clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

The healthier chocolate pecan cookie bars

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star No reviews
  • Author: Alice Pagès
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 squares 1x
  • Category: baking sweets
  • Method: Bake


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


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and grease or line a dish of dimensions about 8 x 5 inches .
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. In a separate bowl, add the oat flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and whisk to combine.
  5. Add the dry mixture to the wet and mix until combined. The batter should be thick.
  6. Fold in the pecan roughly crushed and the dark chocolate chunks. 
  7. 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. 
  8. 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.
  9. 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. 
  10. Store any leftovers in an airtight container on the counter top.


  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.