Vegan S’mores Bars

Welcome to Drool City. Population: anyone who ever so much as glanced at the tiny slices of heaven that are these Vegan S’mores Bars.

Believe me. Since making these bars this morning, I’ve made many trips into the kitchen, gazing longingly at the container that they are in, and then distracting myself with other things (grocery shopping, working out) so as not to cave in to my deepest dessert desires before I’ve eaten a healthy dinner. It’s been a day filled with forlorn sighs, especially during the photoshoot. Okay, a wayward marshmallow and a few crumbs might have made their way into mah belly in the process, but I mean… I’m a human. If you can resist these bars, there’s a good chance that you’re part cyborg or something.

A couple of factors coalesced into the perfect storm that motivated me to create this recipe. The first was that I looked into my pantry the other day and realized that I had a package of marshmallows and a box of organic graham crackers nearing their best before date. The second was that my coworkers had been enjoying a non-vegan store-bought s’mores bar this past week, and while I wasn’t tempted to try it, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t start craving s’mores by the time the week was out.

S’mores were always my favourite dessert growing up, but I wanted to create something a little more portable for the purposes of this dessert (because you never know when a s’mores craving will strike, and you might also want to endow your friends/coworkers/coach/partner with a container brimming with s’mores bars sometime in the near future).

But THESE S’MORES BARS. Where do I even begin? With their lightly sweet, oat flour and coconut sugar-based crust and vegan marshmallow and dark chocolate filling, they are an absolute dream. The crust is basically a cookie crust, with the addition of some crushed graham crackers, and comes together in a flash, requiring just a few vegan pantry staples: oat flour, coconut oil, coconut sugar, almond butter, vanilla extract, baking powder, salt, and graham crackers. It’s the only part of the recipe you need to make from scratch, as the filling is simply Dandies vegan marshmallows and chopped dark chocolate. While they bake into gooey, melty deliciousness, you can turn up some tunes and have a fist-pumping kitchen dance party to work up your appetite. Or you can gaze into the oven for 25 agonizing minutes. I alternated between the two.

I would say that the hardest step in the process is waiting for these babies to cool down enough to slice. I let mine sit in the pan at room temperature for 2 hours before lifting them out and slicing. If you can’t wait that long, you could try slicing them after just 1 hour.

These bars are sweet without being over the top, and are best enjoyed with a large glass of plant milk, like almond or hemp.

With their buttery-tasting crust and gooey marshallow and melty chocolate interiors, they are proof that the universe loves us and wants us to be happy. I mean, one bite, and you just might start singing,

“Heaven, I’m in heaven, 
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak
And I seem to find the happiness I seek
When we’re out together dancing, cheek to cheek”
When I’m in my kitchen eating vegan s’mores”

My dinky iPhone camera doesn’t do these bars justice, but just know that you must put these on your list of things to make ASAP!

Vegan S’mores Bars

Healthy-ish s’mores bars that are easy to make and vegan, too! A coconut sugar-oat flour cookie crust enrobes layers of marshmallows and chocolate, creating a portable version of that quintessential campfire favourite. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Keyword: S’mores, S’mores Bars, Vegan Dessert
Servings: 12 bars

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 3 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 12 crushed graham crackers (organic if possible)
  • 1-100 gram dark chocolate bar, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan marshmallows

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, cream together coconut oil and almond butter with a whisk or an electric mixer. Add coconut sugar, flax, almond milk, and vanilla and mix again to incorporate. 
  • In a medium bowl, stir together oat flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the crushed graham crackers. 
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. 
  • Preheat oven to 350 F and line a 8 inch by 8 inch square baking dish with parchment paper, leaving some overhang around the edges to allow you to easily lift the bar out. Divide the dough in half. Press half of the dough into the parchment paper-lined baking dish and carefully lift out. This will be your top layer. Set aside until ready to use. Line the pan with another sheet of parchment paper and press in the second half of the dough, pressing outward with your fingers to create a nice even layer. Top the dough with the chopped dark chocolate and marshmallows. To add the top layer of dough, carefully lift it and flip it over on top of the marshmallow layer. Gently press it down. 
  • Bake for 25 minutes. Let it cool for at least an hour, preferably 2 hours, before slicing into 12 squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator to extend shelf life. 

Notes

Recipe inspired by Pinch of Yum

Did you make this recipe? Tag @holisticallie on Instagram and hashtag it #holisticallie.

