Yesterday I shared the new Enjoy Life Baking Mixes (stocked with ancient grains, protein, and heat-stable probiotics), and 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 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.
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
- 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.