If you're a fan of all things chocolate and peanut butter, you're in luck. These Peanut Butter Trees are a simple copycat dessert recipe - and taste like the real deal! The good news is that this recipe is low carb and keto-friendly, making it perfect for a holiday treat.
There's no denying that Reese's knows what's up when they release their peanut butter trees and all their other holiday shapes stuffed full of that creamy peanut butter goodness. They're addictive and delicious for a reason - but it got me thinking that they couldn't be that hard to make.
Why put on shoes and real pants every time I have that craving to run to the grocery store and grab something that isn't healthy for me at all when I can find a way to alter the recipe so that it fits my keto diet and needs? After tasting and testing, I was able to come up with the perfect low-carb peanut butter trees recipe that I know you're going to love and appreciate as much as I do.
Speaking of crazy good holiday sweets and treats, be sure to check out my Keto Christmas Crack. You could easily make quite the dessert charcuterie board with these two treats and a few more fresh fruits and nuts.
Peanut butter - I like to use creamy peanut butter for this, but crunchy would work as well. Just make sure that you're using natural and without any added sugar.
Peanut flour - You can buy it at the store or grind and make it yourself.
Powdered erythritol - This is the added sweetener for this simple treat.
Butter or coconut oil - Either works fine. The coconut oil does add sweetness and a hint of coconut flavor.
Vanilla - Pure vanilla extract works best.
Sugar free chocolate chips - You can use your favorite brand of chocolate chips.
How to make Peanut Butter Trees
Step One: Mix the peanut butter, peanut flour, sweetener, and vanilla. Combine well. Use your hands to knead it to mix all the peanut flour. If it's dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of softened butter/coconut oil.
Step Two: Use parchment paper and line a 9x13-inch dish. Press the peanut butter mixture into the prepared dish and then use a spatula or clean hands to smooth it. The peanut butter layer needs to be about ½ inch thick. Put in the freezer to freeze for 1-2 hours.
Step Three: Add parchment paper to a baking sheet. Use a Christmas tree cookie cutter and cut out trees. Once they are cut, put them up on the tray. Put them into the freezer for 1 hour. They should be completely firm.
Step Four: Melt together the coconut oil and chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler. Stir every 20-30 seconds if using the microwave method.
Step Five: To cover the peanut butter trees with chocolate, place a fork in the bowl of melted chocolate and then put the tree down into the chocolate. Make sure that it's covered in melted chocolate, then lift it out using the fork. Scrape the bottom to remove any excess.
Step Six: Put all the chocolate-dipped trees on the baking lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened and firmed up. Keep them stored in the fridge or the freezer for long-term storage.
Add fun toppings -While it may take them away from being a copycat, toppings are always fun. Add some mini marshmallows to look like ornaments. Drizzle on some melted white chocolate to look like snow!
Change the size of your cookie cutter - If you have smaller or bigger tree cookie cutters, use them!
Add some citrus flavor - Add a little bit of light orange zest could be a really cool and delicious flavor enhancer!
Change up the chocolate - Using dark chocolate or white chocolate is a great idea.
Add extracts - It's simple to change flavors when you add extracts. You can make a dark orange combination or any other fun options.
Add a filling - Just a little tiny dollop of jam or jam preserves in the middle of the peanut butter before adding on the chocolate would be a fun surprise. That way, you'd have a hint of peanut butter, with a subtle sweet flavor. Peanuts and fruit go really well together, so you could easily vary up the fruits. Prune, orange, strawberry - even unique tropical fruits. (It'd be like your own peanut butter fruit tree dessert!)
Do these really taste like Reese's peanut butter Christmas trees?
They do! I promise! With Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, shouldn't these be a part of your daily diet? Whipping up these treats and having them on the kitchen counter for snacks is a great idea - and no one will really know that you didn't buy these copycat peanut butter trees from the store already made.
Can these be left out at room temperature?
After the initial chill hours of firming them up in the freezer, they can be left out at room temperature to soften a bit and enjoy. If you want to time sitting them out with the serving of food for a holiday meal, you really don't have to do anything differently to do so.
The outer layer of chocolate keeps them nice and firm and as long as you're not putting them out on a table in warm weather or full sun, they should be fine and not melt.
What other fun desserts pair well with these chocolate and peanut butter treats?
Cookies and pastries paired with chocolate is always a good idea. You can create an epic holiday charcuterie board full of cakes and other sweet treats and indulge. Calories don't count during the holidays, right?
- Combine peanut butter, peanut flour, sweetener, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly. You may need to knead it with your hands to incorporate all the peanut flour. If it seems dry add 1-2 tablespoons softened butter or coconut oil.
- Line 9x13 inch dish with parchment paper and press the peanut butter mixture into the dish. Smooth out the mixture with your hands or a spatula. The peanut butter layer should be around ½ inch thick. Freeze for an hour or two.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and using a Christmas tree cookie cutter cut out trees and line them up on the tray. Place into freezer for about an hour until completely firm.
- Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave or in a double boiler. I normally microwave in short increments stirring every 20-30 seconds.
- To cover the trees it is easiest to use a fork to place in the bowl of melted chocolate. Cover the top and then lift out the tree, scraping the bottom on the rim of the bowl to remove the excess chocolate.
- Place chocolate-dipped trees on the tray lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate until the chocolate has fully set. These are best stored in the fridge or the freezer for long-term storage.