Thursday 8 November 2012

Monkey Squares

Vegan Monkey Squares
Chocolate cookie base topped with peanut butter frosting, crunchy salted peanuts and chewy banana chips then drizzled with chocolate :-) No bake too!

These were inspired by another recipe in the latest Canadian Living Holiday Baking Magazine - told you I would be making a lot out of it!! Unlike the cinnamon roll cookies, these ones needed more veganizing so I've really just used their idea for the squares and made them my own.  

Ever since I made that Grasshopper Pie I've been wanting to use that amazing base for a bar or square and since the original recipe called for Oreo crumbs (which I can't buy here and they probably aren't vegan anyway) I knew it would be the perfect replacement.

The recipe then called for sweetened condensed milk to be poured over the base and peanuts and banana chips. Heck, I wasn't even going to attempt to veganize that! I love peanut butter frosting and thought a layer of that on top of the base would be delicious. Then I chopped up some roasted salted peanuts and banana chips and sprinkled them generously over top and a drizzle of chocolate. 

Oh my word....these are amazing!! Oddly enough though, I had trouble finding banana chips! I ended up with chewy banana chips from Tesco which I wasn't sure would work as I was expecting the crisp dried banana chips but you know what? I think it works better. You already have a crunchy factor going on with the salted peanuts so the chewy banana chips adds yet another texture. Lovely.

Vegan Monkey Squares

Monkey Squares

• 150g digestive biscuits or vegan graham crackers (1¼ cup crumbs)
• 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
• 2 Tbsp caster sugar (or granulated)
• 50g vegan butter ( 1/4 cup + 2 tsp)
• 100g chopped plain or semi-sweet chocolate (or chips)
• 70g vegan butter (¼ cup)
• 100g smooth peanut butter (1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp)
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 180g icing sugar (1½ cups)
• roughly chopped roasted salted peanuts
• roughly chopped banana chips
(apologies, I didn't measure how much I used here, just enough of both to cover the surface.)
• about 50g plain or semi-sweet chocolate to drizzle.

Either line an 8" square baking tin with several sheets of overhanging cling film or lightly grease an 8" square silicone baking mould. I used a silicone mould and it worked great.

Process the biscuits until they are fine crumbs either in a food processor or place in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. You don't want any chunks left. Tip this into a large bowl and add the cocoa powder and sugar.

In a smaller bowl add the vegan butter and chopped chocolate. Place this over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until both are melted.

Pour this over the crumb mixture and stir well until it all comes together. Tip it all into the prepared pan and with greased hands press it all down until even and into all the corners. Pop into the fridge to set - it should be ready in a couple of hours.

To make the frosting simply beat the vegan butter and peanut butter together until well mixed. Add the icing sugar a little at a time beating well after each addition. When it starts to get a little dry add the vanilla extract and beat well. Once all the icing sugar is added you should have a frosting that is slightly thicker than if you were icing cupcakes.

Remove the base from the fridge and spread with the frosting. Generously sprinkle over both the chopped peanuts and banana chips then slightly press them down into the frosting a bit so they don't fall off while eating. Pop this back into the fridge for the frosting to firm up a bit, a couple hours should do it.

Remove the whole thing from the pan, either by just popping it out of the silicone mould or by lifting it out via the cling film. Melt the chocolate, I just used the microwave and drizzle back and forth all over the top. Place back in the fridge for the chocolate to set, about an hour.

Slice into a minimum of 16 squares (they are RICH) get some coffee on and enjoy! Note - you might find it easier to slice if it is out of the fridge for about half an hour first. Once sliced you can keep them at room temperature.

Vegan Monkey Squares

Source: Inspired by Canadian Living's Monkey Squares.

Nutritional Information: based on 1 square out of 16.

Calories: 260
Protein: 3.6g
Fat: 15.3g
Sat Fat: 5.7g
Fibre: 2.6g
Carbs: 27.5g
Sugar: 20.2g
Sodium: 20.2mg

You Might Also Like:

Nanaimo Bars
Peanut Butter Krispie
Twixie Bars


  1. So making these at Christmas <3

  2. Mmm, yumm. I just put this on my recipes to make list. Have you ever experimented with changing the flavors? Mint instead of peanut butter??

  3. Thanks for the comments, hope you all like them as much as we did! I haven't had time to experiment with these as I've only just made them. I already have a minty version with the grasshopper pie though - it has the same base and the flavours do go really well together. That base with a simple mint frosting would be delicious, (without the nuts and banana chips though of course!) I would maybe top it with crushed candy canes and drizzle with chocolate. Orange frosting would be good too, haha, now you've got me wanting to experiment!! :-D

  4. You inspired me to pick up a copy of that magazine the last time I was at the grocery store, so many great recipes to veganize! I’m really impressed with how you adapted this one as I was really wondering how to change the condensed milk. They look incredible!
    I’m planning on attempting the cranberry coffee cake this weekend, fingers crossed it doesn’t turn into a baking disaster.

    1. Aren't there loads of recipes to veganize?? I was so impressed with this years magazine, last years was not good at all. These squares did turn out great, I'm very happy with them and typically I am now finding proper banana chips in the shops everywhere, lol. Still, I think the chewy aspect was nice in these.

      Good luck with the cranberry coffee cake, that one caught my eye too!

  5. These look incredible! I need to make them SOON!

  6. Thank vegan gods for making me stumble upon your blog! Your monkey squares recipe is a really mely-in-your-mouth recipe! <3


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