Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Homemade Protein Bars that mascarade as Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars!

On one of the board I love someone posted this recipe. It sounded like a great idea...but with my back the way it has been standing to make cookies sounded like a daunting task. Instead I thought that maybe I could make cookie bars instead. And then I got to thinking that maybe I could play around with it and bump up the protein. So I started playing around in the kitchen and less than a week and 3 batches of bars later we have the final results. And they are so good that my family and friends are not sick of taste testing at fact they want me to make more! Can't complain about that.

Oh! And the best part? The whole pan has NO refined sugars (okay, there are chocolate chips but chocolate doesn't count because it's heaven) and only 1 cup of honey for the whole thing! Yummy & healthy all in one. Enjoy!

Homemade Protein/Fiber Bars
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups white whole wheat flour
½ cup stone ground whole wheat flour (or any course ground whole wheat flour)
½ cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 cup ground or slivered almonds
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
3 eggs
½ cup melted butter
½ cup pureed white beans or chick peas
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup honey
2 cups dark chocolate chips
½ - 1 cup chopped dried fruits (craisins, apricots, figs, dates, cherries, blueberries)
½ cup ground flax seed or flax meal (adds in protein & fiber)
Carob, white chocolate or milk chocolate chips instead of the dark chocolate chips
1 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. In medium size bowl mix oats, flours, nutritional yeast flakes, chopped almonds, coconut, salt & baking soda. Set aside.
3. In large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer (stand mixer is best) add in milk, butter, pureed beans, vanilla, milk & honey. Mix really well.
4. Add in dry ingredients mixture and mix VERY well. You want the flour to form some gluten to hold the bars together. I mixed for 2-3 minutes in my KitchenAid Stand Mixer.
5. Add in chocolate chips and make sure they are mixed in well.
6. Spread out mixture onto a greased 9x13 or 11x14 cookie sheet. Mixture will be thick and it will take a bit of work to get it all spread out.
7. Bake at 325 for 40 minutes. Let cool at least 5 minutes before cutting.
This is really a dump recipe…meaning you can add just about anything you want as a “mix-in”. You may need to add a bit more milk if the mixture is too thick or if the weather is dry and the flour soaks it all up. But this batter is not like a cookie dough…it’s a bit thicker and not nearly as soft.
Each batch has 255 grams of protein! If you cut the pan into 18 bars that is 14.16 grams of protein for each bar. If you cut the pan into squares, more like a cookie bar, it still has 10.625 grams of protein for EACH square.
These have been taste tested by both kids and adults and everyone has loved them. They were a huge hit and the kids thought we were nuts when we gave them milk and “cookies” for lunch yesterday. Little did they know. ;)
** if the bars turn out a bit dryer than you would like bump up the butter to 3/4 cup melted butter. You can also do the same for the pureed beans. Adding that 1/4 cup additional pureed beans will add 7 grams of protein.


Brianna611 said...

I absolutely LOVE these things!

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