Say hello to my valentine. These chocolate chip cookie dough granola cups (say that 10 times fast) completely stole my heart this year. No room for anyone or anything else, sorry boys.
I must warn you that with the start of February, Pats winning the superbowl and Valentines Day approaching…you’re going to see a handful of nutritious treats on here. Gotta shop in season right? I hope you don’t mind…
But on a real level, it may seem cliche to bake your heart out on Valentines Day or have a date night eating wings in bed with a robe on (totally don’t do this…) but who cares? If you need Valentines Day as an excuse for much needed self care or to shed some love around, by all means….GO FOR IT. Buy the corby cards, watch all the chick flicks, spoil your hubs, take a bubble bath…and most importantly, treat ya damn self to some good mood desserts.
Lets not hate on Vday but instead, lets explore it. Less judgement, more exploration. This has been a recurring mantra for me this year and it’s really given me a beautiful outlook to life. Okay I will stop being dramatic now and get to the goods of this post. COOKIE DOUGH GRANOLA CUPS.
If I was in California this year I would probably be getting together with my soul sistahs back in SLO with a big batch of these babes in tow. Think He’s Just Not That Into You playing (our tradition), dinner entailing Angie’s popcorn (our favorite) + kombucha wine and all the chocolate treats.
Oh and a small veggie platter on the side because #balance right?
Sometimes taking care of ourselves goes well beyond adding spinach to our smoothies, going to therapy or signing up for Barrys bootcamp. Sometimes it means laughing with your girls over bad dates while you eat all the homemade chocolate chip cookie dough granola cups.
I provided some nutritious details and methods for these babes below so you’re fully prepared to TREAT YO SELF, feeling wholesome while you do it. You know I do.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Granola Cups Nutritious Details
Almond Flour Cookie Dough Base: The base of the cookie dough layers are loaded with my absolute favorite flour for baking…almond! I sound like a broken record but finely ground almond flour a la Bob’s Red Mill is not only nutrient dense, full of fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids but it lends the best texture. Especially to cookie-flavored / dessert recipes. To be honest I prefer using this over all other flours in baking, more so for how delicious the end product comes out. People can’t even tell I’ve subbed a healthier alternative when I give them my baked goods…
Cashew Butter: I don’t suggest subbing the cashew butter for other nut butter as cashew lends an amazing cookie flavor to the dough. You might be able to get away with creamy almond butter but I haven’t tested a version with that yet, so let me know if you try it! Make sure your cashew butter is runny and not hard or dried out (my favorites thus far are from Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s). This is essential for the cookie dough.
Granola: I actually developed this recipe with Purely Elizabeth using their superfood granola. In terms of store bought granolas, this brand is one of my top favorites. The ingredient list is wholesome and simple, sweetened with unrefined sugars and packed with gluten free oats. More importantly, the clusters are CRUNCHY. I’ve tested this recipe with their new chocolate strawberry superfood granola and the grain free coconut cashew. Both divine. You can also try homemade version like my OG Maple Crunch.
Quality Dark Chocolate: When it comes to chocolate, I am a huge proponent of shopping for quality. It makes such a difference in terms of flavor, texture and taste. You’d be surprised the difference in delciousness between pure dark chocolate and low quality (think lots of added weird stuff). I adore Lily’s dark chocolate bars and used their vegan chocolate chips for this recipe. YUM. Other brands I love are Sunspire, Theo, Ghiradelli and Hu Kitchen.
Serves: 10-12 medium cups
- Cookie Dough Layers
- ½ cup creamy cashew butter (runny)
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
- ½ cup finely ground almond flour
- Sea salt + cinnamon to taste
- 1 cup crunchy granola (gluten free or grain free if needed)*
- ½ cup vegan dark chocolate chips (or regular)
- Dark Chocolate Layers
- 1 cup vegan dark chocolate chips
- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
- Line a regular muffin pan with 12 liners or mini muffin pan with about 20 and set aside. The amount of cups you get depends how thick you want to make each cup!
- First prepare your chocolate layer by combining chocolate chips and coconut oil in a micorwave safe bowl. Place into the microwave and melt together in 30 second increments (usually takes me a minute total) and whisk until chocolate is smooth. Drop a small spoonful into the bottom of each muffin liner then place in the freezer. Make sure you don't use all your chocolate, you should still have a large amount left.
- While the bottom layer is in the freezer, make your cookie dough. Whisk together the runny cashew butter and maple syrup until combined. Mix in the almond flour and spices until a dough is formed. Fold in the granola and chocolate chips.
- Now layer a small scoop of cookie dough (using a small cookie scoop or tablespoon) on top of the chocolate bottom layer of liners. Lightly press down and repeat with remaing cups. Reserve some cookie dough for a topping layer.
- Pour the remaining chocolate on top of each cookie dough layer then top that layer with remaining cookie dough! You can alternatively stick to 1-2 layers, but it's up to you. Sprinkle with sea salt then place in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
- Once the cups harden, eat up! Keep them stored in an air tight container in the fridge up to a week or freezer for longer.