What Are These Snack Bars?
Snack bars are our version of store-bought KIND bars. Simple and wholesome, these grain free bars are made with nuts, dried fruit, and not much else. One ingredient you may not recognize? Almond meal. It’s used in these bars to bind the ingredients together. For anyone not familiar with almond meal, don’t get nervous. Almond meal is just ground almonds– ground almonds before reaching the stage of almond butter. You can buy almond meal, but I find it’s much more convenient (and cheap!) to make it at home. Simply pulse almonds until they reach a gritty and rough flour-like consistency. (Pictured in this post.)
Also making up these chocolate cherry almond snack bars are roughly chopped almonds for crunch– they make up a bulk of the bars. Dried cherries and vanilla extract add flavor, while chocolate chips are necessary for snack time cravings… right? Tip: use mini chocolate chips so there are more in each bar.
For a little sweetness and binding, use honey. Like I’ve mentioned in my previous snack bar recipes, I do not recommend thinner liquid sweeteners like maple syrup or agave. Rather, you want a thick liquid sweetener. Brown rice syrup works too.
Some favorite things about them: chewy, crunchy, nutty, sweet, food you recognize, grain-free, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate.Print
Chocolate Cherry Almond Snack Bars
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
- Yield: 12 bars
- Category: Snack
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Chewy, crunchy, satisfying chocolate cherry almond bars made with real, wholesome ingredients.
- 1/3 cup (113g) honey or brown rice syrup*
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (40g) almond meal*
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon (15g) almond butter
- 2 cups (280g) whole almonds, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup (60g) dried cherries, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup (58g) mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 300°F (149°C). Line an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper with enough overhang on the sides to easily remove the bars from the pan. Set aside.
- Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mix the honey, vanilla, almond meal, salt, and almond butter together until combined. Fold in the almonds, cherries, and chocolate chips until combined.
- Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan and press very firmly into an even layer. You really want it packed in tight- as tight as possible. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack for 1 hour, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 1 more hour. This helps firm up the bars which makes them stay compact. Remove bars from the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. Individually wrap each bar in plastic wrap or parchment. Store at room temperature for 1 week or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. I find they get a little sticky at room temperature over a few days, so I prefer the refrigerator.
- Freezing Instructions: These bars are freezer friendly. After wrapping individually, freeze for up to 3 months and thaw before enjoying.
- Sweetener: I do not suggest a thinner sweetener like maple syrup or agave– honey or brown rice syrup is perfect.
- Almond Meal: You can use store-bought almond meal or almond flour, or you can make your own. Start with 1/4 cup of slivered, sliced, or whole almonds. Pulse them in a food processor until a crumbly meal has formed. Do not run the food processor continuously because you might end up with almond butter. Little pulses are best.
Keywords: chocolate cherry almond snack bars, copycat kind bars
Reader Comments & Reviews
Hi, I’m looking forward to trying this recipe. Still, I have three doubts:
Can I replace the almond, dried cherries, and mini chocolate chips with desiccated coconut and oats (the ones from the supermarket both oats and desiccated coconut), and if so, which measurements should I use?
Which other than vanilla extract would you recommend replacing with?
And last one (promise) Can I use caramel instead of honey or brown rice syrup and if not what could I use?
Hi Colette, it sounds like these no-bake chewy coconut granola bars may be a better fit for you. They use oats and coconut like you mention. There, you can use coconut extract instead of vanilla if you’d like. We haven’t tried replacing the honey with caramel, so we’re unsure of the results.
Thank you for this recipe!! I used it as a base because I had to make some adjustments but everything turned out perfectly. I used an unsalted mixed nuts melody, and peanut butter. Also added 2/3 cups of oats and some coconut flakes and a touch more honey. I have to keep myself from eating the whole tray!
can one substitute almond meal for almond flour?
Love these! I have to force myself not to eat them all at once. You can use any fruit/nut combo really as well as any nut butter. So versatile. Thanks so much!
Thank you these make my fiancé and I so happy. I’ve been using cranberries instead and added some pepitas in instead of all almonds. So great, so much better than store-bought kind bars!
Hi! Love your recipes! Quick question regarding this recipe and most of the others on the healthy side – could I add a scoop or two of protein powder to beef them up? Would I have to add any additional liquid like ingredient to counter the strands powder?
Hi Kristi, I don’t have any experience baking with protein powder, but let me know if you try it!
Can i substitute almond butter with something else?
Any other nut butter or even sunflower seed butter would be great.
I’m not sure i would get dried cherries here, could i substitute it with cranberries?
dried cranberries work, yes!
