Yesterday I shared the new Enjoy Life Baking Mixes (stocked with ancient grains, protein, and heat-stable probiotics), but wanted to put the All-Purpose Flour Mix to the real test. It’s the only one in the bunch that you can’t simply add oil and water to and expect a tasty result, but it’s also the most versatile, with the potential to easily alter your beloved recipes to allergy-friendly. Which is exactly what I did. These gluten-free, vegan chocolate chip cookie bars are a quick adaption from my adult- and kid-loved whole grain chocolate chip bars.
Like the original wheat-based, dairy-free recipe, these chocolate chip cookie bars have a sweet, whole grain flavor that is quite addictive. Both varieties also have a delicate crumb, are naturally vegan-friendly, and are stocked with scrumptious allergy-friendly chocolate chips. But from there, the two variations diverge. This gluten-free version, using Enjoy Life All-Purpose Mix, has more of a thick batter consistency (rather than a loose cookie dough), and it bakes up with a unique texture that is richer, darker, and a touch dense yet “flaky”, for lack of better words. Honestly, these chocolate chip cookie bars are so darn hard to describe, but Tony and I couldn’t stop eating them. We’ll just call them delicious.
Though you may be able to use your own gluten-free flour blend, the Enjoy Life All-Purpose Mix brings some “functional” good stuff to the table. It is free of gums (yes, no xanthan gum, guar gum or cellulose!), made with ancient grains, relatively high in protein (5 grams per serving), and stocked with heat-stable probiotics. Yes, you could argue eating another one of these chocolate chip cookie bars in the name of digestive health!
This post is sponsored by Enjoy Life Foods, but I’ll use any excuse to make chocolate chip cookie bars that Tony can enjoy with me. Count us in as two satisfied new flour mix customers!
Special Diet Notes: Wholesome Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, vegetarian, and generally top food allergy-friendly.
Banana-Free? Yes, the banana does impart hints of flavor, but it goes very well with the rest of the chocolate chip cookie bars and provides just enough binding. But if you want a different vibe, you can use: 1 large egg, 1/4 cup dairy-free yogurt, or 1/4 cup applesauce.
- 1¼ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour blend (I tested with Enjoy Life All-Purpose Flour Mix)
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder (1/2 teaspoon above 3000 feet)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅜ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut sugar (finely ground in a spice grinder; can sub brown sugar)
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted (can sub grapeseed, canola, or rice bran oil)
- ¼ cup mashed banana (see post notes above for other options)
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ to ⅔ cup dairy-free chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chips)
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease and flour an 8x8-inch baking dish, or line it with parchment paper.
- Stir together the flour mix, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
- In a mixing bowl, blend the maple, sugar, oil, banana, and vanilla with a hand mixer. Add the dry ingredients and stir until well-combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish and even it out.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until lightly golden and pulling away from the edges.
- Let cool completely before cutting.