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Vegan Chocolate Chip, Pecan, and Cranberry Cookies

Rich chocolate. Buttery pecans. Chewy cranberries. The perfect trifecta, yes?

When life hands you these three ingredients, there is only one thing to do: You make cookies.

And not just any cookies. Rich, chewy, buttery-tasting vegan cookies that are actually good for you.

Yes, my friends. The universe loves us and wants us to be happy.

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I have a gigantic sweet tooth that requires nourishment every day. While I do my best to enjoy desserts that are made with whole foods, I also think that treats are one of life’s simple pleasures. Why should we deny ourselves the joy that comes along with savouring something sweet with people we love?

I think that there is a lot of unnecessary guilt and shame wrapped up in people’s dietary choices, and it doesn’t have to be so. My food philosophy continues to evolve as I move away from years of restriction and obsession with a particular way of eating, but for now, Michael Pollan’s adage, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants,” continues to resonate quite strongly with me.

I enjoy a wide variety of foods. I eat vegan 95% of the time, with the odd organic egg or goat/sheep dairy thrown in when I’m craving it. I believe that ethics, the environment, and macronutrient balance are important considerations to make in our food choices, but I believe just as strongly that eating socially and for pleasure are important variables of the equation– variables that are often left out of the discussion about nutrition. You can eat what on paper appears to be the healthiest food in the world, but if you’re not enjoying it–if your soul isn’t being nourished by your food and the people you are eating with–you probably won’t enjoy radiant health.

If you are already eating a diet based on plants and whole foods to begin with, you definitely have plenty of wiggle room to enjoy something sweet at the end of the day, if that is what makes you feel good- no guilt required!

And on that note, let’s bake cookies!

These cookies have a lot going for them. They’re:

Vegan
Crisp on the outside and perfectly tender on the inside
Buttery-tasting
Made with spelt flour
Perfect for dunking into a tall glass of almond milk

These are my new go-to when I’m in the mood for a quick and easy treat. I think they’ll become one of your favourites, too!

And, if you love sweet treats as much as I do, check out these recipes:

Oat Fudge Bars
Peanut Butter Cup Muffins
Cranberry Swirl Loaf
No-Churn Chocolate Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream
Chocolate Chunk Cashew Butter Blondies
Fabulous Fudge Pie

As always, if you make this recipe, tag #holisticallie and @holisticallie on Instagram!

Vegan Chocolate Chip, Pecan, and Cranberry Cookies

Chocolate chips, pecans, and cranberries combine into one drool-worthy cookie! Tender on the inside, crisp around the outside, and buttery-tasting, these are sure to become your new favourite treat. Best enjoyed with a glass of almond milk or coffee. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: Cookies, Vegan
Servings: 10 large cookies
Author: Allison

Ingredients

  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 2.5 tbsp water)
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup raw cane sugar
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup light/white spelt flour*
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Prepare the flax egg in a small bowl and set it aside to thicken. 
  • In a large bowl, cream together the coconut oil and almond butter with an electric mixer. Alternatively, you can whisk it by hand. 
  • Add the flax egg, brown sugar, raw cane sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to the coconut oil/almond butter mixture and mix to incorporate. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and rolled oats. 
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix, either with an electric mixer or a wooden spoon. 
  • Chop the pecan halves. Add the chocolate, chopped pecans, and dried cranberries to the cookie dough and stir to incorporate. The dough should be soft but workable. You should be able to roll it into balls without it sticking to your fingers. If the dough seems too wet, add a couple more tablespoons of flour. If it seems too dry, add almond milk or water, a tablespoon at a time, until the proper consistency is achieved. 
  • Roll dough into 10 equal balls for large cookies or 15 equal balls for smaller cookies and place on the baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. 
  • Bake for 12-18 minutes. Baking time will vary depending on the size of your cookies, whether you like your cookies soft and chewy or crispy, and the type of baking sheet that you use (I use a stone pan from Pampered Chef, so my cookies take a bit longer to bake). 

Notes

*I prefer light spelt flour to whole spelt flour in dessert recipes because it is lighter and more closely resembles all purpose flour. I purchase it in the bulk bin at my local health food store. If you are unable to find it, you can use whole spelt flour in a pinch! 

Enjoy these cookies to the fullest. Let’s meet back here on Saturday, when I’ll be starting a new weekly post series called Slow Rise Saturdays. Each post will feature a drink recipe and a roundup of interesting articles for you to savour on your weekend mornings. I can’t wait!