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. Hi Sally, 
    I’ve recently jumped on the making-your-own-granola bars-bandwagon and cant wait to try these. Just one question, do you think it would be possible to substitute oatmeal for almondmeal? 

    1. Oat flour would work! So, just grind up oats. Same amount of oat flour.

  2. I love the ingredients in this but I would be so scared I would eat 1/2 the pan without batting an eye. I’ll have to run the stats and see what I can get away with. 🙂 (I am one of those a-types counting macros…)

    Also, sorry for being off the grid for awhile…I’m here and still reading, just have been super busy. Congrats on your interview – that is really exciting. So is your upcoming book tour!

    1. Thanks Christine!

      Also, I know what you mean about being tempted to eat 1/2 the pan!

  3. Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeat says:

    This bars look awesome, Sally! I love the idea of making my own snack bars that way I can include exactly what I want in them!

  4. Jessica DeMay says:

    These look delicious!! I love that they’re paleo friendly. Almond meal is one of my favorite ingredients ever- I always have some on hand. I am definitely trying these. Thanks for the great recipe (as always)!! 

  5. hi sally! can i use peanut butter instead of almond butter? thanks! 🙂

    1. Absolutely!

  6. Kristen @ good habits and guilty pleasures says:

    JUST MADE THESE AND THEY ARE DELICIOUS!!!! My BF and I recently went vegan and we were looking for sweet treats just in case and these sure do hit the spot — not to mention, super easy! The hardest part is waiting 🙁 LOL

  7. Megan Macartney says:

    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?

    1. Roasted is ok to use!

  8. 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?

    1. Hmm. Try reducing the honey to 1/4 cup– that should help! Also, maybe bake for an extra minute or two.

  9. Daisy Tribe says:

    Wow, these look amazing! Love that they are grain-free too. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Just in time for school lunches! My son starts kindergarten in a few weeks so I’ve been trying to gather easy but healthy lunch and snack ideas (that he will actually eat!) I can’t wait to try these and I’m sure he will love them! I love the fact that they are freezer friendly so I can make a few batches and have them ready to go! (plus we have baby boy #2 due only two weeks after he starts school so the easier lunches are the better!) How long do they take to thaw? Say, if I took one from the freezer in the morning and put it in his lunch box would it be good to go a few hours later at lunch time? Also as I was scrolling I saw your hit the trail granola and thought that would make a super yummy granola bar, would that be possible to make?

    1. I’d saw they would be thawed by lunchtime, Candace. I’ve never made the hit the trail granola into bars– how about trying bars like this or this?

  11. 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!!

    1. Golden syrup should be OK.

  12. 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!

    1. Baking allows the bars to set– it would be impossible to cut the sticky bars without them falling apart if they weren’t baked.

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

    1. You can slightly reduce, yes– an egg white can also help with binding.

      1. Thank you! Appreciate the quick response!

  15. Hi Sally

    My list is growing. 🙂
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1mlX1BQTl00EKu_j8xTqepvwH-xhpfbEElTbU2I8bAss

    But this is the only one that I want to start making every weekend and decided it would act as my breakfast every morning.

    So… how do I make these in a 13×9? Just double the reciple and put it in 13×9 pan? How many minutes do you think I should bake it for?

    1. Hey Anu! List is huge!

      Yep, simply double all of the ingredients for a 9×13. Unsure of the exact bake time. Once lightly browned on the edges, they’re about done!

  16. Helen Bartolomeo says:

    Hi, 
    I have some brown rice syrup that I bought from the health food store on a whim. When looking for recipes to use it, I’ve found things saying its bad for you….have you heard that before? Thanks

  17. Can you substitute peanuts for almonds along with peanut butter instead of almond butter? Can you also substiute for the almond meal with peanuts? If so, how would you do the peanut meal? Or how much? Or what other kind of meal would you use? My friend likes peanuts better than almonds so i want to figure out how properly substitute so she can try it another way.

  18. Can I substitute walnuts for almonds and cranberries for cherries.

    1. Both wonderful substitutions in these bars, yes!

  19. 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!

    1. Scone lady is a new nickname for me. Ha!! So happy you love these snack bars.

  20. 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!!

    1. The addition of coconut sounds incredible!

  21. How many bars does this make ? 

  22. 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? 

    1. Must use dried fruit here– how about dried cranberries instead? More chocolate chips would work too.

  23. I don’t, sorry! Here is an online calorie counting tool you can use for recipes.

  24. Hi Sally! 

    These look delish! I live in a remote location so I am wondering- Do you think I could I sub the almond meal for coconut flour or shredded coconut? I want to make them ASAP and I already have those in the pantry! Thanks!! 

  25. 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.

  26. Hi sally! I wanted to make the calories a little lower, will using rolled oats to sub half of the almond chunks be alright?

    1. I’m not 100% sure, but it’s worth a try.

  27. Can’t wait to try this. We are gluten free including no oats, these are perfect for us. I also love my Ninja and will put it to good use grinding the almonds into flour.

  28. Eden Passante says:

    I’m all for making your own snack bars, especially so you know how much sugar and fats are going into them. Great recipe you have, I’ll definitely try this one out! 

  29. 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!

    1. Hi Brittany! Storing instructions are in step 3 🙂 And I wrap them in plastic cling wrap.

  30. these ae great i used fried apricots instead of cheeries and they were very tasty. Definately making again

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