Last week we were in Seattle for a friend’s wedding, and decided to turn it into a 6-day Pacific Northwest vacation/babymoon. (Side note: have I mentioned Lars has the BEST grandparents in the world?!)
We pretty much packed those 6 days full, from heading straight to Mt. Rainier from the airport, to making sure we ate at some of our favorite local eateries while we could.
The things that I miss most when traveling are Lars if he’s not with us, Maddie, and being in the kitchen. Luckily, we had an Airbnb for a couple of nights during our trip, so we did some cooking which was a nice change of pace to the eating out. I even did some baking and made chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches. But there’s something about being in my own kitchen, as small and minimal as it is, and whipping up a meal or a pan of brownies.
So the day after we got back, I wasted no time and got right back to it. My first order of business was a loaf of pumpkin zucchini bread because oh man, SO much zucchini from my garden! Second, I made these Cream Cheese Swirled Almond Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Bars. That’s a mouthful, isn’t it?!
They are a literal mouthful too, as these are super dense and rich. Even as someone who really never thinks something is too sweet or too rich, a tiny bar definitely did the trick in satisfying my sweet tooth.
Since I developed this recipe for GO VEGGIE using their Plain Cream Cheese, I wanted to keep the entire bar lactose free and vegan, along withThis meant finding a substitute for eggs and butter. I came up with these almond butter oatmeal bars that were even better than I could have imagined. Like I said, they are really dense and almost fudge-like. They kind of remind me of cookie dough, actually. If you’re a fan of peanut butter, you could definitely use peanut butter instead of almond butter!
My favorite part about these bars was the cream cheese swirl. It’s only cream cheese and a tablespoon of sugar, keeping it lighter and not too sweet, which was a great complement to the bar. I loved the bites with a big dollop of cream cheese swirl the best!
These have been my nightly treat since we got back and I’m already getting sad thinking of them being gone. They would also be great as an after school or lunchtime snack for kids!
One last note: they have kept really well in the refrigerator in an air-tight container, so I would recommend storing them in the fridge instead of on a counter.
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 cup natural almond butter
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips/chunks
- 4 ounces GO VEGGIE Plain Cream Cheese
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line an 8x8" baking dish with foil or parchment paper. If using foil, grease with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl with electric mixer, beat together coconut sugar, almond butter, and vanilla for 1 minute, until well combined.
- Add flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and almond milk, and beat until combined.
- Fold in chocolate chunks.
- Spread into prepared pan.
- In a separate bowl with electric mixer, beat cream cheese, coconut sugar, and vanilla until well combined.
- Dollop over bars and swirl with a butter knife.
- Bake in preheated oven for 23-25 minutes, or until edges are golden and toothpick comes out of the center clean.
- Cool completely. Cut and enjoy!
This post is sponsored by GO VEGGIE, but all opinions and recipe are my own!