Vegan cashew butter buckeyes replace the butter with protein-packed chickpeas for a healthier, plant-based twist on the classic. No one will guess these delicious treats are bean-based, and it’s a great way to sneak in extra fiber. I can barely form words around the excitement and pure bliss these vegan treats are giving me.
And here’s my Christmas promise to you: the blind taster will NEVER be able to guess they contain chickpeas. Trust me, I tested this theory on multiple people (some with more “refined” palates than others), and not a single eyebrow was raised. Plus, they only call for 5 ingredients and can be made up to 3 days ahead. Win-win!Cashew butter is naturally sweeter than peanut butter, allowing us to use less added sugar to achieve close to the same sweetness level as the classic. Either granulated white sugar, powdered sugar, or coconut sugar work great in this recipe—the mild caramel flavor of the latter adds nice depth of flavor, however coconut sugar is slightly less sweet than white sugar. It’s also lower on the glycemic scale, meaning it’s metabolized more slowly than granulated sugar, tempering the sugar spike.
But at the end of the day, sugar is sugar is sugar. One is not necessarily healthier than the other (despite what you’ve read or heard), so it all comes down to preference here.For the chocolate, I love Enjoy Life’s line of dairy-free chocolate. I used the semi-sweet mega chunks for these, and they melted beautifully using the double-broiler method. If you’re not making them vegan, feel free to use whichever chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark) you prefer.
A light sprinkling of flaky sea salt before serving enhances the nutty depth and chocolate-y sweetness. I seriously cannot wait for you to sink your teeth into my sneakily healthier version of the iconic holiday treat.
- 1 (15-oz.) can unsalted chickpeas
- ¾ cup creamy cashew butter
- ¼ cup granulated sugar of choice (white sugar, coconut sugar, or powdered sugar)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. sea salt, plus more for sprinkling overtop
- 1½ cups dairy-free chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life)
- Drain chickpeas into a colander and rinse thoroughly with running water for 1 minute, until water runs completely clear. Transfer chickpeas to a food processor.
- Blend chickpeas until finely ground. Add cashew butter, sugar, vanilla, and sea salt; blend until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes, scrapping down sides as needed. Chill mixture for 30 minutes.
- Roll mixture into 18 uniform balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Chill balls for 30 minutes.
- Add 1 to 2 inches of water to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Place a heat-safe bowl on top of the pot and add chocolate. Stir occasionally with a spatula until chocolate is mostly smooth and melted. Remove from heat.
- Dip cashew butter balls in chocolate holding onto a toothpick. Leave a small portion of cashew butter showing at the top to make them look like Buckeyes. Place back on parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.