Healthy…ish Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.
Fridays require lots of cookies.
Special Note: making these on Facebook Live today! See the video here.
I think most of you would probably agree with me on that. I mean, if it were up to me, everyday would include cookies. Maybe that was in the back of my mind while I was creating these healthy…ish chocolate chip cookie bars. I mean, healthy cookies can be eaten every day of the week, right?
I’m going to be completely honest with you guys, I made these bars based out of my childhood obsession with my mom’s chocolate chip cookie bars. Growing up, my mom would bake every single day. We would always have a homemade treat sitting on the counter when we got home. Whether it was chocolate cake, oatmeal cookies or her K-Bars. Dessert has just always been my mom’s specialty. Actually, most of the time, we’d have dessert made and ready before dinner had even been started (…one of the reason I started cooking!).
Lately it seems everyone around me has been really trying to cut back on added sugars, my chocoholic mom included. I’m sure you guys have noticed all my healthier chocolate treats! Fortunately, I am loving remaking all of our family favorites. With that in mind, I figured it was about time I make our cherished cookie bars just a little healthier. Plus, Red is back in town for a few days, and that kid has a serious, serious thing for chocolate chip cookie bars. He loves them more than anything. Seeing as he is only sixteen, that’s understandable, but the kid is snowboarding daily and needs nutrients. I’d love for him to eat something other than cookies and Chipotle.
So obviously, healthy…ish cookies bars were just a no brainer for today!
Sidenote: using ish as a word is possibly my favorite thing ever. Healthy…ish, done…ish, pretty…ish, I am basically adding it to the end of every word I see fit. I think I greatly annoyed my brother/filmer while we were filming new videos recently. He said I overuse ish and I really need to just stop. Clearly I didn’t listen.
So why healthy..ish and not healthy? Well, because these cookies still use things like butter, and yes, sugar (but coconut sugar which, is apparently a superfood!). While I don’t think butter is bad for us in moderation, some might argue that, and while these bars are made with coconut sugar, some might argue that it’s still sugar. So long story short, I didn’t want to just go all out and say healthy. I feel like these are just a balanced cookie, pretty healthy, but probably not a considered superfood, you know?
Here’s how these break down ingredient wise.
…butter: I recommend using high quality organic butter, as it has been proven to have more nutritional benefits and high protein.
…coconut sugar: if you guys are new to coconut sugar, I am so excited to hopefully convince you to try it. It’s the best, a great healthy alternative for granulated or brown sugar.
…almond butter: for healthy fats!
…vanilla: flavor city.
…whole wheat flour: it’s best to use white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour. Using regular whole wheat flour is OK, but it provides you with a pretty heavy and almost dry bar. I like white whole wheat flour best. You can also use half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat. That works too.
…baking soda: no dense cookies here
…salt: gotta have it
…maca powder: maca powder is a superfood full of protein, fiber, vitamins + minerals. It helps to balance hormones, increase fertility, balance mood swings and increase energy
…chocolate chips: semi-sweet, dark or even vegan chocolate chips work, buuuutttt I used semi-sweet.
You see, you see? Pretty healthy!
The almond butter is really key here. It’s used in place of butter, but adds moisture, a little nutty flavor (but in a very, very subtle way), and a good amount of healthy fats too!
I really can’t begin to describe just how good these are. I spent a good week working on perfecting the recipe, making a batch every other day. After a lot of really hard, really dry batches, and even a really crumbly bland batch (that literally went straight to the trash), I finally landed on this perfect recipe. These bars are moist, doughy, vanillay (another of my favorite made up words) and loaded with chocolate…aka the perfect cookie bar. Take one bite and you’re going to be in love. Take one bite while these are still warm and you will be addicted. At this point, stopping will be pretty much impossible and you should probably just grab a glass of milk, sit down and enjoy your healthy..ish cookie bar.
Healthy...ish Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup coconut or granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon maca powder (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and coconut sugar until light, fluffy and fully combined. Add the almond butter and beat until smooth. Add the eggs, and vanilla, beat until combined and creamy. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, maca powder, if using, and 1 tablespoon water, beat until combined. If the dough seems dry, beat in another tablespoon of water. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Spread the dough out in the prepared baking pan. Transfer to the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, just until set in the center. It's important not to overbake these. I found 18 minutes to be the perfect time. Eat warm or allow to cool. Store for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
Friday cookies in for the win. Whoop. Whoop.
ps. be sure to stop by tomorrow for a special Saturday post. I’m sharing a recipe from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen: 150 Delicious Palo-Friendly Recipes to Nourish Life and it’s seriously so good!