Holy smokes you guys. My original plan for this week was to post a Fourth of July recipe… until I made these. As a girl who’s always on-the-go I rarely leave the house without some sort of nutrient-dense sustenance in my bag. Whether it be a Perfect Bar, Lara Bar, RxBar or other form of packaged nutrition, these bars save the day when I’m in need of healthy food fast. While I love the convenience of these bars, buying bars on the reg can definitely add up!
Over the past few months, I’ve been working with an almond butter company named Barney Butter to develop some recipes using their nut butters. After realizing my stomach was sensitive to peanut butter, (very hard to digest) I started looking on Amazon for alternatives that were similar to peanut butter in texture. I have always been a huge fan of baking with nut butter (great replacement for butter and oil) and needed a product I could rely on. After my first delivery from Amazon, I was hooked. My favorite thing about Barney Butter is that they use a combination of blanched almonds and palm fruit oil (good kind of oil vs. palm kernel oil) to get that silky smooth almond butter consistency - perfect for baking.
Since I started using Barney Butter, I’ve developed a bunch of recipes using their nut butter. While all of these recipes have been delicious, these 4 Ingredient Cookie Dough Protein Bars definitely take the cake! A delicate mix between a homemade chocolate chip cookie and a protein bar, these bars will definitely become a weekly staple in my house!
While these bars can technically be eaten raw, I chose to bake them so that they would be a practical snack item to take on the go. In fact, nothing frustrates me more than throwing a no-bake treat from the freezer into my bag, only to find it smushed later. Baking these bars requires more time upfront, but I promise the extra time is 100% worth it!
As I mentioned in the recipe title, these Cookie Dough Protein Bars are made up of only 4 ingredients: almond butter, protein powder, honey and chocolate chips… that’s it! These bars do not contain any gluten and can be made vegan by swapping agave for honey and using a vegan protein powder.
Since I try and limit my dairy in take, I have been eating plant-based protein powder for a number of years now and absolutely love it. Most are packed with added vitamins and minerals from plant sources including fruits and veggies and taste like traditional protein powder (if not better!) For baking I like to use Olly Vanilla Protein Powder. This brand is available most places I believe (Target, Amazon, Jet, GNC) and is 100% plant-based. In addition, I like that the taste is subtle and that it is not over powering with that fake sugar (stevia) taste.
Okay, if you’re not excited by now, I don’t know if you’ll ever be. But the cherry on top of it all is that these bars are actually GOOD FOR YOU. With just over 200 calories per bar, each bar is packed with plant-based fats, carbs and fiber. In addition, each bar contains only 13g of sugar and 8g of protein, comparable to most of the nutrition bars on the market! Yahooooo!
So what are you waiting for? DIG IN!
4 INGREDIENT COOKIE DOUGH PROTEIN BARS
Makes 10 bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Wait Time: 1 hr
Cook Time: 15 minutes
1 cup creamy almond butter at room temperature
3 scoops (1/2 cup) vanilla protein powder (I used Olly)
1/4 cup honey or agave
3 tablespoons mini or regular chocolate chips
Note: Depending on what kind of protein powder you are using you may need to add more or less sweetener to the recipe. In this recipe 1/2 cup of Olly Vanilla protein powder contained 13.5g of a sugar/stevia blend. If you can get your hands on this protein powder or something like it I highly recommend for baking.
Note: If you're looking to make these more affordable, you can make them with peanut butter instead. Nut butters without oil tend to lend a more crunchy texture, while nut butters with oil will give you a soft, chewy texture. Both are equally delicious :)
1. Line an 8x8 square baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Place 1 cup of almond butter in a large bowl ( I like to wet the cup first to avoid the almond butter from sticking) Add in the protein powder and stir (see note above regarding protein powder).
3. Once the almond butter and protein powder are mixed add in the honey. If your protein powder is on the sweeter side, I would add honey in by the tablespoon to ensure that the bars are not too sweet. Stir to combine all of the ingredients. Once the batter is mixed, fold in the chocolate chips.
4. Using a spatula, transfer the batter to the center of the parchment lined baking dish. Spread the batter evenly, using the spatula to make sure that the dough has been spread evenly.
5. Place in the freezer for one hour.
6. After an hour, remove the baking dish from the freezer and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
7. Lift the tinfoil with the bars still on it and place on a firm surface. Cut the batch in half horizontally and then cut vertically into 5 columns to get 10 bars. Place each bar on a foil-lined baking sheet at least one inch a part.
8. Bake at 300 degrees F. for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool fully before storing to ensure the bars hold their shape.
* Store in the fridge for best results.
Nutritional Information (per bar)
215 calories, 14g fat, 16g carbs, 4g fiber, 13g sugar, 8g protein
Thank you to Barney Butter for sponsoring product for this post!