‘Tis the season for cookie dough!
My wife and I recently made Christmas cookies, and I forgot just how amazing cookie dough is. Sure, technically you’re not supposed to eat it because you can get sick, but I still believe that’s a myth.
Like when your parents used to tell you that your face would get stuck like that if you crossed your eyes.
While you truly can’t substitute real-deal cookie dough, we can get pretty darn close here.
I’ve got a few other cookie dough related recipes here on my blog, but these are a bit different.
While the brownie cookie dough sandwiches uses more of a scoopable dough, this cookie dough is thick enough to form into bars.
Plus, it tastes just like your favorite sugar cookie.
The main ingredients
This is a simple no-bake recipe, so substitutions are much easier to make than in most recipes.
In most cases, you have to be very careful not to use the wrong type of protein because it may bake completely differently, but you don’t need to worry about that here!
But of course, there are ingredients I recommend you use, so allow me to break them down for you.
Whey/Casein Protein Powder
If you’ve made any of my other recent recipes, you know I’ve been all about the whey/casein blend of protein powder (PEScience, to be exact).
I have nothing against whey protein, but the addition of casein helps the consistent so much.
To simplify, casein is much thicker than whey.
If you were to take 2 bowls and add whey protein to one and casein to the other, then mix in water, you’d see exactly what I mean. Casein turns into a thick pudding, and whey turns into a weird sticky mess. They have very different properties!
That being said, whey protein should work in this recipe, but the whey/casein blend is recommended!
The photo above is from my edible cookie dough recipe, which uses a whey protein! So I can assure you that it will work.
But notice how in that photo one of them looks horrendous? That’s actually the same exact recipe, but with the dough in the front, I added the whey protein FIRST. In the recipe in the back (the one I went with, obviously) I added the whey LAST.
Huge, huge difference. Now, I always recommend adding your protein powder at the very end, and that’s no exception here.
*Note: You can use a vegan protein powder if you prefer! Check the recipe notes in the recipe card below on how to adjust the recipe (it’s a tiny change)
I use oat flour as the main ingredient here for a few reasons.
- It’s completely safe to eat raw and you don’t need to worry about heating it up like raw wheat flour.
- It’s safe for anyone eating gluten-free.
- It tastes the best!
Oat flour is almost always my go-to when baking is not required. You can’t just swap regular flour for oat flour when baking, because they react compeltely differently. But when we’re dealing with no-bake, oat flour is the way to go!
Let’s just say it like it is: coconut flour is disgusting.
In fact, coconut everything is disgusting.
But coconut flour is a truly magical ingredient. It is VERY absorbent, so a little bit goes a long way, and it’s a fantastic thickener. It’s the secret weapon in this recipe to turn the cookie dough into something you can actually form.
Once you let these sit in the fridge for a few hours, you can’t even taste the coconut flour at all. Take it from someone who hates that flavor!
I did try a version of these with almond flour instead of coconut flour, and it worked pretty well. But for some reason, I did not enjoy the flavor as much! Feel free to use either, though.
I never know what to call this stuff. Butter spread? Buttery spread? Light butter? Oil Spread?
Whatever you call it, I used Country Crock. It’s a “buttery spread” made with oil instead of milk, so plant-based eaters can use it as well.
The reason I use it in recipes is that it is half the calories of typical butter or oil. Regular butter will give you 100 calories per tablespoon, where this spread will only be 50 calories per tablespoon.
Rest assured, any time a recipe calls for this stuff, regular butter works just as well! Sometimes even better.
Forming the bars
These bars are really as simple as mixing everything together and forming!
However, the order you add everything is important. If you just throw everything in a bowl and mix, it won’t come together the same way.
- Mix up the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract.
- Add all your dry ingredients except for the protein powder.
- Add your protein powder and tablespoon of milk, then mix it up until it becomes a dough.
When it comes to forming the bars, I just did it completely by hand. As you can see here, they’re far from perfect, but that’s totally okay to me!
If you want your no-bake sugar cookie bars to be more uniform, you can add the dough to a rectangular dish or loaf pan, then cut out the shapes. Or if you have a bar mold, even better!
Note: the recipe only makes 3 bars- the 6 pictured here are because I tested a vegan batch as well. More on vegan substitutions in the recipe below!
If cookies are more your style, you can form these into cookies instead of bars!
Following the same recipe, separate the dough into 6 roughly equal-sized pieces, then use your hands to form ’em into cookie shapes! You can stick with 3 if you want larger cookies.
Get your cookie dough fix
I know you love cookie dough. You are certainly in the right place! Check out these other recipes of mine…
- Brownie Cookie Dough Sandwiches
- Protein Cookie Dough Parfait
- Protein Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- Cinnamon Roll Protein Sugar Cookies
- 30g Oat Flour
- 10g Coconut Flour
- 30g (1 Scoop) Vanilla Protein Powder- See notes below
- 35g Granular Sugar Substitute
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tbsp Milk of Choice
- 28g Buttery Spread (Light Butter)
- 8g Rainbow Sprinkles
Optional Topping (not included in nutrition)
- White Chocolate & Additional Sprinkles
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
- Add the oat flour, coconut flour, and pinch of salt, then mix everything together. Note that we have not added the protein powder yet.
- Add the protein powder last and mix. If you use a whey/casein blend protein powder as I did, you're going to need a bit more liquid. Add in one tablespoon of milk and continue to mix. It's going to resemble a crumb, but keep mixing (and don't be afraid to use your hands) until it becomes a ball of dough.
- Fold in the sprinkles.
- Remove the dough onto some parchment paper. Separate into 3 roughly equal-sized pieces, then shape into bars. I simply use my hands to shape them into a bar, then flip them over to reveal the flattened top.
- At this point, you can add toppings, but it's optional. I melted down some white chocolate in the microwave (I did not measure how much I used) and then added a splash of milk to thin it out. I drizzle that over my bars, then topped with some additional sprinkles.
- The bars are technically ready to eat right away, but the flavors really develop once everything settles. Add your bars to the fridge for at least 2 hours, but I found the best results when leaving them overnight. The sweetness level decreases as these sit and will taste much sweeter if eaten right away.
- The "buttery spread" I use is Country Crock. It's a light butter/margarine with 50 calories per tablespoon vs 100, and it's always what I use.
- You can successfully swap the coconut flour out for the same amount of almond flour. I didn't like these results quite as much, but it still worked great.
- No oat flour, no problem! All you need to do is throw plain ol' oats into a food processor or blender until you get a flour.
- Want to make these bars vegan? Swap out a vegan protein powder, bump the sugar amount up to 50-60g (a plant-based protein requires more sweetness) and add an extra tablespoon of milk at the end, since plant-based protein is more absorbent.
- I do not count the sugar substitute I use in my total carb count as it does not contribute any calories. If you're very strict about carbs, be sure to factor those in.
Nutrition InformationYield 3 Bars Serving Size 1 Bar
Amount Per Serving Calories 140Total Fat 6gCarbohydrates 12gFiber 2.5gSugar 2gProtein 10g
want early access to future recipes?
Join The Stack Pack below to get my recipes a day before they’re released, along with other special announcements and exclusive giveaways!