[Who doesn’t love cookie dough? To me, the dough is almost better than the cookies. These bars provide all the joy of raw Chocolate Chip Cookie dough without any of the drawbacks! Plus, they’re vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free and yeast-free. Suitable for Stage 3 and beyond on an anti-candida diet.]
One of the places I love to spend time is on Instagram (do you follow me there? C’mon over!).
From within the sea of social media influencers, I’ve found a handful that are exceptionally inspiring. One of those is Anthea Cheng, pastry chef and creative force behind Rainbow Nourishments.
If you take a peek at Anthea’s Instagram page, you may just find yourself enchanted by the kaleidoscope of vibrant colors and textures in her raw food creations. So many of them are, quite literally, works of art. You might even find yourself so mesmerized that you can browse for hours (ahem, not that I’d know anything about that).
But even more impressive is that Anthea makes all of her goodies from real, raw food ingredients that are good for you!
From the book’s opening pages about Anthea’s own journey to a whole foods, vegan diet; to the list of tools, appliances and ingredients you’ll need (even including how to accommodate people with food allergies!); and through chapters on Breakfasts; Snacks (including balls, cookies and bars); Cafe-Style Treats (including cupcakes, donuts, tarts, pies and cakes); Celebrations (gorgeous cakes and a show-stopping trifle!); and ending with Basic Condiments and Frostings–every page will draw you in with the spectacular textures, colors and awe-inspiring decorations, so often evocative of masterful watercolor paintings.
Incredible Plant-Based Desserts is truly one of those books you’ll want to browse through just to admire the photos, they’re that stunning. And even though the book isn’t intended to be candida-diet friendly, many of the recipes are suitable for maintenance (and I’d be happy baking for friends!). It would also make a beautiful gift to anyone who consumes, or is interested in, a plant-based, whole-foods diet.
On my list of recipes to try (with ACD-friendly adaptations) are the Notella Breakfast Bowl; Apple and Blueberry Pie Baked Oats; Cherry Coconut Balls; Wholesome Crispy Rice Rocky Road Bars; Chocolate Cupcakes with Rainbow Cashew Buttercream; Berry and Lemon Cheesecakes; Unbaked Notella Cheesecake (holy YUM); or the Customizable Classic Baked Vanilla or Chocolate Cakes. Virtually every one of the frostings and sauces (such as Chocolate Ganache) looks incredible, too!
After much perusing and a fair degree of drooling, I finally settled on the Cookie Dough Bars to share with you all, since they are so easily made candida diet-friendly (see my substitutions in the recipe).
These ended up being just as irresistible as they look, with a thick, rich chocolate ganache frosting and gooey, chocolate-studded cookie dough base. We loved them.
These bars would be perfect on your holiday table this year. Or just purchase your own copy of Anthea’s book here, and try out as many recipes as you like from this sumptuous, stunning book.
Cookie Dough Bars from Incredible Plant-Based Desserts by Anthea Cheng
For the cookie dough base:
1 cup (120g) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 heaped cup (approximately 220g) of cooked chickpeas (or just use the drained chickpeas from a 16oz/400 ml can)
3/4 cup (190g) cashew butter
1/4 cup (100g) maple or rice malt syrup, or any other plant-based liquid sweetener [I used half yacon syrup and half vegetable glycerin, plus about 20 drops pure liquid stevia; you could also use coconut nectar, if allowed]
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract or vanilla bean powder
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) fine sea salt
Plant-based milk or water, as needed
1 cup (100g) roughly chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
For the chocolate ganache:
Make the cookie dough: Line a large loaf tin with baking paper ensuring the paper comes up the sides. I used an 11 × 5-inch (28 × 13 cm) tin, but any cake tin or container will do.
Add the rolled oats to a food processor and process for 3 minutes, or until it forms fine crumbs. Add the chickpeas, cashew butter, syrup, vanilla, and salt, and process until it forms a paste. If the mixture is dry, add a little plant-based milk or water. Process until it forms a fudgy consistency. Remove the blade from the food processor and mix in the chocolate until evenly distributed.
Scoop the mixture into the tin and press down to make sure there are no gaps. Smooth the top with a spatula or cake scraper. Set aside.
Make the chocolate ganache: Add the chocolate and coconut cream to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally to ensure the chocolate melts evenly. Reduce the heat to low if the ganache starts to bubble. Stir thoroughly or use a stick blender to fully emulsify. The mixture should be extremely smooth and there should not be any lumps of chocolate, cream, or oil streaks.
While the ganache is warm, pour it onto the cookie dough making sure it is flat. Set it aside in the fridge for 4 hours, or until set.
Remove from the fridge and pull on the sides of the baking paper to remove. Cut with a sharp knife. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for a few hours, in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month. Makes 10 very large bars, 16 more reasonably-sized bars, or 30 bite-sized pieces.
Suitable for: ACD Stage 3 and beyond; refined sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, yeast-free, vegan.
Disclosure: Links in this post may be affiliate links. If you choose to purchase using those links, at no cost to you, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.
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