Power Cookies

Power Cookies

Last night, the snow fell as over-sized flakes and we tried to catch them on our tongues, like we were 5 years old. Just two days ago, I was in a tank top looking for a mountain bike trail. This is Colorado springtime.

These Power Cookies enjoy all sorts of outings and fare well through all sorts of weather: throw them in your day bag for a hike, or munch on them while riding the ski lift. They are jam-packed with ingredients to give you energy. Peanut butter, oats, chocolate chips (how could I not include chocolate chips?) pecans, and coconut. That's why they're perfect for the Trail Snacks recipe series I'm working on! 

Why is it called a “Power Cookie?”

This cookie recipe sits somewhere between granola bar and cookie. But if you've ever made granola bars you know that they call for a lot (a lot a lot) of sugar in the form of honey, maple syrup, or (usually) rice syrup. That syrup is all there is to hold everything together. And don't get me wrong -- it's delicious! And there are some genius recipes that don’t call for quite as much sugar. But many have so much sugar, they are far too sweet for me. THESE cookies get the help of an egg, peanut butter and some almond meal, which helps them stick together without half as much syrup. YES: more whole foods, less processed syrup. 🙌 So, it’s a power-bar slash cookie, making the final results a Power Cookie.

Power Cookies

I mentioned my friend Brian (Sports Nutritionist and author of Climbing Nutrition) in my first post in this Trail Snack series -- Mocha Almond Energy Bites - and he has some really well-explained and thoroughly researched articles on how to get the most out of your food while you're out climbing (or doing whatever it is you love to do). 

But, these Power Cookies are really inspired by my dad, who was the first person I knew to make a "energy cookie." He had a recipe similar to this on top of his fridge, in an over-stuffed manila folder. When I started baking a lot on my own (some time in high school), Power Cookies were one of the things I would make. This recipe is different -- the original is lost to me - but similar enough to be given the name "Power Cookies." 

Hope you enjoy, whether you take them on an adventure or eat them right here at your computer, while they're still warm! (They are good either way — you do not need to be out and about to enjoy these. They make a GREAT mid-afternoon power up when you start feeling that 3pm slump, and since they are not so syrup-heavy, they keep you going longer, with real nutrients).

Power Cookies

Power Cookies

Published March 27, 2018 by
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Serves: 24 cookies   |    Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1/2 cup nut butter (try peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter)
  • 1/4 cup honey 
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional - the cinnamon flavor comes through, so if you do not like cinnamon, skip it!) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 cup rolled oats 
  • 1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips 


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the nut butter, honey, butter, eggs, and vanilla using an electric mixer until smooth.
  3. Add optional cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the bowl, and beat into wet ingredients until incorporated.
  4. Now, add the rolled oats, coconut, almond flour, and mix until a stiff batter forms. Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Fold the chocolate chips and pecans into the batter.
  5. Scoop the batter by the heaping tablespoonful onto a cookie sheet fitted with parchment or a Silpat (affiliate link!). Cookies will not spread as they bake, so flatten them slightly with the back of a spoon.
  6. Place in center wrack of oven and bake for 8-12 minutes. Cookies will be golden on the edges, but still soft—they will continue to set as they cool. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes before serving.


Paleo Almond Butter Swirl Fudge

One of the most popular recipes on this site is for Paleo Dark Chocolate and Red Walnut Fudge. You guys have great taste in dessert. There are three things that make that recipe a winner:

1. It's easy (Seriously, only 7-ingredients!)

2. You feel good eating it (Only real food here!)

3. Chocolate (Self explanatory).

I have wanted to revamp my fudge recipe ever since talking to a reader about swirling in Sunflower Seed or Almond Butter. Seeing how popular the original recipe is sealed the deal. To the kitchen! Besides, I was planning a ski trip, and this coconut based fudge makes for a great snack for the slopes. Not only is easy to eat on a ski lift, it's also satisfying and full of energy, which powers you through a full day of snowy fun. 

My original fudge recipe is sweetened with date paste. This time around, I swapped in honey, which requires less planning (the dates must be soaked ahead of time to make a paste). I also switched out the walnuts and went for an almond butter swirl. While the slightly bitter meat of walnuts offer balance to regular fudge, the combination of nut butter and chocolate in this version is to die for. If you are a chocolate nut-butter cup fan, this fudge is for you. If you are craving a bite of smooth, rich bliss... this fudge is for you. 

