These cherry chocolate chip bars are made with wholesome ingredients and are vegan friendly, as well as refined sugar free and gluten free. Perfect and simple dessert to make and share all summer long!
When I was little, my grandma would buy those boxes of Queen Anne cordial cherries each year around Christmas time. I wasn’t really a fan, but she would savor each little chocolate covered cherry, pretty sparingly too, one here..two there, until the box was finished. For the longest time I wasn’t a fan of cherries. Probably because I had never tasted a fresh one, only cherry cough syrup, maraschino cherries, those packaged cherry hand pies at the gas station, and grandma’s cordial cherries.
I wasn’t the most cultured child, haha! 🙈
So imagine my surprise when I tasted a real, fresh cherry for the first time. What I want to know is how and why they make cherry flavored foods so disgusting if real cherries are so delicious?? 🤔
Sometimes I’ll go down an aisle at the store and see those little red boxes of cordial cherries and smile. Chocolate-cherry combos will always remind me of my sweet grandma. And I actually do like the flavor combo, as long as it’s made with fresh cherries.. not artificially dyed cherries soaked in a sickeningly sweet syrup. 😝
These bars have pockets of melty chocolate and chunks of sweet cherries with a cookie dough-like center. They’re also vegan friendly, refined sugar free, and gluten-free too! I hope you give these a try and enjoy them as much as we did!
- 2 cups finely ground almond flour (I used blanched almond flour, but almond meal should also work)
- ½ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch/powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup pure maple syrup or coconut nectar
- 4–6 tablespoons water, just enough to make a soft dough
- 3 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil (use refined coconut oil for less coconut flavor)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾–1 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, use more or less to taste (I used dark chocolate)
- 1 cup pitted fresh or frozen cherries, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line an 8x8" pan with parchment paper or lightly grease and set aside. Blend together dry ingredients—flour, arrowroot, baking soda, and salt. Add maple syrup, water, coconut oil, and vanilla, mixing just until combined. Dough should be moist and malleable, like a soft cookie dough. If dough is dry, add an extra 1–2 tablespoons of water until it comes together. Stir in chocolate and pitted cherries.
- Press dough evenly into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or just until edges begin to brown. Center will be a little soft, but will firm up as it cools.