These dark chocolate and pecan cookie bars are the perfect delicious and healthy treat. They are vegan, gluten free and added sugar free.
- 1 tbsp ground flax seeds + 3 tbsp of water
- 3/4 cup apple sauce
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar or brown sugar (optional)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp grated tonka bean
- 1 cup oat flour (make your own, see notes)
- 3/4 cup almond flour (make your own, see notes)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup roughly crushed pecan
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
- 1 pinch of sea salt flakes
- Preheat the oven to 350F and grease or line a dish of dimensions about 8 x 5 inches .
- Prepare the flax egg by mixing the ground flax seeds with the 3 tablespoons of water. Let sit for 2 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the apple sauce, almond butter, sugar (optional) and vanilla until well combined. Add the the thickened flax egg, cinnamon and tonka bean, and stir to incorporate.
- In a separate bowl, add the oat flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and whisk to combine.
- Add the dry mixture to the wet and mix until combined. The batter should be thick.
- Fold in the pecan roughly crushed and the dark chocolate chunks.
- Press the batter evenly into the prepared dish and smooth the surface using a spatula. If desired, sprinkle and gently press some more whole pecans and dark chocolate chunks on top.
- Bake for 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. It should be dry on top and a little wet inside. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with sea salt flakes.
- Allow to completely cool down. Then remove from the pan and allow to firm at room temperature for at least 2 hours before cutting into squares.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container on the counter top.
- For a fully sugar-free recipe, omit the sugar and make sure you’re using unsweetened apple sauce. Don’t worry, the apple sauce and dark chocolate chunks naturally bring enough sweetness to the cookie bars.
- You can make your own oat flour by blending rolled oats into a fine flour. If you’re gluten intolerant, make sure you’re using gluten-free certified oats.
- Almond flour is not the same as almond meal. You can easily make your own almond flour at home by mixing blanched almonds in a food processor or high speed blender until you get a fine powdery flour. For more details, check this post.
Keywords: cookie bars, cookies, gluten free, sugar free, chocolate chips, pecan, blondies, dessert