Today’s post is a little late due to site issues but I’m crossing my fingers all is good now.
It’s the holidays and a favorite activity for many as the holidays approach is baking cookies and making goodies. Many people have cookie exchanges, bake cookies for co-workers, friends, neighbors, and family. Today I have quick and simple Chocolate Almond Cookie Bars that are gluten free and vegan. If you need to make a cookie for someone who cannot have dairy, eggs, gluten, or is following a vegan or paleo diet this is a delicious easy cookie you can make.
My mother in law use to make these bars all the time and they were one of my husbands favorites. They are traditionally made with butter, brown sugar, flour, Hershey Chocolate Bars, and sliced almonds. I don’t know the real name for the bars but knowing my husband loved them they were on my list to “clean up” and make healthier. In the process they also are vegan and gluten free. They might not taste as buttery and rich but they are delicious and I love my nut butter and chocolate combos as do many others I know.
Simple ingredients that are staples in my kitchen but easily available at Trader Joes, Target, Whole Foods, or your local grocery store. Less than 10 ingredients and this is counting things you probably already do have at home like salt, coconut butter, maple syrup, chocolate chips (Enjoy Life for dairy free/vegan, or you can chop other chocolate of choice) and almond butter. I than used coconut flour and almond flour/almond meal. I like coconut palm sugar but you can sub brown sugar if you don’t have coconut palm sugar. Than I like the texture of rough chopped raw almonds instead of sliced almonds. Pretty simple and easy and clean up healthier ingredients than the original. I could have cleaned it up a little more going with homemade chocolate made with cacao, agave/maple syrup, and coconut oil but wanted to keep it simple. We did make a couple batches, one with less ingredients using only coconut palm sugar and we couldn’t pick a favorite between the two but the girls picked this one.
When it comes to baking there are many cookies, bars, and treats I like to make for the holidays and they change from year to year. One year we will make dozens of truffles, another a few dozen (ok maybe a dozen dozen) batches of biscotti in a few different flavors, macarons, marshmallows, ect. There is one cookie every year that is a must and that is sugar cookies! I also try to make gingerbread cookies with the girls every year but if I could only pick one cookie to make hands down it would be sugar cookies. I’ve talked about my love for them before and it’s not in eating them it’s in making them and the memories. I will make some with the girls but than we also have a “tradition” or just how it always happens, that my husband will take the girls shopping and to lunch and I sit there with my Christmas music pumping and pipe away making elaborate sugar cookies. I spend far too much time making them all works of art but I find it so fun and calming. One year it was snowflakes, another year bright colored candy cookies (for the year we had an all edible candy decorated Christmas tree). other years birds, bears, swans, or other animals. Or one year I even made coffee themed cookies for our coffee themed Christmas making Starbucks coffee cups, coffee beans, and coffee/cocoa cups with mini marshmallow embellishments and coffee flavored sugar and icing on the coffee beans.
Now for cookie exchanges or packages I will add some of those cookies but I also like to make others that aren’t as time consuming like these bars, chocolate bark, or other treats. One cookie I don’t make is Spritz cookies because my mom always makes those. Every year there are green trees and red poinsettias.
Next weekend we are baking cookies with friends and the kids. I still haven’t decided what cookies we’ll bake up so I’d love to hear your favorite must make cookies for Christmas, or the holidays.
Chocolate Almond Cookie Bars
Makes a 9×13 pan, 20-36 bar depending on size cut
1c coconut flour
3/4c almond flour, or almond meal
1/2c coconut oil, plus 1 TBSP for chocolate topping
1/4c almond butter*1c coconut sugar
1/4c pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla, optional
1/2 tsp sea salt
1c chocolate chips, or 6-8oz chopped chocolate (Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips for Dairy Free/Vegan)
1/3 raw almonds, rough chopped
* You can use raw almond butter or try your favorite flavored almond butter I tested a batch with Wild Friends Vanilla Espresso Almond Butter and couldn’t taste the coffee but it worked like other almond butters tested.
Preheat oven to 350F. Bring the 1 cup of coconut oil to room temp or a soft consistency. Cream together coconut oil and coconut sugar. Add in almond butter, maple syrup, optional vanilla, and salt. Add in coconut and almond flours and mix until combined. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper and press the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before melting chocolate with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Melt in the microwave at low heat for 20-30 second intervals stirring in between to prevent burning. Or use a double broiler to melt chocolate and coconut oil. Once melted and smooth pour over bars and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Sprinkle with chopped almonds. Place in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes for chocolate to set before removing bars from pan and cutting. You can store the bars at room temp in an airtight container. Enjoy!Add these delicious #glutenfree #vegan Chocolate Almond Cookie Bars to your cookie baking list! #paleo #SweatPink Click To Tweet
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