I have 3 stand-by dessert recipes that are my go-to’s just about any time we’re wanting a little healthy treat in my household – Berry Crisp, Chocolate Cake, and these cookie bars. And I’ll admit it, I make this recipe as cookie bars rather than cookies simply because it’s way easier and faster (while being just as good). But you can make traditional chocolate chip cookies with this exact same recipe if you like!
If you typically make cookies for the holiday season, as gifts or to enjoy at home, these delicious chocolate chip cookie bars – along with my Molasses Spice Cookies – are a great way to continue that festive holiday tradition without spurring major carb cravings and derailing your health progress to date.
A note on sweeteners: To keep these cookie bars totally natural and Paleo (but not low carb), use maple syrup or honey as your sweetener. For a low carb version that is still relatively Paleo-friendly, use a liquid monk fruit or stevia sweetener (which is how the recipe is written), such as Birch Benders (though this does contain xanthan gum, which gives some people tummy trouble, so watch out for that).
If you’re not a fan of any of those options, and can tolerate sugar alcohols, then a Keto-friendly (but not Paleo) option is to use a liquid sweetener that contains erythritol, xylitol and/or allulose, such as Lakanto. All will work just fine in this recipe. We prefer a maple syrup type sweetener, as it adds a tasty note to the overall flavor of the cookie bars, but they’ll be great with any of these.
Whichever sweetener you choose, you’ll want to taste the batter before you press it into the pan, to make sure it is at the desired level of sweetness for you/your giftees. My version below is on the less-sweet side, since that’s what we prefer, and that’s a good starting place. Just start small and adjust gradually until you get to your desired sweetness. Note that depending on what sweetener you choose, the quantity needed may vary considerably from this recipe. And be aware also that all of the above sweetener options (besides honey and maple syrup) will tend to get less sweet with baking, so if you/your giftees prefer more sweet flavor, add a smidge more sweetener to your batter to account for that.
Alright, let’s get to the cookies! 😄
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- 2 ½ cups blanched almond flour 10 oz
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ⅓ cup coconut oil or melted butter
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup liquid sweetener see notes, above
- ¾ cup Choc Zero dark chocolate chips or other low carb chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Combine wet ingredients in a smaller bowl.
- Mix wet ingredients into dry.
- Taste mixture and adjust sweetener as desired (see notes, above).
- Mix in chocolate chips.
- Spread batter into 8x8 pan, and smooth top with wet spatula or wet hands.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool at least 1 hour before cutting into 2" square pieces (16 total).