Raw Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Superfood Bars

These bars are my absolute favorite treat! A yummy peanut butter cookie dough maca layer is tucked underneath a creamy spread of cacao and dates.

Raw Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Superfood Bars

These peanut butter cookie dough superfood bars… where do I even start!? If you make one dessert/snack recipe from this blog, I highly recommend this one! 🙂

There’s a delectable peanut butter cookie dough layer with chocolate chips underneath a rich cacao-date-walnut layer. That all sounds fancy, but these are actually very easy to put together. You won’t be able to stop eating them, but that’s ok because they’re made with some wonderful wholesome ingredients and a few (delicious) superfoods, like cacao and maca powder. They store well in the fridge and freezer, but good luck keeping them for any great length of time. I’ve been trying to hide them everywhere, but, in my house, they have a way of quickly disappearing!

Raw Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Superfood Bars

So what the heck are cacao and maca? Cacao is the most pure form of chocolate, and it’s packed with antioxidants, fiber, and magnesium (read: chocolate is healthy!). Maca is powder from the Peruvian maca root, and has a malty, vanilla-y, butterscotch-y flavor that’s insanely delicious in this cookie dough layer. It’s known to naturally support the body’s ability to adapt to stress and improve energy, vitality, and stamina. I usually put it in my smoothies, but I also love stirring it into baked goods, or in this case: non-baked goods.

Raw Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Superfood Bars

While I love using these types of ingredients, they’re often hard to find and can be really expensive at regular stores – which is why I’m SO excited to partner with Thrive Market today. It’s the best place to stock up on all of these wonderful non-GMO ingredients for 25-50% below traditional retail prices. If you haven’t heard of Thrive Market, it’s an online marketplace whose mission is to make healthy living easy and affordable. Fancy superfoods aside, I found that so many of my kitchen staples – organic whole rolled oats, almond flour, organic nut butters, organic dates, and organic maple syrup (to name only a few) – are all a fraction of the cost of the brands I find in the grocery store.

Another neat feature is that if you’re vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free, you can shop by those specific filters – which means that you won’t have to closely read packages to figure out if your seemingly-vegan item contains traces of dairy.

The last thing I’m going to gush about is the personal obsession I have with their peanut butter. I know it seems like peanut butters would all be created (somewhat) equal, but theirs has the best texture and flavor I’ve ever tasted – just look at the photo near the top of this post to see how oozy it is.

So with your oozy peanut butter, make this peanut butter cookie dough layer by simply stirring the ingredients together and pressing them into the pan…

Raw Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Superfood Bars Raw Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Superfood Bars

Make the cacao layer by pulsing the above ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Then the best part – layer them together! So yummy… I’m having trouble not drooling all over my keyboard right now.

Raw Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Superfood Bars

To make them extra pretty, sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt…

Raw Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Superfood Bars

From here, you can dig them out of the pan if you need your snack NOW… otherwise let them firm up in the freezer for 20 or so minutes so that you can neatly cut them into squares. Store the finished bars in the fridge. For longer term storage (yeah right), they can be frozen.
   Raw Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Superfood Bars

I hope you give Thrive Market a try! They’re offering 25% off your first order and a 30-day free trial. No discount code needed, just check out their site!

And if you can’t get enough of these bars, try these peanut butter chip cookies or these almond butter brown rice crispy treats!

5.0 from 8 reviews
Raw Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Superfood Bars
Serves: makes 25 bars
Cookie Layer
Cacao Layer
  1. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt until combined. Add the almond flour and maca and stir to combine (the mixture will be thick). Fold in the chocolate chips and press into the pan. Place in the freezer so that it firms up a bit while making the next layer.
  3. In a small food processor, pulse the walnuts, cacao powder, and sea salt until the walnuts are well chopped. Add the dates and pulse to combine, adding 2 tablespoons water if the blade gets stuck. Process until smooth, then spread onto the cookie layer. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired. Freeze for 30 minutes (this will help them firm up, making them easier to cut). Remove and slice into bars. Store remaining bars in the fridge.
  4. Finished bars can also be frozen. Let each bar thaw for about 15 minutes at room temperature.

This post was created in partnership with Thrive Market. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep us cooking!


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  1. shay grady from theresheglowsblog.blogspot.co.uk

    These are definitely on my list to make next!! They sound amazing and look so delicious!


  2. Christy

    Looks amazing…do you ever post nutritional values? I’m watching sugar intake and know that dates are high, just wondering??? Thanks for your great recipes!!!

    • Hi Christy, I don’t… counting calories, etc, has personally led me to unhealthy eating habits in the past. These bars are definitely meant to be an indulgence, so probably not low in sugar 🙂

  3. Sanja

    Jeanine, what would you recommend as a walnut substitution in this recipe? Thanks!

  4. Vanessa

    I’d love to make this, but unfortunately can’t use dates (or raisins or prunes for that matter). Are there substitutes (more nuts? other dried fruit?) that would be a preferred alternative / should I just remove the dates and use a different paste of some sort for the same texture?

    • I’ve only tested these with dates, let me know if another fruit works for you!


    Hello Jeanine, Thanks very much for sharing this yummy recipe! With recent reports on coconut oil being the new “bad guy” AGAIN, what oil would you recommend I use as a substitute? Can I just use good oil olive oil or peanut oil? Cheers!

    • I think another oil could work, I haven’t tried… I still consider coconut oil to be healthy enough.


        Thanks very much for your prompt response, Jeanine!

