Flourless Chocolate Chip Nut Squares.
They’re not bars. They’re not cookies. They’re just squares. Treats, if you will.
When I make these, I have to sneak in the chocolate chips from the pantry. Because if I don’t, and even if when I do, my almost 18-month old will catch a glimpse of them, exclaim “chopopis!” and demand a chocolate chip. I hand her one (at least they’re dark chocolate?) to distract her, while I stir everything together.
‘Everything’ is nothing but some nuts, a little almond flour, maple syrup and a couple egg whites. And of course, the crucial chocolate chips. “Mama…aur (more),” she demands as I reluctantly hand her another one while hurriedly taking the rest back to the pantry.
I can’t blame her. Chocolate Chips have that effect on humans.
The ingredients don’t seem like much, but the final product tastes better than the sum of its parts. The richness of the chocolate chips becomes encompassed within the almonds and walnuts. The nuts, ground to perfection, become indistinguishable while maintaining their nutty characteristic. There’s an under-note of maple syrup, and each bite is just the right balance of crunchy and chewy.
You’ll end up eating a lot more than you intended. Which is fine, because nuts provide healthy fats, and walnuts are good source of ALA Omega-3 fatty acids. Children need lots of omega-3 fatty acids for brain and eye development, so I love giving these to my daughter to snack on. Of course, sometimes she’ll pick apart the “chopopis” and leave the nuts behind.
As she grows older, I think she’ll discover how the pleasure of the chocolate chips is only fully realized when they’re embraced by the tender crumbs of the nuts. Until then, I’ll continue my sneaky mom moves and keep wrapping her chocolate chips within the nutty crumbles.
Easy Flourless Chocolate Chip Nut Squares (Gluten + Dairy Free)
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1/4 cup almond flour or almond meal
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract optional
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup dark at least 60% cacao chocolate chips
- grapeseed or other neutral oil for greasing the pan
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Generously grease an 8x8 inch square pan with oil.
- Place the walnuts and almonds in a food processor and use the pulse function to process the nuts to the consistency of coarse breadcrumbs.
- Place this nut mixture in a small bowl and add the almond flour and salt. Mix well. Stir in the maple syrup, vanilla extract, egg whites, and chocolate chips, reserving about a tablespoon of chocolate chips for topping.
- Pour this evenly into the square pan, and top with the remaining chocolate chips.
- Bake for 1 hour. If you'd like them more crispy, bake them 10-15 more minutes. Allow to cool. Cut into desired size.
Inspired by Barbara Kafka’s Yum Yum Nut Sweets