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Vegan No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie Bars

These vegan no-bake chocolate chip cookie bars are crunchy and chewy, with an incredible flavor from loads of chocolate chips, nut butter and a hint of cinnamon. The healthy bars are way easier to make than traditional cookies (you don’t even need to turn on your oven or stove!) but are just as satisfying—we keep a stash in the freezer at all times for nutritious desserts and after-school treats. If you love salty-sweet flavors like I do, sprinkle the top of the bars with flaky sea salt before they go in the fridge. For a nut-free version, use your favorite seed butter.
Prep Time15 mins
Chilling time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy no bake cookies, no bake chocolate chip cookies, vegan no bake cookies
Servings: 12 -16 bars

Equipment

  • 8x8-inch pan

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray or oil for pan

Dry ingredients

  • 2 cups (200g) old fashioned rolled oats
  • cup (27g) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons (16g) ground flax seeds
  • 1 tablespoon (10g) chia seeds
  • ½ cup (75g) raisins
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Wet ingredients

  • ½ cup (150g) maple syrup
  • ¾ cup (185g) creamy nut or seed butter (such as peanut, almond or sunflower seed butter)
  • 1 tablespoon (13g) virgin coconut oil
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon chocolate chips or coarsely chopped dark chocolate
  • Flaky sea salt optional

Instructions

Prep the pan

  • Spray an 8-by-8-inch pan with cooking spray or brush it with oil. Line the pan with a large piece of parchment paper, leaving an overhang (you’ll use the overhang as handles to pull the bars out later).

Pulse the dry ingredients

  • In a food processor, combine the oats, coconut, flax seeds, chia seeds, raisins, cinnamon and salt. Pulse until the oats are coarsely chopped, about 10-15 pulses.

Melt the wet ingredients then combine

  • In a microwave safe bowl or glass measuring cup (or you can use a small pot), combine the maple syrup, nut butter, coconut oil and almond extract. Microwave for 1-2 minutes stirring halfway, until smooth (alternatively, cook everything on the stove over medium-low heat, stirring, until smooth).
  • Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients in the food processor, and pulse until everything is incorporated and damp, about 10-15 pulses. Sprinkle in ½ cup chocolate chips and pulse until incorporated (about 5-10 pulses).
  • Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and press it into an even layer (some of the chocolate might melt, but that’s a good thing). If you’d like, sprinkle the top with a bit of flaky sea salt (yes, please!). Scatter the remaining 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips over top and press them gently into the dough so that they stick.

Refrigerate until set

  • Refrigerate the bars until the top is hardened and set, at least 1 hour. Run a small knife along the edge of the pan. Gripping the parchment overhang, pull out the bars. Cut into squares using a sharp knife. Enjoy them right away, or refrigerate the cookies until you’re ready to eat!

Notes

Storage: Refrigerate the cookie bars in an airtight container between layers of parchment paper for up to 2 weeks, or freeze them for up to 3 months. You can eat them straight out of the freezer, or let them soften slightly at room temperature (I often pack them for snacks straight out of the freezer).
Tips:
  • You’ll need a food processor to make these no bake chocolate chip cookies. The food processor breaks up the ingredients, helping everything to stick together. 
  • A kitchen scale makes quick work out of measuring out the dry ingredients.
  • The cookies are chilled in an 8x8 inch pan. You can use a glass or metal pan (I prefer metal, since it has sharp corners).
  • You can use any nut or seed butter you like. We usually go for peanut butter or almond butter, but sunflower seed butter is an excellent choice for a nut-free no-bake cookie. 
  • You can swap out the raisins for dried cherries, cranberries or chopped dates (and if you’re not a raisin lover like me, don’t worry, they provide extra sweetness but aren’t too strong in these cookies!). 
  • The maple syrup can be swapped for honey. 
  • Feel free to use chopped chocolate in place of the chocolate chips—it will just melt more into the cookies. We often use these Lily’s Chocolate Chips, which are sweetened with stevia.
  • Flax seeds and chia seeds not only give the cookie bars a boost of fiber and protein, but they also help the bars stick together. If you prefer, you can use just one or the other instead of both. 
  • For a baked cookie bar, try these Paleo Cassava Cookie Bars!