Chocolate Cherry Almond Snack Bars

Grain-free healthy goodness!

Chocolate Cherry Almond Snack Bars-- copycat KIND bars! sallysbakingaddiction.com

First, thank you so much for listening to my behind the scenes interview! It feels wonderful to share my story with not only fellow bloggers, but anyone looking to start their own business or simply take a leap of faith in life. That being said, you’re all simply fabulous.

Second, Snack Bar Sally in da house!

Alright. I’m going to go ahead and file that away with “expressions to never use again.”

Anyway. Today is the return of snack bars. If you’re just joining us, hi! Welcome. My snack bar recipe collection consists of vanilla almond and cashew coconut. And today? Choc-ooooo-late. I decided it was high time to introduce a new flavor to our beloved snack bar obsession.

Chocolate Cherry Almond Snack Bars-- copycat KIND bars! sallysbakingaddiction.com
So what are these magical snack bars?! Glad you asked. Snack bars are my version of KIND bars. A little homemade copycat made from real, whole ingredients. I don’t know about you, but I used to live off of store-bought granola bars and those apple cinnamon nutri-grain bars. It wasn’t until I began to actually read and care about the ingredient list that I stopped buying them completely. Why the need for 40 different sketchy sounding “foods” to make up a simple snack bar?! Why did I like the apple cinnamon flavor over the more popular strawberry?

Things that remain a mystery.

Simple and wholesome, these gluten free bars are made with nuts and 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.)

Almonds and cherries for Chocolate Cherry Almond Snack Bars

How to Make Chocolate Cherry Almond Snack Bars on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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 both your stomach and sanity. Tip: use mini chocolate chips so there are more in each bar. #win

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. You don’t need much, only 1/3 cup for the entire batch of bars.

The snack bars come together rather quickly which is a must in life right now and, well, always. What happened to my casual care-free summer? I’m already working ahead for Fall since I’ll be gone from the kitchen the entire season (meeting you)!

Brainstorming Thanksgiving recipes in July? What is happening.

Chocolate Cherry Almond Snack Bars-- copycat KIND bars! sallysbakingaddiction.com

I like to wrap each bar up individually and grab them as I bounce around from the store to the gym to the computer to the kitchen and back again. Some favorite things about them: chewy, crunchy, nutty, sweet, food you recognize, grain-free, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

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Chocolate Cherry Almond Snack Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 bars
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Chewy, crunchy, satisfying chocolate cherry almond bars made with real, wholesome ingredients. Grain-free healthy goodness!


Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup (114g) 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: These bars are freezer friendly. After wrapping individually, freeze for up to 3 months and thaw before enjoying.
  2. Sweetener: I do not suggest a thinner sweetener like maple syrup or agave– honey or brown rice syrup is perfect.
  3. 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; you may end up with almond butter. Little pulses are best. You will end up with around 1/4 cup almond meal.
  4. Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls, Cuisinart Food Processor, Ninja Master Prep, Mariani Pitted Dates, Square Glass Baking Dish

Keywords: chocolate cherry almond snack bars, copycat kind bars

Chocolate Cherry Almond Snack Bars-- copycat KIND bars! sallysbakingaddiction.com

103 Comments

  1. Claudia | Breakfast Drama Queen says:

    These look so good! I loved your other snack bars, but I think these are my favorite so far (probably because they have chocolate!)

  2. Heather (Delicious Not Gorgeous) says:

    ooh, almond meal in snack bars!! also really like that there’s only 1/3 cup honey, because it seems like there tends to be too much sugar in granola bars (but i get too scared to cut it down and lose the sticky properties).

    1. Tom @ Raise Your Garden says:

      Already chowing down on these snack bars Sally! You know, not only being super expensive (frugal guy here) but the store bought bars are loaded in crap! I just can’t do it, not if I want to watch my girly figure and live a really long life. My 5 year old keeps saying I need to eat healthier, what a great start! 

  3. Marsha @ Marsha's Baking Addiction says:

    These look so healthy, and delicious!

