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These bars… where do I even start!? If you make one dessert/snack recipe from this blog, I highly recommend this one! 🙂

There’s a delectable peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough layer underneath a rich cacao-date-walnut layer. That all sounds fancy, but these are actually very easy to put together. You won’t be able to stop eating them, but that’s ok because they’re made with some wonderful wholesome ingredients and a few (delicious) superfoods, like cacao and maca powder. They store well in the fridge and freezer, but good luck keeping them for any great length of time. I’ve been trying to hide them everywhere, but, in my house, they have a way of quickly disappearing.

So what the heck are cacao and maca? Cacao is the most pure form of chocolate, and it’s packed with antioxidants, fiber, and magnesium (read: chocolate is healthy!). Maca is powder from the Peruvian maca root, and has a malty, vanilla-y, butterscotch-y flavor that’s insanely delicious in this cookie dough layer. It’s known to naturally support the body’s ability to adapt to stress and improve energy, vitality, and stamina. I usually put it in my smoothies, but I also love stirring it into baked goods, or in this case: non-baked goods.

While I love using these types of ingredients, they’re often hard to find and can be really expensive at regular stores – which is why I’m SO excited to partner with Thrive Market today. It’s the best place to stock up on all of these wonderful non-GMO ingredients for 25-50% below traditional retail prices. If you haven’t heard of Thrive Market, it’s an online marketplace whose mission is to make healthy living easy and affordable. Fancy superfoods aside, I found that so many of my kitchen staples – organic whole rolled oats, almond flour, organic nut butters, organic dates, and organic maple syrup (to name only a few) – are all a fraction of the cost of the brands I find in the grocery store.

Another neat feature is that if you’re vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free, you can shop by those specific filters – which means that you won’t have to closely read packages to figure out if your seemingly-vegan item contains traces of dairy.

The last thing I’m going to gush about is the personal obsession I have with their peanut butter. I know it seems like peanut butters would all be created (somewhat) equal, but theirs has the best texture and flavor I’ve ever tasted – just look at the photo near the top of this post to see how oozy it is.

So with your oozy peanut butter, make this cookie dough layer by simply stirring the ingredients together and pressing them into the pan…

Make the cacao layer by pulsing the above ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Then the best part – layer them together! So yummy… I’m having trouble not drooling all over my keyboard right now.

To make them extra pretty, sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt…From here, you can dig them out of the pan if you need your snack NOW… otherwise let them firm up in the freezer for 20 or so minutes so that you can neatly cut them into squares. Store the finished bars in the fridge. For longer term storage (yeah right), they can be frozen.

RAW PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH SUPERFOOD BARS by LOVE AND LEMONS

Author: Jeanine Donofrio
Serves: makes 20 bars
Ingredients
Cookie Layer
Cacao Layer
  • 1½ cups walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 10 medjool dates
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • flaky sea salt for sprinkling on top, optional
Instructions
  1. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt, until combined. Add the almond flour and maca, and stir to combine (the mixture will be thick). Fold in the chocolate chips and press into the pan and place in the freezer so that it firms up a bit while making the next layer.
  3. In a small food processor, pulse the walnuts, cacao powder, and sea salt, until the walnuts are well chopped. Add the dates and pulse to combine, adding 2 tablespoons water if the blade gets stuck. Process until smooth, then spread onto the cookie layer. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired. Freeze for 30 minutes (this will help them firm up, making them easier to cut). Remove and slice into bars. Store remaining bars in the fridge.
  4. Finished bars can also be frozen. To thaw, let each bar thaw for about 15 minutes at room temp.
If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.

This post was created in partnership with Thrive Market. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep us cooking!

Original Content and Images for this post were found on Love and Lemons here! 

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  1. Bry Jaimea

    June 19th, 2018 at 9:12 am

    This sounds amazing! Thank you for sharing the recipe xx

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