These no bake cookie dough bars are packed with chocolate chips and dried tart cherries. A wholesome snack that tastes as decadent as cookie dough!
Who doesn’t love a good finger swipe through the bowl of cookie dough batter once they’ve all been scooped out onto the baking tray?
It’s basically a childhood rite of passage and it’s hard to think of a more delicious or fonder memory than that growing up, isn’t it?
*This post is sponsored by Montmorency Tart Cherries. All content and opinions are my own.
I’ve never really given much credence to the raw egg thing when it comes to eating cookie dough straight from the bowl but I know that’s an incredibly touchy subject so today’s recipe for cookie dough bars is one you can enjoy without any worry about raw eggs.
Just like the batter for these chickpea blondies, another delicious cookie dough-esque recipe!
These no bake cookie dough bars are packed with chocolate chips and dried Montmorency tart cherries.
If you thought chocolate chip cookie dough was good, just wait until you taste it combined with the sweet, tart pop of the dried cherries.
It’s a bit like Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia just in cookie dough form instead of ice cream!
I went through a phase back in 2011-2012 with cookie dough balls as I think every healthy living blogger under the sun was making them in all sorts of flavor concoctions.
From Butterfinger dough balls to these peanut butter chocolate chip balls (these are actually one of the most popular recipes on this site!) back in the day to these more recent apple cinnamon cookie bites, I have an alarming number of snacks in the shape of balls/bites on here.
These chocolate chip tart cherry cookie dough bars are actually based off my chocolate chip coconut dough balls from back then.
The main difference being this version is shaped into bars and with the added fun of the dried tart cherries.
I always love the combination of chocolate and cherry, it’s classic and delicious!
How To Make Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars with Montmorency Tart Cherries
Since these cookie dough bars don’t require any baking, the only equipment you need is a food processor.
Instead of a traditional cookie dough base of flour, sugar and butter, this wholesome and healthier cookie dough recipe uses:
- coconut flour
Those ingredients get processed until they form a course meal consistency along with some salt. Then you add:
- maple syrup
- coconut oil
and those get processed until the batter becomes sticky and holds together firmly when pressed between your fingers. Basically, the consistency of cookie dough!
The chocolate chips and dried tart cherries can either be mixed into the cookie dough batter with your hands or a sturdy spatula.
The mixture is then pressed into a baking dish and chilled for a bit before cutting into bars (or whatever shape you like).
You can wrap the cookie dough bars individually for easy snacking or keep them all together in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
What Makes These Cookie Dough Bars Healthier and Wholesome?
Traditional cookie dough bars will have up to a cup of butter, sugar, flour and sometimes even sweetened condensed milk in them.
They’re delicious but definitely an indulgent treat!
These tart cherry cookie dough bars are more nutritious with plain cashews, rolled oats and coconut flour.
Banana and maple syrup is used as the sweetener and unlike a classic cookie dough bar recipe, these are gluten-free and vegan too.
I love the versatility the better-for-you ingredient list of this no bake chocolate chip cookie dough brings as to when it’s “appropriate” to eat one.
They’re indulgent enough for a treat after dinner but they’re also a great pre or post-workout snack or, just a little afternoon pick me up if you need one of those around 3pm everyday like I do.
If you want to try more cookie dough recipes like this one, these healthy cookie dough bites use almond pulp or almond flour as the base (great if you have leftover almond pulp from making homemade almond milk).
And, these pumpkin cookie dough bites are very similar but with a fun fall spin! Both cookie dough recipes are also vegan and gluten-free!
The addition of Montmorency tart cherries brings even more goodness to these chocolate chip dough bars.
Research suggests Montmorency tart cherries may help you recover after intense exercise.
Other studies have examined the impact of Montmorency tart cherries on heart health, sleep (something I’m struggling with majorly lately – ugh) and inflammation.
The distinctive taste and deep red color of Montmorency tart cherries is due to the concentration of anthocyanins.
They have a sweet-tart taste that is as unique as the fruit itself, one that must be discovered for yourself in order to describe it!
It’s a delicious combination you can also try in this sour cherry crisp. Sour and tart are used synonymously to describe this type of cherry.
I left the bars unadorned to truly resemble edible cookie dough but feel free to drizzle some melted chocolate on top for an even more decadent version.
White chocolate would be pretty against the chocolate chips and deep red of the dried tart cherries too if you like it (I personally despise white chocolate).
No matter which approach you take, this better-for-you spin on a cookie dough bar will be one everyone loves!
If you love these chocolate chip tart cherry cookie dough bars, try one of these recipes too:
Cookie Dough Bars with Chocolate Chips and Tart Cherries
- 1 cup plain cashews
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- pinch kosher salt
- 1/4 medium ripe medium banana
- 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup dried Montmorency cherries
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips *see note
- Line 6×9 inch (or similar size) baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Combine cashews, oats, coconut flour and salt in a food processor and process until a course meal consistency.
- Add the banana, 3 tablespoons of the maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla. Process until fully combined and mixture comes together with a sticky consistency (it should hold together firmly when pressed between your fingers). Add remaining tablespoon of maple syrup if extra moisture is needed.
- Turn the dough out into a medium bowl. Add the dried tart cherries and chocolate chips and fold in with a spatula or using your hands to combine.
- Press the mixture evenly into the baking dish making sure to spread into the corners.
- Place the baking dish in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to chill.
- Remove the cookie dough from the baking dish by lifting the sides of the parchment paper.
- Cut into 8 squares or other desired shape.
- Keep refrigerated.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.