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Chocolate chip cookie dough bars are almost guiltless

It’s been a few years since I posted my black bean brownie recipe, so I thought I would finally get around to testing out another idea I had.  What if I used pinto or white beans to make a delicious base for cookie dough bars?

I have always been fond of beans. My father and brother are bean farmers, so it was something that we have always used in our cooking.

More recently, I have become more aware of food allergens because several family members have discovered they are allergic to gluten and a future nephew (and possibly myself) with egg allergies. 

The beans in this recipe serve as an alternative to flour without having to use one of those fancy baking mixes. 

They also have many health benefits because they are high in protein, fiber, B vitamins, folate and potassium.

The chia seeds, or flax seed if you prefer, also have many health benefits and are a great substitute for eggs in baked goods. I have been using them for that off and on for a few years and haven’t run into a single problem with it. The ratio to use is 1 tablespoon finely ground chia or flax seeds to 3 tablespoons of water.

They can easily be ground in a coffee grinder, but a blender will work too.  In this recipe, I do use a lesser amount, but that is accounted for by adding extra moisture elsewhere.

Alright….enough of the healthy stuff.  How do they taste?  The answer is delicious, but that was the tricky part.  I found a balance for the fat, by using 1/2 applesauce and coconut oil instead of the usual butter that found in all of the great cookie doughs.

I did have a slight worry that it wouldn’t taste enough like cookie dough, so I added 1/4 teaspoon of imitation butter flavoring, but this ingredient can easily be left out.  Quick oats (which can be found gluten free) were used for texture and as a binder for the bars and vanilla, dark brown sugar, and semisweet chocolate chips were added because they are the best parts of cookie dough bars!

We ate these warm out of the oven with whipped cream as a bedtime snack.  They were not able to be picked up like a true bar, but my son and I were both very pleased with the results and I hope you are too! Warm, gooey, chocolate goodness!

(Almost) Guiltless

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars

2-15 cans pinto or white beans, drained, rinsed really well

1/4 cup chia seeds, finely ground and mixed with 3/4 cup water

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup applesauce, unsweetened

1.5 cups dark brown sugar

1 tablespooon vanilla extract

2 cups quick oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon iodized salt

1/4 teaspoon imitation butter flavor

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


Place all ingredients except the chocolate chips in a food processor.  Blend until smooth.  (about 1 minute) Scrape down the bowl and blend for 15 seconds.  Remove from the processor bowl and place in a medium-sized mixing bowl.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Place in a greased 9-by-13 pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until the edges look darkened and start to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.  They can remain in pan longer if you like….it’s just to help the bars set before serving.

Karley blogs at everyday