Healthy One-Bowl Flourless Almond Butter Cookie Bars with Chocolate Frosting
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Yields: 16 cookie bars
 
These cookie bars remind me of Reese’s peanut butter cups — just with almond butter instead! They’re perfectly soft and chewy, and the rich chocolate flavor of the frosting pairs so well with the sweet nuttiness of the cookie bars. Leftovers will keep for at least 4 days (if not longer!) if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Unfrosted cookie bars also freeze really well!
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F, and coat an 8”-square pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. To prepare the cookie bars, stir together the almond butter and vanilla in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the salt and liquid stevia over the top, and stir them in until completely incorporated. Stir in the pure maple syrup until completely incorporated. Stir in the almond milk. Pour in the oat flour, and sprinkle the baking soda over the oat flour. Stir them until until just incorporated.
  3. Using a spatula, gently press the cookie dough into the prepared pan in a thin, even layer. Bake at 325°F for 10-12 minutes or until the center feels firm to the touch. Cool completely to room temperature in the pan.
  4. While the cookie bars bake, prepare the frosting. Beat the Greek yogurt, instant pudding mix, cocoa powder, and vanilla stevia together using an electric or stand mixer for 2 minutes. Cover the bowl with foil, and chill for at least 2 hours.
  5. Once the cookie bars are completely cool, spread the frosting across the top. (I highly recommend an offset spatula like this to do so!) Slice them into 16 square bars.
Notes: I used this oat flour! (This is the gluten-free version.) You can also make your own. I show you how here!

Be very careful when measuring the oat flour! Use this method or a kitchen scale. (← That’s the one I own and love!) Too much oat flour will make your cookie bars turn out dry or cakey, rather than soft and chewy.

White whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, regular whole wheat flour, or all-purpose flour may be substituted for oat flour.

For a non-oat-flour gluten-free option, use store-bought gluten-free flour blends (like this one!) for the gluten-free option.

This is my homemade creamy almond butter recipe! You just need 10 minutes and a blender to make it. If using store-bought creamy almond butter, make sure it’s the natural drippy-style kind that only contains almonds and salt. Do not substitute crunchy almond butter.

Any milk may be substituted for the unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

I buy my liquid stevia online here (it’s the best price I’ve found!), and you’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!

You cannot substitute additional pure maple syrup for the liquid stevia because the cookies require a precise balance of wet and dry ingredients. However, you may substitute ¾ cup (144g) coconut sugar (or brown sugar or granulated sugar, if you aren’t concerned about keeping these cookies clean eating friendly) for both the maple syrup and stevia, but the cookies will appear “speckled” if using coconut sugar because it doesn’t dissolve as well.

Honey or agave may be substituted for the pure maple syrup.

CHOCOLATE FROSTING OPTION #1: In a medium bowl, beat together 1 cup (240g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt, 1 serving (11g) fat-free, sugar-free chocolate instant pudding mix, 2 tablespoons (10g) unsweetened cocoa powder {measured like this!}, and ⅜ teaspoon liquid stevia {or adjusted to taste!} with an electric or stand mixer for 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before spreading on top of the fully cooled cookie bars.

If you prefer not to use the vanilla stevia in this Chocolate Frosting Option #1, then substitute 1 teaspoon of this powdered stevia OR 2-3 tablespoons of Truvia or granulated sugar.

You just need the dry instant pudding mix—don’t prepare it according to the package directions! You may omit it, but you’ll need to increase the cocoa powder and vanilla stevia (and just mix the ingredients together until incorporated—not for 2 full minutes!). Without the instant pudding mix, the frosting will be a bit runny and may slightly drip down the sides of your cookie bars.

CHOCOLATE FROSTING OPTION #2: In a medium bowl, stir together ¾ cup (60g) unsweetened cocoa powder {measured like this!}, ½ cup (120mL) unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract, and ½ teaspoon liquid stevia until thoroughly combined. Spread on top of the fully cooled cookie bars. (No chilling required! This option is clean eating and vegan, too!)

Any milk may be substituted for the unsweetened vanilla almond milk in this frosting option 2.

If you prefer not to use the liquid stevia in this Chocolate Frosting Option #2, substitute 3 tablespoons (45mL) of pure maple syrup, honey, or agave AND decrease the nonfat milk to 5 tablespoons (75mL). You may also adjust the amount of pure maple syrup, honey, or agave to suit your tastes.

{gluten-free, vegan option, clean eating option, low fat, lower sugar}
Recipe by Amy's Healthy Baking at https://amyshealthybaking.com/blog/2019/10/27/healthy-one-bowl-practically-flourless-almond-butter-cookie-bars-with-chocolate-frosting/