Classic – but updated, Healthier Buckeye Brownies. Think fudgy, rich chocolate brownie, layered with creamy peanut butter, and sweet salted chocolate on top. All made with simple wholesome ingredients: almond flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, eggs, pure maple syrup, natural peanut butter, and dark chocolate. They’re sweet, salty, heavy on the peanut butter, extra chocolatey, gluten-free, and butter-free. Every last bite is truly delicious and just as yummy as a sugar-filled buckeye ball (if not more so).
Happy Friday everyone! We’re celebrating a long week with a new favorite dessert that just so happens to be pretty good for us, dare I say healthy?
To me, with no added sugar and large amounts of dark chocolate, I’d say these brownies can actually be considered a rather wholesome treat! Of course, everyone has their own opinion, but for me personally, knowing that I’m using real, wholesome ingredients makes me happy!
I usually hate to use the word “healthy” because I really don’t believe in labeling food as healthy or not. But I couldn’t come up with another word that really got the point across clean and simple.
To me, these are buckeye brownies without the sugar and with the addition of lots of rich dark chocolate. I really love them!
I actually made these with just one person in mind, my mom. It was her birthday this week and I knew the only thing I could make her was a sugar-free dessert. She’s no longer interested in consuming any added sugars. So instead of giving her an unwanted birthday sugar overload, I made her these.
They’re not cake, but she didn’t care. Like me (my dad, and every other person in my family), my mom loves chocolate peanut butter anything.
Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, the two of us would make buckeyes (chocolate-dipped peanut butter balls) during the football season. They were always everyone’s favorite.
Traditionally they’re loaded with powdered sugar and lots of butter, so I definitely wanted to skip the sugar. Brownies sounded yummiest to mom, so I did a buckeye brownie, but made all with real food – wholesome ingredients!
To my surprise, these healthier buckeye brownies actually come together rather easily. For the brownie base, you need eggs, coconut oil, milk, maple syrup (for sweetness), vanilla, almond flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
Mix all of the above together, then bake away. Nothing fancy and no hard-to-find ingredients either. The only thing I want to note is that this is not a sweet brownie recipe. If you need something sweeter, I would skip the dark dark chocolate and use semi-sweet.
While the brownies bake up, make the peanut layer. Just peanut butter, maple syrup, and coconut oil lightly boiled together to thicken the mix. The secret to making this layer really delicious is to use a peanut butter with just peanuts and salt. Don’t use a no-stir peanut butter that contains oils and/or sugar. You just want a natural peanut butter. This will give you the best flavor and texture.
Once the brownies cool, pour the peanut butter layer overtop, then freeze the bars. You only need them to freeze for 30 or so minutes. This helps the peanut butter set up quickly. Just make sure the peanut butter is really set before you pull them out.
Once the peanut butter has chilled and is stiff, pour some melted chocolate overtop to finish the layers up. My one piece of advice here is to slice the bars before the chocolate top becomes too hard. This will make the bars much easier to cut and prevents the peanutty filling from getting squished out.
If the bars do firm up before you cut them, run a sharp knife under hot water, then wipe it dry. Quickly cut half of the bars, then repeat. Keep in the fridge.
The final review? Very rich and fudgy with a perfect brownie layer on the bottom and the creamiest peanutty filling – that’s perfectly salted – on top. The chocolate top adds a nice “crack” with every bite.
Delicious! And great for parties too. Perfect for January game nights ahead!
Looking for easy party desserts? Here are a few ideas:
Lastly, if you make these Healthier Buckeye Brownies be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Healthier Buckeye Brownies
Servings: 24 bars
Calories Per Serving: 175 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper.2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs for 1 minute until bubbly on top. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Mix in the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir until just combined. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until the brownies are just set. Let cool.3. Meanwhile, make the peanut mix. In a medium pot, mix 3/4 cup peanut butter, the maple syrup, and coconut oil. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook 2 minutes, then remove from the heat. Pour over the brownies. Freeze 30 minutes, or until firm.4. Melt together the chocolate and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter in the microwave. Let cool 5 minutes and then spread the chocolate over the peanut butter mix. Return to the fridge to set, about 10 minutes, then slice. The chocolate will not be totally set, but slicing is easier this way. Keep in the fridge.
If Having a Hard Time Slicing: run a sharp knife under hot water, then wipe dry and quickly cut half the bars, then repeat. Keep in the fridge.