Just made these again for the first time in awhile; they’re just as good as ever, of course 🙂 I only had half the necessary almonds so I subbed in cashews and they still turned out great!
Hi there! You said that you individually wrap these. 2)-5 do you wrap them in? I have two kids and we love granola bars so I’m excited to try this recipe! Should I store them in the fridge or on the counter? How long do they last for? Thanks!
Hi Brittany! Storing instructions are in step 3 🙂 And I wrap them in plastic cling wrap.
I made these today.YUMMY! I used honey. I had to make substitutions based on what I already had. I used raisins instead of cherries. I didn’t have any almonds so filled up a 2 cup measure with walnuts, pumpkin seeds, rice krispies They were sooooo good! The sweetness level is perfect! Thanks for sharing the recipe.
If I want to skip the dried cherries, can I add fresh/frozen berries or will that change the texture of the bar? Would more chocolate chips work?
Must use dried fruit here– how about dried cranberries instead? More chocolate chips would work too.
I just made these today and I’ve already eaten two of them…and am debating eating a third 🙂 They are absolutely amazing!! I’ve always wanted to try the KIND bars because I love the idea of a whole food snack bar, but I’m allergic to nuts (almonds are the only nut I tolerate, which is good because I love them) and think they’re way overpriced for such simple ingredients. Now I can make my own and use whatever ingredients I have! I followed your recipie and added 1/3 c unsweetened coconut flakes just because I’m trying to use them up and I literally cannot stop thinking about how delicious these are! I have two kiddos 3 and under and anything quick and easy like this instantly becomes a go to recipe for me! Thanks for sharing this gem!!
I made these yesterday. Eyes roll back in head good. Holy smokes. Yeah baby. Oh can you tell I was excited at the first bite? I made my own almond meal and almond butter in the small food processor that i love. The meal was no problem but the butter i pulsed them for quite a bit and came out with i think butter. I dont know for sure. I bought sliced almonds so no chopping. haha. I did cut up the cherries a bit. Do you know i had hard time finding them in Walmart? Thanks for my husband which by the way his name is Kevin he found them. By the way, he calls you the “Scone Lady”! You are adored in this household! I will be trying the other snack bars as soon as i can get to the store to get stuff for it. Thank you so much for all of you fabulous recipe’s. I use honey that my Mom gets from Local Dunkards so it is healthy. Who knew healthy could taste so devine. I will be sharing with my Sissy so more eye rolling will be occuring. You are amazin!
Can I substitute walnuts for almonds and cranberries for cherries.
Both wonderful substitutions in these bars, yes!
Would it work to reduce the amount of honey? Made a batch tonight that are cooling in the fridge. Sneaked a taste and they were super good, but super sweet. Would I need to use something else as a binder? Love that they are grain free and I don’t want to change that!
You can slightly reduce, yes– an egg white can also help with binding.
I made these last night and took them on a hike today and they were amaaaazing. Also super popular with my hiking companions. I’ve made a few failed granola bars recently, so it was nice to make some that turned out perfect and tasted great AND were grain free. Thank you!
Hi Sally, bars look awesome and super easy to make! I just have one question- why do we need to bake these? Since it has honey and almond butter both wouldn’t it set in the fridge….. I’ve made fruit and nut bars with almond butter and it didn’t require any baking… I plan to make these tmw!
Baking allows the bars to set– it would be impossible to cut the sticky bars without them falling apart if they weren’t baked.
Sally, I didn’t read all the comments so maybe someone else asked. I did see you mentioned brown rice syrup as an option but what about golden syrup like Lyle’s? Would that work instead of honey? Just curious. I love honey but wondered if the golden syrup could be a sub. Thanks for a great recipe!!
Golden syrup should be OK.
Hey sally! I made these and they are great! But mine came out super sticky and fall apart, i keep them in the frige and it doesnt help. Is there something i can do to prevent this next time?
Hmm. Try reducing the honey to 1/4 cup– that should help! Also, maybe bake for an extra minute or two.
This recipe was great! I made it the first time around, as written. Super tasty. I don’t prefer mine so sweet, and as written it was a little too sweet for my taste buds. So the second time around I cut the honey to 1/4 c, then only used 1 1/4 cup of almonds and half a cup pepitas. Also added approximately 3 Tbsp of unsweetened coconut flakes. They were perfect. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.
I got all the ingredients to make these and then found out I had gotten unsalted ROASTED almonds, will they still work, or get burnt?
Roasted is ok to use!
hi sally! can i use peanut butter instead of almond butter? thanks! 🙂