Cashew Butter and Chocolate Cookie Dough Bars
A mood-boosting and nutrient-dense bar that happens to taste like chocolate covered cookie dough! Grab a slice any time you need a burst of energy that will satisfy a sweet tooth, too. Store these in the freezer as the homemade chocolate coating melts at room temperature. Just thaw for a few minutes before devouring!
* Makes 10-12 bars
½ cup rolled oats
1 ½ cups pitted Medjool dates
½ cup creamy cashew butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon sea salt, more for finishing
½ cup chocolate chips
½ cup cashews, roughly chopped (I used roasted here for a richer flavor but raw is fine, too!)
For the chocolate layer
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
3 tablespoons maple syrup, warmed or room temperature
¼ cup raw cacao or cocoa powder
Freeze dried raspberries, crushed
Or any other nutritional boosts
Line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Place the oats in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped but still have some texture—do not overprocess or create a powder. Add the other ingredients, except for the cashews and chocolate chips . Process until the mixture starts to stick together and clump on the sides of the bowl.
Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized bowl and add the roughly chopped cashews and the chocolate chips. Place a piece of parchment on top of the mixture and use your hands to incorporate the cashews and chocolate chips with the other ingredients. Transfer the mixture to the prepared loaf pan and use another sheet of parchment paper on top to press and flatten evenly into the pan. Place in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes before adding the chocolate layer.
While the bars are cooling, mix the melted coconut oil, warmed maple syrup and cacao powder in a small bowl until smooth. Pour over the chilled bars and smooth on top. Sprinkle with a touch of sea salt. Add any optional superfood toppings if desired. (They are good on their own without the toppings!)
Freeze for 1 hour before cutting into 12 equal-sized bars. Store in the freezer and thaw for a few minutes before enjoying!