  4. Eve @ Baking the Day says:

    I love your snack bars, I have made your cashew ones and they are delicious! I’m currently listening to your podcast, so inspirational! 

  5. Chocolate and cherries are a match made in heaven and the addition of almonds to the party, even better! These look delicious!

  6. Actually, a Thanksgiving-issue snack bar would be brilliant. Pumpkin seeds, cranberry, more chocolate… 🙂
    I’m a big fan of doing these homemade! No weird chemical ingredients!

    1. Recipe idea alert!

  7. Lynn @ Fresh April Flours says:

    Three true stories for you today:
    1) I nearly spit out my breakfast when I read your “in da house” comment. 
    2) In middle school, my lunch consisted of a small bag of Smartfood white cheddar popcorn, a Hawaiian Punch, and an apple cinnamon NutriGrain bar (how am I alive?).
    3) I already have my Christmas cookie recipe posts all laid out and pretty much every post from now through December 31st. Umm… Hello, Christmas carols in my head all day everyday. 

    What is this life?!

    1. Glad I gave you a laugh!! And even more glad you’re thinking about Christmas cookies already as well.

  8. Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop says:

    I am going to need to try these.  Anytime I try to make a snack bar, they just crumble.  I love all the flavors and ingredients you used.  I’d much rather buy my own than eating all those mystery ingredients in store bought ones!

  9. Chocolate and cherries are my favorite combo in bars! These snack bars are going to come in handy when my college classes start back up 🙂

  10. Ashley @ Fit Mitten Kitchen says:

    Love love love this! Will go perfect with my cherry & cacao protein shake in the am. <3

  11. 1. These look amazing.
    2. I have never been more jealous that someone is working a season ahead. I have written ten new fall recipes-to-be-tested in the last week, and all that’s keeping me from starting to make/tweak them is that someone will inevitably think I’m crazy for breaking out the pumpkin in July.

    1. I work best when I work ahead, so I do NOT think you’re crazy!

  12. Leah @ Grain Changer says:

    Chocolate + cherry miiiight be one of the best flavor combos ever. Especially dried cherries. Those little red beauties are DANGEROUSLY good with chocolate!!! I’m loving the tip to use mini chocolate chips so there’s more chocolate in ever bite – because we all know: chocolate makes the world go round. (can I get an AMEN?!?] A HEALTHLY good for you, power-packed snack? Sally, my taste buds AND wasteline are basically kissing your feet. THANKS for another snack bar home run!

  13. Katelyn @munchie pie says:

    I need to make these!! I have made both of the other granola bar recipes a few times and I LOVE THEM!!!!!!!!! So excited when I saw this recipe! Also, I loved your behind the scenes interview! I listened to it while working out and you are a such a cool success story!

    1. You’re going to looove this version Katelyn! Thanks for listening!

  14. Liz @ Fictional Candy says:

    These sound great, I can’t wait to try them!  Do you think orange extract could be used in here too?  Orange and cherry is one of my favorite combinations.  But I don’t know if the vanilla is needed in its entirety…. hmmm.  Either way, these sound terrific.  I’ve been looking for an alternative to those store bought bars.  They’re so expensive, and often seem to make me hungrier than before I ate them! 🙂  Thank you!

    1. That sounds INCREDIBLE! You can use a touch of orange extract (maybe half vanilla, half orange?) OR add some orange zest. I might have to try it too!

  15. Sally, I listened to you podcast in FBP and I thought it was awesome. It was very inspiring how much of a work you do in order to get where you are now. There was an aura of motivation in that interview, if that is even possible. After listening to that podcast, I look at this bar in different light— you work hard for this bars: in photography, formulating the recipe and thinking about the content…. Thank you , Sally.

    1. I appreciate this so much. Thank you!

  16. Those Kind bars are my fave!! I love the cherry chocolate variety and these look just like them! Can’t wait to give them a try soon 🙂

  17. Please don’t ever stop using expressions like, “Second, Snack Bar Sally in da house”! They make my mornings! I am sooo going to try making one of your snack bars some time this week 🙂 

  18. I like my nuts in bar form! ,.. Errrr … O.O

    I loved the Nutri-grain bars for swim team snacks. My favorite were the blueberry!

