No-Bake Layer Bars

>> Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I have more to write about NYC, but I couldn't wait to share this recipe with you. I made it the minute we got back from our trip. Been trying to use less flour/gluten and sugar. I was thinking about those can't-get-enough no-bake Chocolate-PB Energy Bars I made recently.

And then I figured I've made those too many times, so I set out to refine a no-bake brownie recipe I've been working on.

This is what I got instead:

These bars aren't healthy or low calorie, necessarily, but they are definitely a good alternative to standard baked goods. And a little piece is intense and surely satisfies.

What you'll need . . .


  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup almond "flour" (just pulsed almonds)
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup pitted medjool dates
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 handfuls chocolate chips* or other add-in


  • 1 cup GF rolled oats (Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter (you could also use almond, sunflower, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons water


  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips*
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Method . . . 

  1. Line a square baking dish with either parchment or plastic wrap. Set aside.
  2. You're going to use your food processor for most of the heavy lifting. So, start with your base layer. Place all ingredients -- except chocolate chips -- into the food processor and pulse until well combined. Then place in a bowl and fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. Press base into square dish, distributing evenly, and move onto the next layer.
  4. Put all ingredients for the peanut butter middle in the food processor. Pulse until well combined -- I write to add between 1 and 3 tablespoons of water because otherwise it will get dry. You'll have to play it by ear. I like mine more crumbly, so I added less.
  5. Then distribute crumbled mixture over the base and press down uniformly. Move onto the top layer.
  6. On the stove over low heat, continually stir chocolate chips with coconut oil until melted. Remove immediately from heat and pour over your peanut butter layer. Spread evenly, but then you can tap the square pan to let it set. 
  7. I also topped mine with some shredded (unsweetened) coconut flakes. You can do crushed walnuts or whatever else you'd like!
  8. Place in your refrigerator for a few hours to harden up.
  9. You can cut them into bars, squares, or whatever works for you. Then store there in an air-tight container.

Note on chocolate chips: I am always getting questions as to what kind I use. What kind is vegan, etc., etc., etc. I typically use Sunspire Vegan Chocolate Chips. They also make delicious Vegan Carob Chips that you could sub in for all instances of chocolate in the recipe.

Note on food processor: Also get a lot of questions about this one. I love my Cuisinart 11-Cup Pro model. And I even feel "love" is an understatement. I use this machine every single day and it has more than earned its keep between nut butters, bars like these, sauces, and much more.

Tomorrow I'll write about touring the city on foot = running. But if you'd like to read more NYC stuff, you can check out what we did . . . and then some many vacation photos and tips for urban travel with a toddler.

How are you on this hump day, friends?

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