If you ever get a craving for chocolate chip cookie dough or chocolate chip cookies, but try to stick to healthy diet, these Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are for you. Not that these bars require any description, but I’ll give you one anyway.
Packed with dates, almonds, pecans, and chocolate chips, these Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars have a chewy texture and a pretty identical flavor to the traditional cookie dough. They are perfectly sweet, buttery, and chocolaty all at the same time. They get hard and almost crunchy in the fridge and you can make them in only 10 minutes – so much faster than any cookies you’ve ever made!
Just like any other raw dessert, these cookie bars are almost like an enigma. How can something made from nuts and dried fruit taste so delicious? I don’t know many people – no, actually, I don’t know anyone – who doesn’t like these Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. They are perfect for when you’re in the mood for something sweet but don’t want to inhale an entire batch of cookies.
Be careful though. While raw desserts do use raw unrefined sweeteners, sugar is still sugar. Dates are about as close as you can get to sugar and still call it a fruit. The fact that these bars are sweetened only with fruit doesn’t mean you can eat all of them in one sitting. If one of these bars satisfies your urge for candy or baked sweets, that’s an awesome upgrade. But if these bars become your breakfast, it might be a problem.
No judgment though. I know how difficult it is to say no to a dessert that is both delicious and nutritious. So how do you make the Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars taste incredible?
How to Make the Perfect Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Choose your nuts carefully – while you can use pretty much any combination of nuts in this recipe, I highly recommend using a combo of almonds and pecans because they compliment the dates perfectly. While almonds are neutral in flavor and crunchy in texture, pecans have a pleasantly sweet, rich, buttery flavor with a soft texture. Mix the two together and you get the best of both worlds.
Use soft dates – the best dates for this recipe are Medjool dates because they are soft and moist. However, neglect dates are also a good choice. If you find your dates are very dry, just soak them in hot water for about 15 minutes to let them soften a bit.
Add a pinch of sea salt – there’s actually a scientific explanation as to why salted chocolate tastes so amazing. Salt is essential to open up flavors in sweet dishes and enhance your body’s ability to taste sweetness. When sodium is present, sensors located in our intestines and on our tongue that normally don’t alert to sugar process glucose as sweet. If you’re worried about your cookie bars tasting salty, don’t be. You would only taste the salt if you added too much or the dough wasn’t mixed well.
Add a little bit of lemon juice – this is completely optional, but I find that lemon juice lightens up the cookie bars and balances out their sweetness really well. A few drops of lemon juice can do wonders in the background.
Wet your hands – if your dough isn’t sticking together, use wet hands to shape the dough or add 1 tsp. of water at a time to the dough until it does. I didn’t need to use any additional water, but if your dates are a bit too dry, you might need a bit of water to help all the ingredients to stick together.
Refrigerate the dough – if you’re planning on cutting the dough into bars, refrigerate it first. The dough will hold its shape better and you’ll end up with perfectly straight, smooth bars. This step isn’t necessary if you’re rolling the dough into balls.
I’m willing to bet that you have all the ingredients you need for this recipe on hand. And now that you know the “science” behind these Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars, you can easily customize them and make them your own. Don’t have pecans? Use some walnuts. Not a fan of dates? Throw in some raisins. I’ve tried probably every combination of nuts and dried fruit possible and liked them all.
If you make this recipe, please, leave a comment below and let me know how you liked it. I promise – this recipe won’t disappoint you!