Easy Vegan Cookie Dough Bars (Gluten Free)

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Guys - I'm a little giddy today. Why? Because vegan cookie dough bars. That's why.

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I'm proud of these bars. I'm proud of myself. And I'm proud of the universe for allowing things like cookie dough to even exist. It's only like, the greatest thing ever. Okay, maybe not the greatest thing ever. But it's up there for sure. 

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Now about these cookie dough bars, which I'd like to brag about again - are a super duper easy dessert to make, are vegan, AND gluten free. Hollaaaaaa! (I'm sorry, it's Friday and I'm in a great mood).

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Let's talk about how the crust only has two ingredients. TWO! Just dates and raw almonds. Blended together. Can it be that easy? Yes.

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Now for the filling, which is so complicated to make… Kidding! It's only 5 ingredients, that are again just tossed into the food processor. Cashews, coconut oil, vanilla, maple syrup, chocolate chips… I had a heck of a time trying to stop myself from "tasting" this creamy blend.

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And for quite possibly the best part of this recipe, there is no baking required! You just pop the tray into the freezer for a few hours and enjoy.

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This recipe is made of all natural ingredients. I mean, the "cookie dough" is made from cashews. How awesome is that? A dessert you don't have to feel guilty about! You've gotta try these and when you do, let me know what you think! 

Serving Size: 10 bars

Ingredients:

CRUST

  • 1 cup pitted dates, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes and then drained
  • 1 cup raw almonds

COOKIE DOUGH FILLING:

  • 1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked in water overnight and drained (see notes for quicker option)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or agave)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • salt, pinch of
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE:

  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon hot water

Directions:

  1. Add dates to food processor and process until they are chopped into small pieces and begin to form a ball. Remove and set aside
  2. Add almonds to the food processor and process into a meal. Then add the dates back into the processor with the almonds and process until it forms a dough. It should be sticky. If it does not stick together add more dates. If it is too moist add more meal. 
  3. Line a 7x11 glass baking dish with parchment paper. Spoon the crust mixture into the dish and use a spoon to flatten it evenly. 
  4. Combine cashews, coconut oil, vanilla, agave, and salt in the food processor. Blend until creamy and smooth.
  5. Once creamy, stir in chocolate chips using a spoon (DO NOT PROCESS!). Spread the mixture over the crust evenly.
  6. Place in the freezer for a minimum of 4 hours. 
  7. Remove the bars from the oven, slice, and drizzle with chocolate. The chocolate drizzle is made by heating the chips in the microwave until melted and then stirring in water until it is liquid-y enough to drizzle. 
  8. Store cookie dough bars in the fridge. 

Notes:

  1. If you do not have time to soak cashews overnight, pour boiling hot water over them and let sit for 1 hour. 
  2. If stored in the freezer, these bars will last up to 2 weeks. 

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