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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free

 

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Friday
Apr122013

no-bake walnut “cookie” bars with homemade chocolate

I’m becoming a bit of a walnut fanatic.  They’ve always been a favorite nut of mine.  However, for some reason they always seem to just kind of sit in the jar I have them stored in.  I’ll take a handful here or there but not really do much with them in the kitchen.  But now I’m trying to give the almighty almond the back seat for awhile and showcase this buttery-rich, funky-shaped nut!

No-Bake Walnut "Cookie" Bars with Homemade Chocolate [2 ways!] // edible perspective

If you’re not a huge walnut fan maybe you will like them a little more with homemade chocolate drizzled overtop?  No chocolate chips here, just a few simple ingredients.

No-Bake Walnut "Cookie" Bars with Homemade Chocolate [2 ways!] // edible perspective

And while you may be thinking that this looks like another recipes for faux-Larabars, I assure you these are different.  I suppose the texture is somewhat the same but this recipe is not packed with dates.  Definitely much more cookie tasting, but with a soft + chewy texture. 

Besides the walnuts, I’ve also stuffed more Omega-3 goodness inside with ground flax.  The flavor of flax doesn’t bother me at all, but I know not everyone is a fan.  The good news is you cannot taste it in this recipe!  So I say, why not add it in?

No-Bake Walnut "Cookie" Bars with Homemade Chocolate [2 ways!] // edible perspective

I made two versions just for fun and loved them both.  One has oats for a bit of a heartier texture and oatmeal-cookie taste.  The other is completely grain-free.  There are also two recipes for making the homemade chocolate.

Double win!

No-Bake Walnut "Cookie" Bars with Homemade Chocolate [2 ways!] // edible perspective

Print this!

adapted from: Vanilla Walnut Shortbread, via Shutterbean

chocolate topping inspired by: No-Bake Layer Bars, via (never home)maker

No-Bake Walnut “Cookie” Bars gluten-free, grain-free, vegan option // yields 1, 8x8 pan of bars

  • 2 cups raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup ground flax meal
  • 1/4 cup raw honey, or brown rice syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 + 1/16 teaspoon almond extract

*The almond extract really helps give these a cookie-like flavor, just be careful not to add more than the specified amount!  It’s quite potent!

  1. Place all ingredients [adding honey last] in your large food processor and process for 30 seconds – 1 minute, depending on how smooth you want your bars.  The dough should easily stick together when pressed between your fingers.  [Refer to photo 1.]  The longer you process the oilier they will become.
  2. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and place the dough inside.  Press firmly with your hands until you’ve evenly filled the pan, then place another sheet of parchment overtop and smooth out the surface with your hands.  Or, you can also form into balls and then flatten into a circular cookie-shape.  Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet before freezing.
  3. Freeze for about 30 minutes, then remove the parchment from the pan and cut into 2x2-inch bars. 
  4. Keep individually wrapped in plastic-wrap and store in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-4 weeks [possibly longer].

notes: I like a heartier/crunchier texture that is less oily, so I process on the shorter side.  However, the photos in this post show what they look like if you process for closer to 1 minute.  If your bars have become too oily feel free to stir in shredded coconut or partially-ground rolled oats to thicken them up.  Do not wrap the bars in foil.

No-Bake Walnut “Cookie” Oat Bars gluten-free, vegan option // yields 1, 8x8 pan of bars

  • 2 cups raw walnuts
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup ground flax meal
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup raw honey, or brown rice syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 + 1/16 teaspoon almond extract
  1. Follow the same directions as above using this ingredient list.  Again, note that the longer you process the bars the oilier they will become.  Press into bars in a pan or roll into balls and flatten into circular cookies.  Best kept stored in the fridge.

Homemade Chocolate [maple sweetened] gluten-free, vegan // yields ~1/4 cup

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. Stir all ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Let sit on the counter until starting to thicken a bit but still pourable.
  3. Drip or spread over the chilled bars [pre-cutting works best] and then freeze the bars for another 15 – 30 minutes.  Cut bars, wrap individually, and keep stored in the fridge.

*Chocolate softens easily around 70* F.  Best if kept in the fridge until just before eating.

Homemade Chocolate [powdered sugar sweetened] gluten-free, vegan // yields ~1/3 cup

  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar*
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. Follow the same directions as above.

*This chocolate recipe is a bit sturdier and won’t melt quite as easily.

