I have a coworker with hysterically random and very STRONG food opinions. I find them endlessly entertaining. She forms very adamant opinions about whether she likes or dislikes something before she’s ever tried it, has no qualms about expressing her disgust and hatred of others rave about or are currently eating, and immediately scrunches her nose up at the first mention, sight, or sniff of something she dislikes.
BUT she will try absolutely anything. Even if she thinks the sight/sound/smell of it is disgusting. She completely despises tea but will participate in my annoying game of “smell THIS tea, this is the one that will change your mind!” and happily take a whiff of something she knows she’ll probably detest.
So when she took one look at my first test batch of these homemade almond protein bars, which did not turn out as attractive as the photos in this post, and were slightly squashed in a plastic bag on my desk, she didn’t hesitate to end a conversation with “and THAT looks disgusting!” But, like always, when I followed that up with “they’re homemade protein bars and actually really good, you have to try a bite,” she did and she LOVED them.
She told me they tasted like cookie dough, and was of course extra happy when I told her they’re filled with healthy ingredients.
Approval from a super picky eater is an extra triumph.
Victory is mine.
And so I happily and triumphantly present to you some spectacular homemade almond protein bars. They are SO good. They ARE like cookie dough.
Plus, they’re super filling, light, and healthy, and I’m obsessed.
- 2/3 C cashew butter (or sunflower butter for nut allergies)
- 1 C almond flour
- 1 C vanilla protein powder
- 1/4 C maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 T almond extract
- tiny dash salt
- 2 T semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 T raw sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Blend all ingredients except chocolate and sliced almonds together in a food processor. It will be a very thick paste (the consistency of play dough.)
- Press the dough into the baking dish. Dip your fingers in water so you can spread it out without it sticking to your hands. I also chose to dip the back of a rubber spatula into water to even out the surface and get rid of my finger marks.
- Bake for 12 minutes. Cool completely in baking dish, and then cut into 6 pieces.
- Melt chocolate and drizzle over your protein bars. You can fill a pastry bag with the chocolate to get a pretty even drizzle, or just dip a fork in the melted chocolate and flick it over the top of the protein bars for a messier (and quicker) look.
- Sprinke with sliced almonds while the chocolate is still soft and let them dry.
For nut allergies: These are just as good with sunflower butter as with cashew butter! I think there’s a super slight sunflower seed taste, but a tiny dash of extra almond extract does the trick if you don’t like that.
Store them in a sealed ziploc bag in your cupboard for up to a week, or store in the fridge for two weeks. I stacked the bars between layers of wax paper while the chocolate was still melty and let them dry that way overnight in a bag. Easy 🙂
I suspect these protein bars are the new breakfast truffle. Prepare to see some more varieties… 😉