    • Cathie

      Sorry about typos. I used my phone and hit post prematurely. I can’t figure out how to edit here.

  6. Marco Pereira

    Can you provide the nutrition numbers?? For example how many calories, sugar, protein, fat and carbs does one square or one piece contain?

    Does anyone know how to calculate macros when making home made foods? I’m assuming you jog down how much you use of each ingredient then add all the macros up and then devide them by # of servings?

    • Hi Marco, I don’t calculate nutrition info, calories, etc, because it’s contributed to unhealthy eating habits for me personally in the past. These are a yummy indulgent treat 🙂

      • Marco Pereira

        Good point i like that way if thinking. I’m definitely going to try making these, thanks for the recipe.

  7. Alison

    Yum! Can’t wait to make these!!!

  8. Steph

    Any substitutes for maca powder? I have everything else.

  9. Gaby Dalkin

    OMG! I *really* need these in my life!

  10. Susan

    These bars sound wonderful, but I would have to omit the maca powder. It is probably fine for most people, but if, like me, you are sensitive to stimulants, it’s best to stay away from it.

  11. Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite

    These look absolutely insane! I love having no-bake treats on hand in the freezer pretty much at all times…these are next on my list of things to make! 🙂

  12. These look fantastic! My daughter is allergic to peanuts, what nut butter would you recommend for the cookie base that would still taste great?

  13. Angela

    Hi Jeanine–do you think the peanut butter layer would stand well alone as a treat? Thank you!

    • Angela

      I’m going to reply to myself! The peanut butter layer could definitely stand on its own, especially to make a very fast treat, but the date/walnut layer makes the bars that much better. I followed the recipe as is, and it’s wonderful! I cut mine into app. 30 squares.

      • Ah! So sorry for missing your first comment!! I’m so glad you enjoyed the peanut butter part – I make that layer by itself most often since it’s so quick, sometimes I roll them into little balls 🙂

  14. Oh my oh my these look utterly scrumptious! I will have to give these a go.
    Just came across your blog now, I love the content, so many delicious recipes to get busy with 🙂
    Love, Kate x


  15. Claudia from particuliere-lening-aangeboden.nl

    Helpful tips, thanks 🙂

  16. Eve-Marie

    I made these yesterday and they are incredible! They really taste like cookie dough only they are so much more nutritious 🙂 I love how simple and healthy the top layer is – I added a little extra water to the food processor because it wasn’t getting smooth and spreadable, and that helped a lot. Thanks for the great recipe!

  17. Ali from alimargo.com

    These are the perfect trail snack for our active mountain lifestyle and my two year old loves them! Love that they have superfood ingredients, protein, and natural sugar. I may have snuck a bite or two after dinner, too … 🙂

  18. Bryan

    These would be the perfect snack when I need a little pick me up. I just sent it to my girlfriend so we can go to the market tomorrow morning and get all of the ingredients!

  19. Jacqueline Jacques

    These turned out amazing. Topped mine off with unsweetened shredded coconut and used chopped tart cherries instead of chocolate chips. Mmmmm.

  20. Yay!! I just bought some Maca a couple weeks ago. These look fabulous! I just wish my food processor wasn’t broken. I better get it fixed so I can whip these up! 🙂

    • Maca has such a wonderful flavor! Good luck with your food processor 🙂

  21. Jenn from daytripper28.com

    I love that they are naturally sweetened. I might have to throw these in the kids lunches! Thanks for the idea.

  22. Jen

    Can I use whole wheat flour instead of almond flour?

  23. Tina K Hamilton

    I made this without the Maca, amended as suggested. I used an ice-cream scoop to portion out the cookie layer into parchment baking cups. After freezing placed a smaller scoop of the cacao layer on top, sprinkled with Maldon salt. This way I have portion control (ha-ha) and an easier way to store and share. Thanks Jeanine for a yummy recipe!

    • Hi Tina, I’m glad you loved them! Thanks for the tip about the ice-cream scoop method!

  24. Beth C from bethcolletti.com

    My husband and I made these last night after dinner. SO YUM!!!

  25. Wendy from wandymcnobledownunder.blogspot.com

    Made these the other day, they turned out great! I don’t have a food processor so I just soaked the dates in hot water first and blended the ingredients for the topping with about 2tbsp extra water. I love how filling it is as a snack but easily satisfies a sweet afternoon craving!

    • Hi Wendy, I’m glad you loved them! Thanks for the blender tip!

  26. This dish certainly got my attention just by looking at the photos, Jeanine! The recipe shows exactly the ingredients and what to do on them. Can’t wait to give it a try!

  27. Oh my! Just made these and they are off the charts YUM!!!

  28. Jen

    What would be a good replacement for coconut oil?

  29. Lex

    What can I do to replace the Maca powder? Unfortunately I’m allergic to this

    • Hi Lex – you can just leave it out, it has no affect on the texture, they’ll still be terrific without it!

  30. stacy

    I love your blog. These look great. Can I use avocado or some other oil for the coconut oil?

  31. Jacqueline Jacques

    My son and I make this recipe all the time – we absolutely love it. We often sub dried cherries for the chocolate chips – which is really delicious. This last time, I was got to making the Cacao Layer and to my horror had only about 1/4 cup of walnuts. But I did have a whole bag of raw pine nuts. I have to say I will make it this way on purpose in the future!. The pine nuts added a depth of flavor that was surprisingly delicious.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.