These delicious vegan peanut butter chocolate chip cookie bars are sweet, nutty and super easy to make! Can be Top 8 Allergen Free.
Cookie bars are fun because they have all the best parts about a cookie but without the hassle of rolling each cookie out individually. These vegan peanut butter chocolate cookie cookie bars are divine!
I mean these vegan cookie bars need just one bowl, minutes to prep and bake, are freezable and they only thing you will be wondering is what in the world you haven’t made them yet.
Seriously, run to the kitchen, grab the 12 ingredients that you need and make these ASAP!
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Frequently Asked Questions on how to make the best vegan peanut butter chocolate chip cookie bars:
Can I make these Top 8 Allergen Free?
Whether you have a gluten allergy or dairy or another Top 8, you will be happy to know that you can make these completely free of top allergens.
For the vegan butter, we would recommend using a soy free vegan butter, like Earth Balance soy free in the red tub
For gluten free, we have had the best of luck with King Arthur Measure for Measure flour.
Can I make any substitutions?
Besides the substitutions above for making Top 8 Allergen free, we are frequently asked if you can make them without vegan butter or swap out the sugar for a healthy sugar source.
The answer is yes, but. Yes, you can, but the taste and texture is obviously going to differ once you start making any changes.
For the butter you could make these with more applesauce by replacing in the same amount; however, this will lead to a denser bar.
For the sugar, we would recommend just replacing with a coconut sugar versus something else.
Can I prep these ahead?
Yes! Let cool completely and then leave in an air tight container on the counter for up to 5 days.
Can I freeze the dough?
Of course. Whether you want to eat the entire batch at one time or you just need a couple here and there, you can totally roll out what you need and then freeze the remaining batter in an air tight freezer container or bag
Can I refrigerate the dough until ready to use?
Absolutely! While chilling dough isn’t needed for this recipe, if you wanted to make the dough ahead, but not ready to make, just cover the bowl and place in the fridge up to a week.
It does take chilled cookie dough longer to cook so check after the recommended baking time and you may need an additional few minutes to finish your cookie bars.
What is vegan sugar?
In the United States, most sugar has been processed through bone char. While there are no animal parts left in the sugar, many vegans are not okay with the practice of using animal parts in the refining process.
This refers to white sugar, brown sugar, and powdered sugar.
One easy way to ensure that your sugar has not been processed with bone char is to look for Organic or Non-Gmo sugars as bone char is not allowed with either of these.
Some sugar packages also say bone char free.
This is not the case in most other countries.
What makes these vegan chocolate chip cookie bars easy?
First, if you are newly vegan and looking for something that reminds you of traditional chocolate chip cookie bars without sacrificing anything in texture or taste, then this is the easiest recipe you are going to find.
Also, it’s only made in one bowl, there’s only 12 ingredients, and you don’t need to chill the dough before using, which means you can have cookie bars with just 10 minutes of prep time and then wait for the cooking.
Are vegan peanut butter chocolate chip cookie bars healthy?
When you eat a cookie like this, you release serotonin which is always a healthy thing to have happen.
This recipe does contain vegan butter and vegan sugar; however both of those could be replaced with substitutions like applesauce and coconut sugar to make healthier, although the taste and texture would differ.
Can I eat this cookie dough?
Many people believe that since there’s no eggs in the dough, that they could just eat the dough; however, flour is actually more a risk for salmonella poisoning than eggs.
For that reason, we do not recommend eating this dough.
However, we do have an edible vegan chocolate chip cookie dough that you can eat. As well as a gluten free edible vegan chocolate chip cookie dough.
Are chocolate chips vegan?
Traditionally, milk chocolate chips are not vegan; however, many dark chocolate chips can be vegan.
The main ingredient that makes a cookie not vegan is either milk or whey (whey powder). If those ingredients are not included in the ingredient list, then the chocolate chips are likely vegan.
You could also make your own vegan chocolate chips by following a homemade chocolate recipe and then piping chips instead.
Where do you find vegan chocolate chips?
If you are looking to just find vegan chocolate chips in the store, then you can absolutely find them. They are actually getting easier and easier.
One of our favorites is Enjoy Life, and they can be found in most grocery stores, Target, Walmart, and stores like Whole Foods and natural grocery stores. They are Top 8 Allergen Free and do not contain and dairy or eggs making them completely vegan.
Stores like Whole Foods will also have a large variety of other vegan chocolate chips like Lilys or Chatfields.
What are your favorite vegan chocolate chips?
We have a tendency to just stick with Enjoy Life. They are easiest to find and they taste almost indistinguishable from traditional chips.
However, if we found a good dark chocolate bar that we like, for example Aldi’s 70% cacao bars, then sometimes we use those too.
Tips on how to make the best vegan chocolate chip cookie bars recipe:
We list a ton of tips above and highly recommend that you read each one if before you cook your cookie bars; however, if you want the short version here’s some easy tips on making the best vegan peanut butter chocolate chip cookie bars recipe.
- Preheat the oven before you start making your dough
- Don’t make substitutions unless you are aware of the changes it will make to your cookie bars
- Watch your cookie bars in the oven as all oven temperatures are different you may need to pull out your cookies earlier or leave longer
What are other awesome vegan cookie ideas that I should make?
Whether you are doing a cookie exchange or you just want to switch up and make a new vegan cookie recipe, we have you covered.
We have over a dozen vegan cookie recipes that you can find when you click on our best vegan cookie recipes roundup.
We have everything from the salted caramel cookies you see above, as well as things like:
- vegan snickerdoodles
- vegan classic sugar cookies
- vegan peanut butter cookies
- vegan oatmeal cookies
- and more!
Just click here.
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Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- 1 cup vegan butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup vegan light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup vegan cane sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 cups vegan chocolate chips (we like a combination of chips and chunks)
- 2/3 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- extra chocolate chips and peanuts for topping, OPTIONAL
- Preheat oven to 350˚F (177˚C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
- In a bowl, add softened vegan butter and both sugars. Beat with a mixer (stand or hand) until light and creamy about 2 -3 mins.
- Add apple sauce and vanilla extract and beat them until combined (about 15 – 20 seconds).
- To the same bowl, add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix until combined. *Do not overmix.
- Add in chocolate chips and peanuts. Use a spatula to fold the chips in.
- Spread 1/2 the dough out into the prepared dish. Place dollops of the peanut butter across and gently swirl into the dough. Add remaining dough on top (okay if dough doesn't fully cover the peanut butter).
- Optional: Add more peanuts and chocolate chips on top if desired.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes, just until the center is set.
- Remove from oven and let rest about 15 – 20 mins to set. Cut into bars.
- Store any leftovers in an air tight container.
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