Cookie Dough Protein Bars

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Cookie Dough Protein Bars


Sweet, packed with vanilla flavor and bits of dark chocolate, these Cookie Dough Protein Bars are one delicious treat. Made with just a few simple wholesome ingredients, no-bake, high-protein, and low-calorie, these protein bars are satisfying and totally yummy!

Cookie Dough Protein Bars stacked on a wooden plate

Protein bars have always been one of my favorite grab-and-go snacks. They satisfy sweet tooth craving quite well without many sugary calories. Wholesome ingredients inside keep me full for a long time. Plus, they suppress any hunger very quickly. Total win if you ask me.

And while you can buy protein bars in stores, making them at home is really easy and the main benefit is you’re in control of the ingredients. You can make them low sugar, no sugar, high-protein, or high-fiber. Vanilla flavored, or packed with chocolate.

You can be creative, and make them as you like them! Just like these Cookie Dough Protein Bars right here. They are specially tailored to satisfy a cookie dough craving in a super healthy way.

These protein bars are the perfect low-sugar, high-protein snack. They are easily made with just a few simple ingredients. NO baking required. Packed with vanilla flavor and bits of dark chocolate. Convinced? Yes, I thought so.

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Ingredients used

This cookie dough protein bar recipe calls for only a handful of pantry ingredients. All simple and you probably have them at home already. You will need:

  • Almond butter. I used all-natural creamy almond butter. Almond butter is packed with healthy monounsaturated fats that give energy and keep our heart healthy. Plus, it’s loaded with fibers, proteins, and many important minerals and vitamins.
  • Protein powder. I used vanilla flavored whey isolate protein powder. You can use ANY protein powder you like or normally use.
  • Sweetener. I used maple syrup. It binds other ingredients together but also gives mild natural sweetness. 
  • Flax seeds. I used ground flax seeds here. Flax seeds are packed with Omega-3s. Consuming these essential fatty acids improves mood, boosts immunity, and fights inflammation. Also, flax seeds are packed with fibers that made these protein bars more filling and balanced.
  • Maca powder. To add some extra flavor I also added a maca powder. It’s a known superfood that boosts mood, sex drive, energy, and stamina. If you don’t have maca powder at hand, you can swap it for cinnamon.
  • Cacao nibs (or chocolate chips). I used Yukon-sweetened cacao nibs. Slightly sweetened these cacao nibs are less bitter than regular cacao nibs and a great alternative to dark chocolate chips which you totally can use here if you like.
  • Coconut flour.
  • Coconut oil. I used extra virgin coconut oil. 
How to make Cookie Dough Protein BarsHow to make Cookie Dough Protein Bars

As I said, these chocolate chip cookie dough protein bars are NO-bake, meaning they don’t require much work. If you have a food processor, great. Use it here – it will speed up the mixing.

I tested the recipe without using any special equipment, just a mixing bowl, and spatula. Does the job equally good.

  • Start with preparing and measuring all the ingredients using the measuring cups. Line a 13×5” loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Add all ingredients except chocolate chips to a food processor. (Picture 1)
  • Mix on high speed until everything is fully incorporated. The mixture should resemble cookie dough texture. If it’s too crumbly (dry) add a teaspoon of water until you got a nice sticky texture. (Picture 2)
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if needed.
  • Add in chocolate chips and give one last mix. Just pulse for few times. (Picture 3)
  • Scoop the mixture into the prepared pan. (Picture 4)
  • Press the mixture with a spatula until nice and flat. (Picture 5)
  • Put it in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm.
  • Take the pan out of the freezer. Gently lift the mixture out of the pan. Slice into 6 bars. (Picture 6)
  • Makes 6 bars. Recommended serving size is one bar. Altho, one bar can be split into two servings if you’re following a restricted low-calorie diet.
Cookie Dough Protein Bars served on a wooden plateCookie Dough Protein Bars served on a wooden plate

Substitutions

  • You can substitute almond butter with cashew butter at a 1:1 ratio.
  • You can substitute cacao nibs with mini dark chocolate chips, or dark chocolate chunks. Or chopped dark chocolate. Make sure you’re using 80% or more dark chocolate without refined sugars.
  • You can substitute maple syrup with honey at a 1:1 ratio. Use honey in a runny form (not raw honey). Date syrup works well here too BUT it will discolor the bars.
  • Substitute ground flax seeds with chia seeds. Flax seeds and chia seeds are suggested options because of the high-fiber content that balances the nutrition profile of the bars. Hemp seeds are not a great substitution here because they are high in protein while lacking fibers.
  • You can substitute coconut flour with almond flour or oat flour.
  • You can substitute maca powder with cinnamon.
  • MAKE IT VEGAN: Use vegan protein powder.
Close up of a Cookie Dough Protein Bars served on a wooden plateClose up of a Cookie Dough Protein Bars served on a wooden plate

Useful tips

  • Use ground flax seeds here. Grinding flax seeds is the best way to make the most of their health benefits.
  • If almond butter is too firm, microwave it for a few seconds to soften. Use natural soft almond butter. Crunchy won’t work well here.
  • Make sure you melt coconut butter BUT cool it to room temperature before using it.
  • If you notice that the mixture is too dry and crumbly, add a teaspoon of warm water or milk.
  • Try adding different mix-ins like chopped almonds, and other nuts, white chocolate chips, etc. Be creative!
  • Make them more chocolaty. Melt the dark chocolate chips and dip these beauties in or just a drizzle.

Tips for storing

  • Store in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  • You can individually wrap the protein bars in sandwich bags for easy use.
  • How to freeze: Wrap each bar into parchment paper. Place the bars in a zip-lock plastic bag and stash them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw the bars at room temperature for few minutes before eating.



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