Lately the kids have been hooked on Clif Z-Bars, which can get pretty pricey. I decided to try making a homemade version, so after several tests, this is my copycat recipe of the Chocolate Brownie Z-Bars that we’ve named B-Bars.
I used this recipe as a jumping off point, but I knew I wanted to use less dates because I don’t like the tangy quality that lots of dates can give bars, and I wanted these to be as close to the store-bought kind as possible to increase the odds of my picky eater accepting them. I also wanted to make the Chocolate Brownie flavor of Z-Bar that my kids love so much.
In the end I had a blind taste test, and this recipe won out. My kids could tell the difference, but the non-picky eater said they were all his favorite. The picky eater said she liked this better than the store-bought kind! We’ll still buy the Clif brand ones for on-the-go (you can’t beat the convenience of the wrapper and shelf life sometimes), but these are great healthy treats for at home.
Chocolate B-Bar Recipe
Makes approximately 24 1-1/2″ x 4″ bars.
- 1 cup oats (old-fashioned or quick cooking)
- 2 tbsp flax meal (ground flax seeds)
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1-2 tbsp cocoa powder (depending on how dark your powder is)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup dried coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
- 1/2 cup whole pitted dates
- 1/2 cup nut butter of your choice (I used Tahini because I like sesame flavor)
- 1/2 cup milk of your choice
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 large egg (you can omit if you want them vegan, but they will be more crumbly in texture)
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet or lay out wax paper. These do tend to stick a little.
Put the first six dry ingredients in a food processor and blend until it resembles a coarse flour. Add the wet ingredients and continue processing until batter is thoroughly mixed. Fold in the chocolate chips by hand.
Spread your batter on the prepared pan as desired, either dropped like cookies or one thin mass that is cut into rectangles. It should be about a half inch thick.
Bake for 9-11 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Enjoy!
Keeps for about a week at room temperature, or you can freeze them. I recommend storing them on a plate or in a plastic container, rather than a ziploc bag. They are a bit fragile and can break easily if not treated gently.