For a few years as an undergraduate in college, I worked in an organic chemistry research lab on campus. Our head professor’s wife also led a lab in the same department, so each summer, the two of them hosted a BBQ potluck for their research groups in the park behind their house.
The couple provided the entrées — a variety of regular and veggie burgers, hot dogs, and sausages, all which my boss cooked fresh to order over the communal grills in the park — and the students brought appetizers, sides, drinks, and desserts. With over twenty grad students, undergrads, and postdocs in each group, most of whom brought family or significant others too, we always ended up with more than enough food to feed a small army!
Because I loved baking just as much then as I do now, I signed up to bring a homemade dessert the first year I attended. Knowing one of the grad students in our lab was allergic to every fruit except berries and citrus, I baked a double batch of lemon bars with a crunchy shortbread crust and silky smooth citrus filling, and I cut them into tiny bite-sized pieces, assuming people would feel more inclined to grab a smaller square so they would still have enough room to sample everything else at the table too.
When I arrived, I set the paper plates on the dessert table alongside the store-bought cupcakes, brownie bites, and Oreos. Although most people waited until after finishing their entrées to reach for anything sweet, a few grad students reached for a lemon bar as soon as I peeled back the foil. By the time we left, all three paper plates were completely empty!
The next year, I planned to do the same thing for the summer BBQ, but I completely forgot to buy lemons at the store… So that morning, I hurriedly whipped up two batches of dessert bars using a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe, cut them into small squares again, and dashed over to the park.
My homemade treats disappeared much sooner than the store-bought ones again, yet I still felt bad… I hadn’t realized that a few of the new grad students’ significant others were gluten-intolerant, so they couldn’t eat any of the desserts at the potluck.
So in hindsight, these Healthy Flourless Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Cookie Bars would’ve been the perfect BBQ dessert for me to bring! They’re naturally gluten free, and they’re also incredibly quick and simple to make. You just need one bowl and a fork!
These cookie bars are made with no eggs, butter, oil, dairy, or refined sugar, yet they’re still incredibly soft and chewy with a fudgy brownie-like texture (so irresistible!!). I know it sounds crazy — but it’s 100% true!
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST HEALTHY FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CHIP ALMOND BUTTER COOKIE BARS
Let’s go over how to make the best ever healthy chocolate chip almond butter cookie bars! As you’ve probably noticed, you only need one mixing bowl to make this easy recipe. From what I’ve gathered, you really like my growing collection of healthy one-bowl recipes. I love them too — especially since they usually result in fewer dishes to wash!
As the first ingredient, you’ll need homemade creamy almond butter. This is my super simple recipe. You just need 2 ingredients and a blender! It’s also fine to substitute store-bought creamy almond butter, as long as it’s the natural drippy-style kind. The only ingredients on the label should be almonds and salt!
Tip: Do not substitute crunchy almond butter! Those “crunchy” almond bits take up space in your measuring spoon, so you end up with less of the creamy part of the almond butter… Which means your cookie dough will end up dry. So for the best soft and chewy cookie bars, make sure you use creamy almond butter!
As I previously mentioned, these healthy flourless chocolate chip almond butter cookie bars contain no eggs. Instead, you’ll use unsweetened applesauce! The applesauce adds moisture, and it also gives these cookie bars a more chewy texture, very similar to fudgy brownies. Yum!
Tip: I like to keep a bunch of these single-serving cups in my pantry. They’re so handy! You’ll need about half of one of those.
Then you’ll also mix in a bit of unsweetened vanilla almond milk to help add moisture, just like the applesauce, and bind the dry ingredients together. It’s my family’s favorite non-dairy milk (and I also love unsweetened cashew milk — it’s so thick and creamy!), which is why I tend to use it in many of my recipes. However, any milk will work, so just use whatever you have in your fridge!
Hint: By using unsweetened vanilla almond milk and applesauce, your healthy flourless chocolate chip almond butter cookie bars are naturally vegan, dairy free, and egg free! (Along with butter free and oil free too!)
