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Desserts/ Recipes/ Snacks/ Vegan Recipes/ Vegetarian Recipes

Mint Chocolate Chip Dessert Bars

Mint Chocolate Chip Dessert Bars Recipe

The thing we love about these creamy, nut-based vegan desserts? They’re GOOD.  Not “good for a vegan dessert” or “good for something made without dairy,” but just good good. If you were to serve them at a party, no one would give them a sideways glance or shake their fist at you for serving them hippie food. They’re a dessert that everyone can enjoy: vegans, non-vegans, young people, old people, mimes, centaurs, whatever. These Mint Chocolate Chip Bars are for all!

 

Mint Chocolate Chip Dessert Bars Recipe

Mint Chocolate Chip Dessert Bars

Creamy, minty vegan bars made with pistachios. Yes, pistachios!
Servings: 12 -16 bars

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup Medjool dates pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw pistachios soaked overnight then drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar syrup or sweetener of choice to taste
  • 3/4-1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips Enjoy Life are gluten- and dairy-free

Instructions

To make the crust:

  • Line a 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper so that it overhangs on the sides like handles; set aside.
  • In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S-blade, combine the almonds, dates, and cocoa powder. Process until all of the ingredients are finely chopped; when you squeeze a small clump of the “dough” in your hands, it should stick together. This can take between 1-2 minutes depending on the size and strength of your machine. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and gently press crust into the pan to form an even layer.

To make the filling and topping:

  • Combine the pistachios, coconut oil, water, cane sugar syrup, and 3/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract in a high speed blender. Run the blender, stopping to scrape the sides if needed, until the mixture is completely smooth like cashew cream, adding more water a tablespoon or two at a time if it seems like your machine is straining. Taste the filling and blend in additional extract if needed. (If you add more water, you may need more extract!)
  • When the mixture is completely smooth, pour the filling over the crust and spread into an even layer with a spatula. Pour the chocolate chips over the filling layer, gently pushing them into the pistachio cream so that they stay in place but are still visible.
  • Cover the pan with plastic wrap or foil and place it in the freezer for about 8 hours or overnight until frozen solid. 15 minutes before you're ready to serve the bars, take the pan out of the freezer and let it sit at room temperature on the counter. To remove the bars from the pan, gently pull up on the parchment paper “handles” to release them. Slice into squares with a sharp knife and serve immediately. Store remaining bars in the freezer until ready to eat.

Notes

If you happen to have raw cashews on hand, I've tested this recipe with them and it works out perfectly.
Craving more veg-friendly recipes? Shop our collection of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks!

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51 Comments

  • Reply
    LyndaS
    March 13, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Those look delicious!

  • Reply
    Alexis @ Hummusapien
    March 13, 2014 at 10:47 am

    These look SINFULLY good. Serious drool up in herrrrr.

  • Reply
    Martina @ snapshotsandwhatnots
    March 13, 2014 at 11:47 am

    ha ha I love serving people “hippie food” especially when they have already expressed how great it taste before they find out whats in it – fun times 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 14, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Yeah, sometimes if you tell people what’s in something, they decide they don’t like it before they even taste it!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    March 13, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    “Pyrex dish filled with disappointment and broken dreams” — the worst! Clearly you redeemed yourself! These look AMAZING!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 14, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      Sometimes the best recipes take a few tries to get right. 🙂

  • Reply
    Stephanie @ Henry Happened
    March 13, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    oh my, mint chocolate chip anything is my absolute favorite. Going to have to try this creamy, minty, chocolately perfection!

  • Reply
    Skye
    March 13, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Oh. My. Goodness. What an utterly stunning recipe. I literally cannot wait to make these.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 14, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      Thank you! It was fun brainstorming with Meg to come up with it. 🙂

  • Reply
    Amanda
    March 13, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    These look heavenly, going to try making these at the weekend.

  • Reply
    lisacng @ expandng.com
    March 13, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    I love that you revealed your “fail” while creating this recipe. Makes you that much more relatable, though you were pretty relatable already :). I can’t wait to try this because I LOVE mint + chocolate and all those choc chips on top of the bar means we aren’t skimping here ;).

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 14, 2014 at 1:56 pm

      I have no shame when it comes to my kitchen failures. Well, maybe I have a little shame. 🙂 But I think anyone who cooks a lot has their fair share of mishaps. And that’s really how you learn to cook–failure is just as valuable as success!

