Maple. Chai. Espresso. Dark Chocolate.
Yep, so basically all the most magical flavors coming together in soft, crumbly, moist cross between a blondie and muffin. These bars make an indulgent dessert but are HEALTHY enough for breakfast! And they make the perfect snack ANY time, really. They’re 100% whole grain, refined sugar-free, and made with healthy fats!
The key that takes the yumminess to the next level (even though it’s hard to pick just one thing!) is chai straight from the tea bag. My #1 recommendation is Celestial Teahouse Dirty Chai: The warm blend of black tea and spices is kicked up with a touch of espresso, making for a soul-warming drink and, as I recently discovered, an amazing addition to baked goods. (And no, they aren’t paying me to write this…I just love it that much.) If you can’t get your hands on Dirty Chai, though, use your favorite chai tea and let me know how they turn out!
Just mix together melty almond butter (I use Justin’s Maple Almond Butter), coconut oil, applesauce (which keeps these light, but not so much to take away the dense richness), coconut sugar or natural sweetener, maple syrup, an egg, vanilla extract, and chai. Incorporate that bowl of deliciousness with white whole wheat flour, sea salt, and baking powder, then stir in a butt-load of chocolate chips…
Bake to mouthwatering perfection; cool (even though sometimes I break this rule and dig right in…shhhh!); and slice into bars. Enjoy the whole batch warm from the oven, or finish cooling and freeze any remaining bars for later!
- 6 Tbsp Justin's Maple Almond Butter*
- 3 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup natural stevia blend**
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 Tbsp dry chai tea***
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 90g | 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
- 48g dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- Combine maple almond butter and melted coconut oil in a large mixing bowl. (Instead of melting the coconut oil separately, you can just heat the almond butter/coconut oil in the microwave 10-15 seconds if bowl is microwaveable.)
- With mixture at room temperature, mix in applesauce, sweetener**, egg, maple syrup, vanilla, and chai, until everything is thoroughly combined. Then stir in sea salt, baking powder, and flour until well incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Grease an 8x8 inch pan or line with parchment paper. Pour in batter, and even out with a knife or spatula. (Note it will be pretty thick if any of your ingredients were cold--that's ok!)
- Bake 15-17 minutes, or just until the sides begin to look firm. (Don't over-bake.) Allow to cool about 10 minutes before slicing into 12 bars.
- Enjoy warm from the oven, or finish cooling on a wire rack and store in an air-tight baggy in the freezer. To thaw, heat individual bars in the microwave 20-30 seconds, and (optional) finish off for 1-2 minutes in the toaster oven.
- *I have not tried any other kind/brand of nut butter in this recipe, but I imagine different nut butters would work. The maple almond butter just adds to the maple flavor.
- **1/4 cup stevia blend that measures 1 part = 2 parts sugar, or any equivalent to 1/2 cup sugar (such as 1/2 cup coconut sugar), or a combination of natural sweetener and unrefined sugar. For a super-sweet dessert, you could add a little more; for a slightly sweet breakfast bar, you could reduce this amount.
- ***I highly recommend Celestial Teahouse's Dirty Chai (chai + espresso), straight from the tea bag! The flavor is divine.