To sweeten your healthy chocolate chip almond butter cookie bars, you’ll actually use two ingredients: pure maple syrup and liquid stevia. Because someone always asks, yes — they’re both necessary! And here’s the nerdy reason why…
If you just used pure maple syrup, then you’d need to add almost ¾ cup to achieve the right sweetness level to make these healthy almond butter cookie bars taste like a true dessert. However, that would add way too much liquid to the cookie dough… And your dessert bars would therefore end up with a bready or cakey texture, rather than fudgy and chewy. Not good!
But if you only added enough pure maple syrup to achieve that perfect fudgy and chewy texture, then your cookie bars wouldn’t taste nearly sweet enough… They’d taste more like muffins, scones, or plain ol’ sandwich bread. Also not good!
So that’s where the liquid stevia comes in! Stevia is a plant-based, no-calorie sweetener that contains nothing refined or artificial (aka it’s clean eating friendly!). It’s also highly concentrated — and that’s super important!
By adding 1 ¼ teaspoons of liquid stevia to your cookie dough, you add the sweetness equivalent of over ½ cup of pure maple syrup. That means your healthy flourless chocolate chip almond butter cookie bars taste perfectly, deliciously sweet and have the best chewy and fudgy texture! Win-win!
Tip: Not all stevia products have the same sweetness level, so for the best results, I highly recommend using the same one that I do! I buy it online here because that’s the best price I’ve found, and you’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!
As for the dry ingredients, you’ll need oat flour and a teensy bit of baking soda. Oat flour is literally just really finely ground oats, but “powdered oats” doesn’t have quite thee same ring to it. 😉 Therefore, I wasn’t sure whether to call these “flourless” or “practically flourless,” but either way, these healthy chocolate chip almond butter cookie bars taste absolutely delicious!
As tempting as it may be to simply dump the baking soda on top of the oat flour — please don’t! Instead, sprinkle it over your oat flour. Sprinkling helps prevent clumps, which results in the best texture in your healthy flourless chocolate chip almond butter cookie bars!
And now for the last ingredient — the mini chocolate chips! I love using mini ones because their smaller size ensures every bite contains at least one morsel of chocolate… If not more! These are my standard go to mini chocolate chips, and these are my favorite vegan and allergy-friendly ones.
One last tip for you! For the absolute BEST EVER fudgy and chewy texture, you must let your healthy flourless chocolate chip almond butter cookie bars cool completely to room temperature in the pan and then wait another 6 hours for them to set before you slice them into bars. Yes, I know it feels like pure torture to wait this long… But the longer they rest, the fudgier they become. (They’ll have a more cakey texture if you cut into them sooner, but their flavor will still remain the same!)
But once you’ve (im)patiently waited that full amount of time…
Enjoy every single bite of your healthy dessert bars! And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your healthy flourless chocolate chip almond butter cookie bars!
Healthy Flourless Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Cookie Bars
- 5 tbsp (80g) homemade creamy almond butter
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ tsp liquid stevia
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup (56g) unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup (60mL) unsweetened vanilla almond milk, room temperature
- 3 tbsp (45mL) pure maple syrup
- 1 ½ cups (180g) oat flour (gluten free if necessary and measured like this)
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 3 ½ tbsp (49g) miniature chocolate chips, divided
- Preheat the oven to 300°F, and coat an 8”-square pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, stir together the almond butter, vanilla, stevia, and salt. Stir in the applesauce until fully incorporated. Stir in the almond milk and maple syrup. Pour in the oat flour, and sprinkle the baking soda over the oat flour (to prevent it from clumping!). Stir in the oat flour and baking soda until just incorporated. Stir in 3 tablespoons of miniature chocolate chips.
- Spread the mixture into the prepared pan. Gently press the remaining miniature chocolate chips on top. Bake at 300°F for 11-13 minutes (see Notes!). Cool completely to room temperature in the pan, and let the bars rest for at least 6 hours once at room temperature for the best taste and texture before slicing and serving.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may also like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ Healthy One-Bowl Flourless Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie Bars
♡ Healthy One-Bowl Flourless Chocolate Chip Blondies
♡ Healthy One-Bowl Flourless Almond Butter Cookie Bars with Chocolate Frosting
♡ Healthy One-Bowl Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
♡ Healthy Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars
♡ Healthy Cinnamon Roll Cookie Bars
♡ Healthy Flourless Peanut Butter Cookie Bars with Chocolate Frosting
♡ …and the rest of Amy’s healthy dessert bar recipes!