Monday, January 21, 2013

Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Every night after dinner I crave dessert.  I know it's not good for me to have a rich dessert every single night, so I try to find healthier alternatives.  Sometimes I can satisfy the craving with warmed applesauce or a scoop of maple cinnamon almond butter.  Both of those are sweet and are some of my absolute favorite foods.  BUT... they are not chocolate.  Nothing compares to chocolate.  Especially a warm, gooey, chocolate chip cookie. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water!

This recipe is a healthier version of a chocolate chip cookie in bar form.  The bars are definitely best warm, when they are bars of gooey, chocolate-y goodness.   They are admittedly not as good as a rich chocolate dessert made with lots of butter and sugar; however, they are pretty darn good.  One of these bars helps to satisfy the chocolate dessert craving and they actually have some nutritional benefits like protein and fiber.

These bars are made with no flour and very little added sugar.  The sweetness comes from dates and applesauce and the texture comes from chickpeas and oats.  They do have fat in the form of peanut butter and oil (and chocolate), because you've got to make them taste good somehow.  Sound weird?  Well, it for sure sounded weird to me too.  I had this recipe bookmarked for at least 6 months before trying it, but I'm glad I did.  Give these bars a try and let me know what you think!

Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

yield: 12 bars


  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup oats (old-fashioned or quick)
  • 1 cup pitted dates 
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce (I use homemade, but you could use store bought)
  • 1/3 cup milk of choice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips


1) Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8 inch square baking dish with cooking spray.

2) Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in a high powered food processor.  Blend until very smooth and no date pieces remain.  Note: if you have a smaller sized food processor, blend in two batches.  

3) Transfer batter to a bowl and stir in the chocolate chips.  Then, transfer to the baking dish.

4) Bake for 30-35 minutes in preheated oven until light brown and set in the middle.  

5)  Cool at least 10 minutes before cutting.  Cut into 12 bars and serve.  Store leftovers covered on the counter for a few days. (I haven't tried it, but I would recommend the freezer for long term storage).  Reheat in the microwave until warm for 20-30 seconds before serving.  

(recipe adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie)

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