  • Reply
    Angie (@angiesrecipess)
    March 13, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    These look DIVINE! Can’t believe they are raw. Well done!

  • Reply
    Allison @ Clean Wellness
    March 13, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Wow! I can’t wait to give these a try. I’m a pistachio lover so I know I’ll love them. Such an inventive recipe!

  • Reply
    janae @ bring joy
    March 13, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Delish! Delish, delish.

  • Reply
    Genevieve
    March 13, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Great idea for a healthy St Patricks Day dessert! I had considered making something along the same lines but with a cashew-lime filling to bring to our St Pattys Day potluck, but I had the same concern about it being too “healthy” or weird of a dessert for everyone haha…so good to know that these aren’t like that (I bet the chocolate chips help too!). And I’ll have to remember to add mint to my smoothies next time…I’ve had two containers of mint go to waste recently and I never thought to try that!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 14, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      I made lime cheesecake bars with cashews a few months ago! I was testing a recipe for a friend’s cookbook. 🙂 I don’t think you have to worry about people thinking it’s weird, because the version I made was delicious!

  • Reply
    Christine
    March 13, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    I want to try this. For the sweetener could I use either honey?

  • Reply
    Melissa @ Nourish By Melissa
    March 13, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Wow! Words can’t describe how good this looks! If only pistachios weren’t so pricey 🙁

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 14, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      You can use raw cashews too. 🙂 They don’t turn out green, but they’re still delicious!

  • Reply
    Holly
    March 13, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    I think I need someone to make these for me so I am surprised by how good they taste rather than how healthy the ingredients are! I love all things dessert and I am sure these are a great way to end a meal.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 14, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      I’ll have to send some over next time I make them then! 🙂

  • Reply
    Nancy/SpicieFoodie
    March 14, 2014 at 12:46 am

    I am in dessert heaven right now! I can’t believed they are vegan and that there’s no baking involved — it’s too hot to turn my oven on. Great recipe, Kiersten.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 14, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      These are a great dessert for a hot day because they’re served chilled and they’re minty too!

  • Reply
    Robin {Mom Foodie}
    March 14, 2014 at 1:01 am

    This looks quite yummy, but I would have a rebellion on my hands if I took the pistachios and soaked them.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 14, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      Ha! Yeah, pistachios don’t last very long around here either. Except for the pesky ones that refuse to be cracked open. 🙂

  • Reply
    Mary @ Fit and Fed
    March 14, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Oh my, Kiersten, these look amazing! I’ve been wanting a healthier Nanaimo bar for ages and these fit the bill, plus they have mint! Pinning now!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 14, 2014 at 1:45 pm

      I’ve never tried Nanaimo bars–I need to put those on my to-do list!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    March 15, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Hi from Australia!

    Can you let me know what peppermint extract you use please? We only have peppermint essence here that’s available in supermarkets and I don’t want to mess this recipe up!

    Thanks so much,
    Sarah

  • Reply
    Joanne
    March 15, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Mint chocolate YES! That is basically the.boy’s favorite dessert flavor. So if these can pass his test, they can past anyone’s! So excited to make these.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 16, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      Woo hoo! I hope he likes them! They are pretty darn delicious. 🙂

  • Reply
    Katie @ Produce on Parade
    March 17, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Pistachio cream is insanely brilliant! Yum, these look fantastic!!

  • Reply
    gary
    March 18, 2014 at 11:19 am

    These look great, can’t wait to try them at the weekend. I made some Vegan Nanaimo bars from a recipe over on greedyvegangirl.com yesterday, so got to get through them first! They are delicious also!!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 20, 2014 at 8:17 pm

      I’ve been wanting to try Nanaimo bars! I keep hearing about them…

  • Reply
    Suzanne @ hello, veggy!
    March 18, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    WOW; these look killer!! yum 🙂

  • Reply
    Sarah from Australia
    March 24, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    These are delicious! My whole family have fallen in love with these and we look forward to our dessert every night knowing these are waiting! Beautiful, fresh flavours and the crunch of the choc chips are mouth watering!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 25, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      Thank you for your comment–I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Reply
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking
    April 9, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Sweets! Eeeee! Thank you for posting these. I, for one, am thrilled to see this recipe over here. 🙂

    But hey, why’d you hold back on the chocolate chips? 😉

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 9, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      We have a muffin recipe planned for May too. JUST FOR YOU! I was like, “I need to post something sweet for Erin.” 🙂

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