These Cookie Dough Protein Bars with Collagen Powder are the closest I’ve come to a cleaner version of Quest cookie dough protein bars. They’re dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free and don’t contain any non-nutritive sweeteners that can cause digestive issues!
Making the mixture into small bars gives 9.7g quality protein at 658kJ (157Cal) per bar, which is pretty good. You could also cut the slab into larger bars if you want to achieve a larger serve of protein. The mixture can also be rolled into balls if you prefer protein balls over bars.
The protein bars are chewy and naturally sweetened with little maple syrup. Then I like to add chunks of dark chocolate to complete the cookie dough vibe. I use 70% cocoa chocolate to keep the sugar down, but you could go darker or use any chocolate bar or chocolate chips you like.
Coconut flour is the secret to achieving chewy protein bars. It also gives the bars a boost of fibre. I also use coconut flour in these Chewy Choc Chip Oat Protein Bars. Those bars are slightly lower in protein, but made with oats, coconut flour and whey protein powder.
Best collagen powder
I’ve tried a number of collagen powders and my favourite by far is Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate. It’s hydrolyzed collagen, also known as collagen peptides, which just means that it has been broken down into its component amino acids to assist with absorption by the body.
I use the unflavoured Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate, which is almost flavourless so it blends well into recipes. I also take it with water about an hour before training or a workout to assist with recovery.
You can find collagen powder in health food and supplement stores. However, some of the other brands I have tried have a pretty unpleasant taste. The Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate is stocked in some store in Australia, but I just buy it online.
Ingredients for Cookie Dough Protein Bars with Collagen Powder
Cashew butter: To add some healthy fats and creaminess to the protein bars. You could use almond butter or another nut butter if you prefer.
Maple syrup: To sweeten the bars. You could use honey if you prefer. Rice malt syrup should also work, but it’s not as sweet as maple syrup or honey, so you may need to adjust the amount to taste.
Hydrolyzed collagen powder: As mentioned above, I like to use Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate because it’s almost flavourless and blends well into recipes.
Coconut flour: To give the bars structure and a chewy texture. It also adds a boost of fibre.
Dark chocolate: I use a 70% cocoa dark chocolate bar, which I cut into chunks. But you can use any chocolate bar or chocolate chips. If you want to keep the sugar right down, you could use a 90% cocoa or sugar-free chocolate bar.
Vanilla extract: Helps give the bars a cookie dough vibe. You can leave it out if you don’t have any.
Sea salt: To enhance the flavour of the bars. You can leave it out, but I really recommend including it!
Water: Just a small amount is needed to bring the mixture together. If you accidentally add too much water and the mixture becomes too sticky, you can add a little extra coconut flour to balance it out.
1 hour chilling
- 1/2 cup (125g) cashew butter
- 1/4 cup (60ml/78g) maple syrup
- 3 teaspoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup (78g) hydrolyzed collagen powder (I use Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate)
- 3/4 cup (78g) coconut flour
- 60g dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
1Line a 10cm x 16cm container with baking paper or cling film.
2Place the cashew butter, maple syrup, water, vanilla and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the collagen powder and coconut flour and mix to get a dough. If the mixture is too sticky, add a little extra coconut flour. If it’s too dry, add a few drops of water.
3Mix about half of the chocolate chips into the dough. I find it easiest to press them into the dough with my fingers. Press the mixture firmly into the lined container. Press the remaining chocolate chips into the top of the slab.
4Chill in the fridge for about 1 hour or the freezer for 20 minutes until the mixture firms up. Once firm, remove from the container and cut into bars.
5Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-3 days. If you won’t eat the bars in this time, store in the freezer and defrost in the fridge as needed.
You can set the mixture in any container you like. I use a 10cm x 16cm container to get 12 small bars. You can also roll the mixture into balls if you prefer.
I like to use Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate because it’s almost flavourless. Some other brands I have tried have a slightly unpleasant flavour.
For best results, I highly recommend using a food scale to measure out the ingredients in grams.
Serving size: 1 bar (made with 70% cocoa dark chocolate)
Energy: 658kJ (157Cal)
Total Fat: 8.3g
Saturated Fat: 3.2g
Total Carbohydrate: 9.9g
Dietary Fibre: 3.2g
Nutrition information is an estimate only. It may vary depending on the brand of ingredients used.