To make powdered sugar at home:

  1. Blend 1c sucanat, coconut sugar, or pure cane sugar in a blender, with 1T arrowroot starch [or cornstarch] until soft and powdered.  The starch prevents the powdered sugar from caking + helps to thicken when making glazes.  Store in a sealed jar.  *Note that using sucanat or coconut sugar will lend a deep, caramel flavor to the recipe.

No-Bake Walnut "Cookie" Bars with Homemade Chocolate [2 ways!] // edible perspective

Enjoy the weekend and hopefully a homemade treat or two!

Ashley

Reader Comments (31)

These sound super tasty! Love this idea!
This look so delicious! And considering my bf just purchased 11 POUNDS of organic walnuts from a farm in CA, this will put them to good use :)
April 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
looks delicious, as always!
These bars look really delicious! Do you think they'd work with peanuts or almonds? I love walnuts but peanuts are a little more college-budget-friendly.
Double yes for these!
ooh these look yummy! and i just happen to have a massive costco bag of walnuts in freezer :-P
April 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermolly yeh
yummy! i have to hit up the fruit stand that sells amazing CA walnuts :)
April 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersonia the mexigarian
Loving all the walnut recipes as I currently have a big bag from Sams Club to go through. Having ingredients on hand already is half the cooking battle for me :/
These look especially good! Oh man, I can't wait to try them! Cookie? Chocolate? I'm in!
April 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoy
ashley, you made your own chocolate! What an awesome, awesome idea! These bars look killer! How do you come up with these recipe, they are genius!
April 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTieghan
This looks like such a delicious way to enjoy walnuts! I love them on their own, but anything "doughy" is amazing :)
April 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea
These look awesome and I'm a walnut fanatic too. I've been making my own chocolate as well, with cocoa butter. I find it holds together better than coconut oil or butter.
April 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn
These look awesome and I'm a walnut fanatic too. I've been making my own chocolate as well, with cocoa butter. I find it holds together better than coconut oil or butter.
April 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn
The photos in this post are stunning! I need to make these bars next week for my boys. I can't have chocolate right now because our baby is allergic, but could easily make your homemade chocolate with carob.

On a side note, which lens did you use to shoot the close-up photos? We are in search of a new camera and lens because we lost ours when traveling two weeks ago and it hasn't surfaced at any of the airport lost and founds. Did you end up upgrading your camera as well from the Canon Rebel XTi?
April 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaria
I love walnuts...and chocolate...and cookies...so this would be right up my alley! :-)
April 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
Oh that chocolaty drizzle on top!! happy weekend, indeed.
April 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
Uhh yess please!! I always wish I had snacks for on the go so Im really excited to try these out! Yum!
April 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulia
These look amazing as always :) Can't wait to try them!
April 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa C
These look delish ... can't wait to make these! Quick question, could melted chocolate/chocolate chips be melted to drizzle on top??
April 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteph
I'm totally bookmarking this recipe. Sounds just delicious. And walnuts are super good for you too! Thanks!
April 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZoe
This recipe looks delicious. My wife and I will make this together. Thank you.
April 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShlomo
This is yummy. I'm making this over the weekend. Can't wait how it turns out.
April 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Brown
Walnut is my favourite. Super tasty and never fail me when I feel depress. Ha!Ha!
April 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeffrey
Yes! Walnuts are so underrated and love this combination with the homemade chocolate drizzle. So good.
April 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn
Yummy!! Ever since you mentioned walnuts (for the the butter) the other day, I've been thinking that I should eat more of them--so I bought a big bag at TJ's this weekend. And now, I officially have everything I need to make these (minus the coconut), which makes me happy :)
yay -- so glad you made these!! love the addition of oatmeal and flax AND especially the chocolate topping.
April 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie
@Lea - I'm not sure how well peanuts or almonds would work because they are harder + less oily than almonds. Let me know if you give it a go!

@Maria - All of the photos on the blog (for over the past year) have been taken with a 50mm f/1.4 lens. I did end up upgrading to a Canon 7d (refurbished) last spring. Love it!!

@Steph - Most definitely!!
April 15, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
These look amazing. Can't wait to try them out!!
Wow, you have outdone yourself with these Ashley -- just made and will be posting them on my blog. Thank you so much!!! :D
May 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBerealyoga
Wow, these are really delicious and really easy to make! Thanks so much!
June 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda Tung

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