    I really should start making my mom homemade kind bars. She loves the chocolate cherry sooooo these would pretty much be the perfect cheap alternative!

    1. Mmm the blueberry ones were good too!

  19. Laura @ The Bluenose Baker says:

    The apple cinnamon nutrigrains were always my favorite too! I haven’t tried any of your snack bars yet but I think you’ve sold me on these ones….maybe with craisins instead of cherries.

    Thanks for the reminder about the podcast – I’m going to put it on now while I edit photos.

    I am amazed that some of you have your posts planned out into the fall- I’m still working on tomorrow’s post. I thought that maybe with more time in the summer I’d get ahead, but it hasn’t happened yet!

    1. Thank you for listening to my interview, Laura! You’ll hear in the interview that I work best when I plan everything out and follow a schedule. So planning way in advance helps me day by day. Get ahead while you can. Even a little bit helps!

  20. Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg says:

    Sally – These are like KIND Bars, but even better. I’d rather have a homemade granola bar any day! 🙂 I love the flavors in this bar and hope to try them very soon. 

  21. I’m so glad I stumbled across your blog. Your recipes look amazing (especially this one!) and the photos are incredible! =) 

  22. Thank you for listening Sam! So so much.

  23. I purchased two boxes of nutra grain bars, one Apple the other strawberry and wondered why strawberry taste so awful!!! I give them to my two year old, he doesn’t seem to mind. I will be making my own when I get some almonds. Just purchased a big bag of walnuts from Costco but oh well they won’t be wasted. Also, I’m in love with the ginger salmon, gonna try it with chicken breast

    1. I love to toast walnuts and put them on salads for lunch/dinner or on yogurt in the morning/snacktime. Let me know when you try these!

  24. Robin in SC says:

    Sally, can’t wait to make these! Wanted to tell you..I just served your coconut shrimp for dinner tonite (made ours with sweetened coconut and my dinner guest’s with unsweetened, since she is a diabetic)…DELICIOUS! Also made your orange marmalade and sweet chili dipping sauce…outstanding. Thanks! 

    1. So glad you all loved it! I haven’t made the coconut shrimp in awhile– need to add it to my menu soon!

  25. Andrea Gray says:

    Hi Sally, I watch labels like crazy. Tis why I feel better baking it here, where I know what is in the food. People talk bad about sugar and all, but I’ll gladly eat a homemade cookie than something from the store that has aspartame in it. My son gets irritable if he has artificial dyes, did you know certain chocolate cereals have red 40 in them? Also a side note, check out fitnessblender.com. If you like to workout as much as me you will enjoy their way of doing things.

    1. Homemade is always, always better. Couldn’t agree more!

  26. Amy @ Accidental Happy Baker says:

    I don’t know why I haven’t made the leap to homemade snack bars yet! Just this week my kids threw the biggest, bloodiest (not real blood) fit over buying snack bars at the store. They wanted like a $4 box of snack bars and I told them no, that I wasn’t spend that much money for 6 bars that would be gone in 2 minutes! Which made me like the meanest mom ever.  I need to make time to do this. I do. I do. For the sake of my sanity while shopping with 4 kids, I do. 

    1. Amy, add these to your to-do list. You will be surprised how easily and quickly they come together!

  27. Jessie @ Chasing Belle says:

    These look so great Sally! This is the perfect recipe for me to try while I am trying to cut out processed sugars. Thank you 🙂

  28. Michele @ Two Raspberries says:

    I can tell these have the PERFECTt chewy to crunchy ratio! they look amazing and I love the chocolate and cherry combo it’s so savory! pinned these, totally want to try them 😉 

  29. I NEED THIS IN MY MOUTH RIGHT NOW! Now if only I could get over being lazy and actually step into the kitchen… 

  30. Brasserie Louis says:

    Hi Sally, This is delicious. I just bought dried cherries and these look like the perfect way to use them!

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