...If you just fell face first in the snow, expelled from your skis like a rock from a slingshot, this fudge is for you. Trust me. I've been there. I am there. A bite of this fudge is not going to make the bruises go away, but when your ego is hurting, fudge helps. 

This recipe was featured in the Real Food Friday #80 link up

Paleo Almond Butter Swirl Fudge

1 cup plus 1/4 cup coconut butter, melted (manna, not oil) 

1/2 cup coconut cream (to get coconut cream, place an unopened can of full fat coconut milk in the fridge for a few hours. Open the can, and scoop off the white fatty part on the top)

3 tablespoons honey

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 cup cocoa powder (use high-quality cocoa - the flavor will shine through here)

1/4 cup almond butter


1. Heat the coconut oil, and honey over medium-low heat in a small sauce pan. Stir occasionally to prevent any burning. (Alternatively, heat them in the microwave at 30 second intervals until melted).

2. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, stir together the 1/4 cup of coconut manna with the almond butter until fully incorporated. Set the almond butter mixture aside. 

3. Once the oil and honey are melted, remove the sauce pan from the heat. Add in 1 cup melted coconut manna and coconut cream. Whisk until ingredients are fully incorporated. Then whisk in the cocoa powder. The mixture will thicken a bit. 

4. Use a spatula to spread the mixture into an even layer in a 9 x 9 pyrex dish. Using a knife, make 6 thin vertical "stripes" of almond butter in the fudge. Move your knife in a swirling motion through the fudge, dragging the almond butter in so that it is well distributed, but not complete mixed in. At this point, I use my spatula to gently even on the top surface of the fudge again. 

5. Cover the pyrex with plastic wrap or lid and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or until the fudge is set all the way through. Use a very sharp knife to cut into squares. Fudge will begin to melt at temperatures over 76°F, so store it in your fridge or freezer.


Grain-Free Chocolate Cherry Cookie Bars

This combination of almond, chocolate, and dried cherries made it’s first debut on the long-gone blog I wrote in college. That blog has long since been folded, a decision that was made on a whim following some bad advice, but if you really do some digging, you can still find the 2010/2011 remnants on Way Back Machine.

The original was a cookie bar — made without eggs, because my mom never seemed to have eggs in the fridge, so my signature cookie bar recipe was a bit like a soft shortbread made with brown sugar for a more classic chocolate chip cookie taste. It called for dried cherries, chocolate, and white chocolate. When I pressed my blog in 2011 before leaving to study abroad, it was the one recipe I was emailed for. #humblebrag

Luckily, before I hit “delete” on that site, I printed off all of my favorite recipes, and glued them into a black notebook. My cookbook.

In 2014, three years later, when I picked up blogging again, recreating a healthier version of those cookie bars was high on my to do list. These bars call for almond butter and almond flour, which build the dense, fudgy base. Eggs keep everything together. And honey gives a sweet edge where refined sugars did heavy lifting in the original. I skip white chocolate these days, because why eat white chocolate when you can eat dark chocolate?! But, if variety is the spice of your life, feel free to use half white chocolate and half dark chocolate (1/4 cup each). I use the dried cherries from Costco for this recipe, however if you can’t find dried cherries you could also use dried cranberries (I have often seen cranberries sweetened with cherry juice, which would mimic cherries in this recipe quite well).

Grain-Free Chocolate Cherry Cookie Bars

Published June 26, 2014 by
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Serves: 16   |    Active Time: 50 minutes


  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped up dark chocolate bar
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F, and line a 9x9 inch baking dish with parchment paper.
    2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine almond butter, butter, honey, and eggs. Stir until smooth.
    3. Add almond flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir to make a stiff batter.
    4. Fold in chocolate and cherries until evenly distributed.
    5. Press better into an even layer in the baking dish, and then bake for 20-25 minutes. Cookie bars should be golden and slightly puffed.
    6. Allow to cool 10 minutes. Slice into 16 squares and serve. Store in airtight container at room temperature or in fridge.