Good Eats and Sweet Treats from My Small Boston Kitchen

Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Woof! More than two months since my last post. That has got to be a record, and not one I’m proud to set. I could give you all sorts of excuses, but instead I’ll just say, I’m glad to be back! I think intermittent blogging might just be my jam now, what with the launch of Serendipity Lettering, and the fact that I work in events and travel more than 30% of the year, but that’s better than no blogging, right? Right.

Since I went on my elimination diet, I stopped baking a lot. It just wasn’t quite as enjoyable to me – GF and vegan concoctions are not like the real thing – and it was hard for me to get excited. After more than 3 months on my diet, I wasn’t feeling better, so I decided to start adding back some gluten and dairy items – in moderation – and these bars were the first thing I baked. I still don’t feel a lot better, so I’m trying now to take chemicals out of my lifestyle – food (trying to eliminate a lot of processed foods, as well as buying more organic fruits and veggies and grass fed/cage free meat), personal care products (shampoo/conditioner, body wash, makeup, etc.) and household cleaning products. I’ve tried everything else with no relief, so hoping that this next effort will make a difference! Have any of you ever battled undiagnosed stomach/digestive problems? Any tips or tricks that I might not have tried?

Healthier Chocolate Chip Bars - Sweetly Serendipity

At any rate, while I still try to battle through my health stuff, I’m letting myself add back in a little bit of gluten and dairy, just trying to stick to organic, minimally processed ingredients. It’s definitely a challenge, and a lot more expensive, but hoping that the investment in my health is worth it!

Healthier Chocolate Chip Bars - Sweetly Serendipity

These bars – originally from Half Baked Harvest – are a little bit less guilt-laden than many of the recipes of my past, but they were a real treat for me after eliminating baked goods for several months! I did use vegan butter here (Earth Balance) but otherwise kept to a pretty typical brownie batter, and they turned out great.

Healthier Chocolate Chip Bars - Sweetly Serendipity

Because they use wheat flour, I think they have a greater tendency to dry out faster, so if you give these a try, definitely be careful not to overbake them! I used a mix of dark and white chocolate chips because I was feeling indecisive, but they’d probably be great with whatever your favorite type of chocolate chip is. Maybe even peanut butter chips?!

I’m psyched to be back here writing in this space, and look forward to checking in again soon 🙂

Healthier Chocolate Chip Bars - Sweetly Serendipity

Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars


  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar (can substitute granulated sugar)
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips (or a mix of dark and white)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the butter and coconut sugar, and beat until light and fluffy. Add the almond butter, and continue beating until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat again until completely combined. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, salt, and beat once again until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated. If the dough seems dry, add a tablespoon of water. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Spread the batter in your prepared baking pan. Bake in your preheated oven for 17-19 minutes, until just set in the center. The bars may not look completely cooked, but that's okay! Be especially careful not to overbake.

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