Almond Pulp Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

When it comes to buying groceries, I have a few rules: 

  • Quality Matters
  • Try New Things/ Keep Learning
  • Pay a Fair Price
  • Never Waste Anything

Because of said rules, I normally make my own nut milks. Sometimes I opt for hazelnut or cashew, but I usually go with a classic almond milk. Almond milk is super simple to make, you don't have to worry about all of those weird additives in the store-bought varieties (what is "natural flavor," and why is it in my almond milk?!), you save money because all it is is water, some almonds, sweetener, and a pinch of sea salt blended up and strained, and you get a nice, little bonus at the end: almond pulp.

For the longest time, I threw the almond pulp away. What an unbelievable waste. You can make so many things with almond pulp: almond flour ($$$ at the store!) for baking, yummy spreads, facial scrubs, and all kinds of delicious treats.

The original plan for my most recent batch of almond pulp was to make perfect chocolate chip cookies from the almond flour that I would create from the pulp. I've done it before, and it's fantastic... but it takes a bit of time. To make the flour, you have to get rid of the moisture via dehydration or by baking the pulp on low for a long time (3+ hours) before finely grinding it in a food processor. It's not hard, just time consuming (and my boyfriend, Mark, kept asking when I was planning to make the cookies I'd been talking about). So, I decided to try something new, use the pulp as-is, add a bunch of good stuff, and see what happened. Guess what? It totally worked.

Almond Pulp Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Vegan // Makes 16 2x2" Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Packed Almond Pulp
  • 1 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Grade A Organic Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Ground Flaxseed
  • 2 Tablespoons Ground Coffee or Espresso Beans + extra for dusting
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Butter
  • 1/2- 2/3 Cup Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate Chips (I like Equal Exchange Brand) + extra for topping
  • 1.5 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea or Pink Salt
  • Coconut Flakes for dusting

Method:

1. Start by squeezing as much excess moisture out of the almond pulp as possible.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, maple syrup, and ground flaxseed. Let sit for a few minutes. 
3. Preheat oven to 350, and grease or line a 9" square baking dish.
4. In a large bowl, mix together the almond pulp, oats, coffee, cinnamon, and salt. I used my hands, as it is a bit sticky.
5. Add the almond butter and vanilla to the wet mixture, and whisk to combine.
6. Add wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir or hand mix to combine. Fold in chocolate chips. If the cookie dough seems to be falling apart, you can add an extra drizzle of coconut oil or maple syrup. It should resemble the photo below.

7. Add cookie dough to baking dish, pressing the dough down to form an even layer. Top with extra chocolate chips, ground coffee or espresso, and coconut flakes.
8. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the top has become golden brown.
9. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. 
10. Serve with that homemade almond milk that this all started with, and enjoy!