut butter or almond butter (just nuts and salt)
1/2 cup unrefined powdered sugar* see above
2 Tbsp dairy free butter or real grass fed butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp coconut flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp coconut oil (2 tsp if using white chocolate chips)
Optional sea salt flakes for topping
*if your peanut butter is unsalted, add a good pinch of sea salt to the dough
Make the peanut butter hearts:
1. Line a baking sheet or sturdy cutting board with parchment paper, or wax paper, and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter or almond butter, powdered sugar, dairy free butter, vanilla, coconut flour. Combine well until a dough forms and no clumps remain. You can mix this in a stand mixer but I use my hands. Roll into a ball. It should hold together well without crumbling but still able to be rolled out with a rolling pin.
3. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper to 1/2”thick, or desired thickness. I prefer thicker to be true to the real Reese’s hearts. For easier rolling, you can always refrigerate for 15 minutes first.
4. Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out heart shapes and transfer to baking sheet or board. Mine was about 2” wide but you can use smaller as well for more bite size hearts. Repeat until all dough is used.
5. Place baking sheet in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up the hearts.
6. While they are in the freezer, prepare the chocolate. Melt chocolate chips with the coconut oil in a shallow bowl in the microwave, making sure it doesn’t get too hot. Melt in 30 second increments and keep stirring until chocolate chips eventually melt. You can also do this over the stovetop, then transfer the chocolate to a shallow bowl for dipping.
* If you are using white chocolate, you may need to add another tsp of coconut oil until it thins out enough for easy dipping, it tends to be thicker than dark chocolate. It should be runnier and not thick.
7. After the hearts are solid, nearly frozen, dip into the chocolate on a fork, turning over once in the chocolate and spooning chocolate over so they are completely covered. Carefully lift back out on a fork. Try to work quickly, once the hearts get warm, they may fall apart when removing from the chocolate. Repeat until all the hearts are dipped, placing the hearts back on the baking sheet as you dip.
* If the chocolate starts to solidify again from the cold hearts, reheat for 30 seconds and stir. You can also add a touch more coconut oil to help loosen it back up. Drizzle tops with any extra chocolate.
8. Place dipped hearts back in the freezer or fridge until chocolate completely sets, then enjoy!
*These store best in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 7 days, or can be stored in the freezer for 3 months. I actually prefer them right out of the freezer.
You can use any chocolate here, I prefer dark paleo chocolate but I’ve used white, too. White chocolate is thicker and may need more coconut oil when melting to make sure it’s runny and smooth for easy dipping
You can use any unsweetened natural peanut butter or almond butter. If your nut butter is unsalted, add a good pinch of salt to the dough.
To make your own unrefined powdered sugar, place any granulated sweetener in a high speed blender for 30-60 seconds. I use my Vitamix and place the sugar in my dry container. I prefer to use coconut sugar because it is my go-to low glycemic sweetener but you can use any granulated sugar, even monkfruit. Powdered sugar is great to have on hand for frostings, icings, and shortbread cookies so I like to make a bunch and store it for later.
If you love healthier copycat recipes, you'll love these!
If you make these vegan peanut butter hearts, leave me comments or ratings below! And tag me in your creations on Instagram @gutsy_baker, I love to see what you've made.