These no bake healthy brownie cookie dough bars are like heaven in a slice. And just because they’re healthy does NOT mean they aren’t absolutely delicious! These bars are made with a chewy chocolate brownie layer that’s topped with creamy edible cookie dough and an extra layer of chocolate for good measure. Plus this recipe is completely vegan, gluten free, and refined sugar free.
How to make healthy cookie dough you can eat
The cornerstone of this recipe is the vegan and gluten free cookie dough. It’s creamy, it’s buttery, and it tastes JUST like classic cookie dough but without all of the ingredients that make it inedible.
The secret to achieving that thick cookie dough texture may sound odd…but it works perfectly. So would you ever guess that the base of the dough is made using CHICKPEAS? I know, beans in cookie dough? But trust me, you cannot taste them.
If you think I’d share a recipe with you that tastes like beans, then I must have gone wrong somewhere. So even if there was a HINT of chickpea flavor in these, I would have completely scrapped the idea. Luckily it worked out perfectly and they provide that delicious creamy but thick texture that’s essential to cookie dough.
Once it’s paired with cashew butter, maple syrup, and chocolate chips, the dough tastes sweet but not overly rich. And to get that classic thickness and flour flavor of raw cookie dough, I chose to use Bob’s Red Mill Super-Fine Almond Flour and Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour.
Bob’s Red Mill Super-Fine Almond Flour is ALWAYS my go-to because, well, it’s in the name. The texture is very fine and never gives a gritty texture which is especially important when using it in a no bake dish. It helps create a really smooth cookie dough texture without disrupting the flavor of the dough.
And because cookie dough always has that slight raw flour flavor, I included Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour in the dough. It gives you that raw flour flavor and texture minus the gluten (or contamination that regular flour tends to have). Combining these two flours gives you a healthy gluten free cookie dough that tastes just like the real deal!
Tips for making a raw vegan brownie
The bottom brownie layer of these bars adds so much flavor and texture to this dessert. It’s rich, chocolatey, chewy, and sweet. It’s also only made up of 5 simple ingredients and is so quick and easy to make! But here are a few things to keep in mind when making the brownie layer:
- Use good quality Medjool dates. This is what provides that chewy texture and sweet flavor to the brownie layer, so it’s important that the dates are both soft and sweet. My favorite dates are the Medjool Dates that can be found in the produce section at Trader Joe’s.
- Give the dates a rough chop before adding to the food processor. This makes it easier to create a really smooth brownie dough.
- Use dark cocoa powder instead of regular cocoa powder. Not only does it provide a deeper color, but it also has a smoother chocolate flavor.
- Also make sure to use Bob’s Red Mill Super-Fine Almond Flour. For the same reason as the cookie dough, this specific flour provides the best texture. Its fine granules prevents the brownies from having a sandy or gritty consistency.
When the ingredients are blending in the food processor, they will start to clump up into one large ball. This is what we want to see. It should be like the consistency of play-doh but still a bit tacky. And to make it easier to press into the loaf pan, I recommend working with completely clean fingers. If there are some remnants of sticky dough stuck on your hands, it will be much more difficult to press in that brownie layer.
How to remove canned chickpeas skins
Since chickpeas are the main ingredient of the cookie dough, it’s important to mask their flavor in order to reap the benefits of their texture alone.
To get the most out of the chickpeas, they must be drained, rinsed, and skinned before use. It’s a tedious extra step that’s essential to getting the best healthy cookie dough. If this step is skipped, the cookie dough turns out a bit gummy with a more prominent chickpea flavor…two things I do NOT want in my cookie dough!
To skin them, scatter the drained and rinsed chickpeas on a paper towel. Lay another paper towel on top and begin to gently roll around the chickpeas between the two sheets. This will loosen up the skins.
Then pick up each chickpea one by one and pop off the thin translucent skin. It should be really easy to just pinch it right off. It also may sound like a lot of extra work but the entire process should only take about 10 minutes.
How to make this a nut-free cookie dough recipe
Both almond flour and cashew butter are used in this recipe in order to provide to best flavor and texture. But if you have a nut allergy, these are the swaps you can make in order to create a cookie dough bar that’s equally delicious:
- Swap Bob’s Red Mill Super-Fine Almond Flour with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oat Flour or Gluten Free Rolled Oats. The easiest route is to use the pre-made oat flour, but you can also make your own by blending rolled oats in a food processor until it reaches a fine flour consistency.
- Swap cashew butter with natural sunflower seed butter. I love sunflower seed butter because it’s super creamy but doesn’t have a very strong flavor. Just make sure to use a sunflower seed butter that’s natural and only made up of sunflower seeds. Just know that the cookie dough may turn out a tad bit darker in color when using sunflower seed butter.
How to store vegan cookie dough bars
Any leftovers should be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator. They will keep for up to one week and taste just as delicious on day seven as they did when they were freshly made.
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Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram and comment below if you make these Brownie Cookie Dough Bars. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!Print