Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bites

As seen elsewhere on this blog, I’m very concerned with healthy living and longevity. As part of that, I tend towards a highly ketogenic diet. I used to love chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate chip cookie dough, but now I never eat wheat and very rarely eat sugar. This recipe is one I developed to satisfy that craving – it’s sweet, delicious, and basically qualifies as health food in my way of eating.

The basics of replicating chocolate chip cookie dough are (1) the tongue flavors – sweet with a touch of salt, (2) vanilla, the fundamental flavor of the dough, (3) chocolate chips, and (4) texture. This recipe nails all four, even though it’s got no wheat, no eggs, and basically isn’t dough in any recognizable sense.

Ingredients:

I find volume-based measurements imprecise, and it’s pretty annoying to use measuring cups with something like coconut oil or nut butter, so everything is measured in grams, with a kitchen scale. Also easy to scale up or scale down – just get out a calculator (it’s in your phone somewhere) and multiply all the numbers by any proportion you like.

(The links above are to the products I actually use, from Costco and Amazon. And they’re all large quantities – I make this stuff a couple times a month, always have it on hand.)

Instructions:

  • Melt cacao butter and coconut oil together in a double boiler. (If you don’t have one, a metal bowl sitting on top of a saucepan works pretty well. Theoretically, one could also microwave, but I’ve never dared.) Keep an eye on it and take it off the heat (take the top bowl off the water bowl) when the cacao butter has just a few small pieces left. Stir till they’re gone too.
  • While you’re waiting for that, stir or whisk together the dry ingredients: whey protein, sweetener, and salt.
  • When the oils are ready, add the vanilla extract and the nut butter. (I find it easier to put the nut butter on the scale here, so I can take the right amount out with a large spoon and then use the spoon for further stirring.)
  • Stir, blend, or mix until even. If your nut butter is dry & clumpy, you’ll probably want a blender or food processor; otherwise, stirring by hand is easy enough.
  • Add in the dry mix a few large spoonfuls at a time, and stir till the texture is uniform.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips, or else distribute them evenly throughout your containers.
  • Pour into shallow containers, such as silicone molds, pie plates, or broad, flat leftover bins. (Keep them under 1/2″ or so in depth.)
  • Put into the freezer for a couple hours to really firm up the cacao butter / coconut oil.
  • Break up into bite-sized pieces, and store in fridge. (With the coconut oil, they are not at all stable at room temperature. They also taste better at fridge temperature.)

Notes

Sweeteners

I love Lakanto Monkfruit – it looks like sugar, tastes like sugar, and works in any recipe I’ve tried, 1:1 with sugar. The branding makes a big deal about the monkfruit extract – but it’s clearly mostly erythritol, a sugar alcohol. Erythritol has one odd characteristic, which is that it’s highly endothermic when dissolving in water. Translation: It feels cold in your mouth. That’s a little odd in some recipes, but anything cold (ice cream, custard, these cookie dough bites) works great with it. Xylitol is another fine sugar alcohol, which is also 1:1 with sugar and very healthy for humans; I used to use that, but then I found out how highly toxic it is for dogs, and I got it out of my kitchen. (I don’t have a dog, but I’d hate to bring xylitol-based food to a potluck and have something tragic happen.)

Real cookie dough usually has eggs or other water-containing ingredients; this does not, which means none of the sweetener dissolves – comes out a bit crunchy/crystalline. A good remedy for this is to use 2/3 powdered sweetener, 1/3 crystals. It’s possible to buy powdered erythritol or xylitol, but it’s usually pretty pricey and hard to find. You can make your own with a coffee grinder (though I haven’t tried, not saying it’s easy) or with a Vita-Mix dry container (which is what I do). Put in about 1.5 C of lakanto monkfruit or other sugar-like substance, and blend on high for about 45 seconds. Et voila.

Oils and Proteins

I’ve varied this recipe quite a bit; you can try different proportions of cacao butter and coconut oil, for instance. The more cacao butter they have, the harder they are. I tried making them with just cacao butter, but I found that it still was too gooey to store at room temperature, and it was too hard out of the fridge. Just coconut oil works, but it’s missing something in the flavor.

Similarly, you can use other proteins. I haven’t tried any vegan proteins, though I know they’re out there. When I’ve occasionally gone dairy-free, I’ve used collagen protein – a little more expensive, but great health benefits for connective tissue and skin. Makes the bites significantly stickier in texture. A half/half whey/collagen blend works well.

Chocolate Molds

I recommend using a large silicone chocolate bar mold similar to this one on Amazon. Couple advantages:

  • Really easy to peel out of the mold after it’s done
  • Easy cleanup in the dishwasher
  • Fun shapes! (You can also get hearts, leaves, or my party favorite, Han Solo frozen in carbonite!)
  • With the small, even squares in mine, I can actually put the chocolate chips directly into the molds – 3 per square – and then pour the cookie dough over them. Nice even distribution, harder to achieve if you mix the chips into the dough.
  • And you’re all set for making your own chocolate bars! (Recipe coming soon…)

Nutrition (and cost)

With the above quantities, a whole batch is 949g = a little over 2 pounds, and costs about $28. If you use the silicone molds I linked to, this makes 144 “bites”, squares of about 6.4g each (after taking out the 25g or so that you lose in mixing bowls). I tend to eat them 3 at a time – so call it a 19g serving:

Serving size: 19g
Servings per batch: 48
Price: $.55
Calories: 107
Protein: 3.7g
Fat: 9.7g
Calories from fat: 87
Carbohydrates: 4.7g
Sugar: 0.3g
Fiber: 0.1g
Sugar Alcohol: 3.0g
Net Carbs: 1.6g

Most of the net carbs come from the nut butter, with a little bit from the whey. Collagen protein is zero-carb, if you want to trim that down further. I’ve tried making this recipe without any nut butter, and somehow it just doesn’t come together.

Note that with 5.6 calories/gram, this is very high calorie food – up there with just eating cashews, or a dark chocolate bar, and higher than even the richest cheese. They’re also pretty satiating. Go slow.

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