Vegan Squarebar Cheesecake Cookie-Dough Cups+Review

I think I might be going a little heavy on the cookie dough paraphernalia recently. There’s the Realist train of thought, there’s the Communist train of thought, there’s the Marxist train of thought and maybe there is the Cookie Dough train of thought, which acknowledges and empathises with the Hobbesian anarchical state of nature but instates that all woes can be momentarily mitigated by cookie dough. Now that’s a thought that will garner quite a field of supporters.

All nonsensical, slightly school-drunken ramblings aside, it’s still a fact that creamy rich cookie dough studded with dark chocolate chunks is near the top of the ladder as foods that have the same effect on you as a holiday, or winning the lottery. And here we get cookie dough made cheesecake flavored, vegan, and sitting on top of bases made by no other than the fabulous, the fantastical, the flamboyantly supercalifragilisticexpialidocious chocolate covered protein bar known as Squarebar! I’ve been absolutely smitten with these bars for a long while and you’ve probably seen loads of them crumbled, chopped and chunked all over my food on my Instagram–and now it’s time to give them a proper introduction.

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Everyone, welcome the Squarebar. An organic, vegan, gluten free protein bar created by the kitchen wizard duo Andrew and Sarah Gordon, a lovely couple that discovered just how healing eliminating inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy, soy, and processed sugars was to Sarah’s asthma and created this bar that reflects their belief in nutrition and the importance of ingredients. Besides ensuring an ethical approach in their production (which is something I firmly believe in and endorse, and that I’m increasingly heartened to see more companies adopt such as Bare Blends) by working directly with the farmers of the organic and non-gmo ingredients, they have partnered up with Not For Sale–a San Francisco based non-profit organization fighting modern-day slavery, human trafficking and exploitation around the world–to fund the organization’s abolitionist efforts, and contribute 2.5% of their sales to the campaign. As people in positions of privilege, it’s very important to ensure that what is on our plate causes as little harm as possible and that we learn how to educate ourselves as to exactly how our ingredients are farmed, sourced and produced, and I’m so glad that Squarebars has got that area covered and actively endorses an ethical way of living starting from the plate.

So this is how the combo pack of their 3 original flavors looks like–coming in handy dandy sleeves that ensure that these bars are ready to chuck into your bag for an on-the-go boost or to survive a long journey squashed amongst the debris within your bag (don’t lie, I know there’s a lint ball/crushed receipt/decade old wrapper somewhere in there)(if there isn’t kudos to you, you are a champ of the highest degree). From bottom up: the bars are cocoa almond, cocoa crunch and cocoa coconut flavored and are little rectangles covered in a dully shining, crackly layer of chocolate. According to the package, each bar comes with a hefty hit of 12 gram’s worth of protein, is sweetened with coconut nectar, and is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, peanut-free and corn-free for those whose tummies can’t take these common allergens/wish to cut them out for some reason.

The first time I tried this, I remembered tasting a shard of the chocolate coating that crumbled when I was cutting up the bar to put on oatmeal. In the spectrum of vegan chocolate I’ve had (Lindt dark chocolate, Pana chocolate, Loving Earth chocolate, homemade raw chocolate, Antidote chocolate) it goes to somewhere between homemade raw chocolate and Pana chocolate–in that it has a noticeable syrup sweetness to it like the type you get from maple syrup and honey; a sort of sticky golden caramelly flavor that melts nicely in your mouth. From the ingredient list I’ve just checked, it’s made from organic cocoa liquor, cane syrup and cocoa butter–which makes me right and my tastebuds not that bad after all! It doesn’t have the buttery richness and luxurious cocoa buttery melt of Pana chocolate, nor the dull sometimes chalky melt of homemade raw chocolate, but more like a glossy, quick melt. It’s good chocolate–not too rich and overpowering for the bar or a weak excuse for cacao in a chalky, stodgy mess; it complements it just nicely.

The cocoa almond is the densest bar amongst the three; it is a fudgy, chocolaty affair that has the faint taste of almonds and cinnamon. The bar is sweet, but not overly so; and the dense fudginess makes it taste decadently delicious, but yet it manages not to be cloying or thickly heavy like some bars that rely overly on medjool dates and nuts for a base, so you feel satiated but not fooded out, and honestly it’s one of the best protein bars I’ve had.

The cocoa crunch bar has the same chocolate coating and fudgy base that I’ve now come to associate as characteristically Squarebar (and which is a very good thing!) but is slightly drier, and has a sort of popped rice and popped corn sort of maltiness to it. Apparently it’s supposed to contain organic rice crisps inside, which I do see from the chunks, but unfortunately didn’t quite manage to get the sort of crunchy crispiness I was looking out for. Maybe I eat them too hurriedly to discern any sort of textural variation, in which case it would be my bad, oops. They’re very much delicious though, and taste like chocolaty heaven especially when on top of pancakes!

Last but not least, the cocoa-coconut–same chocolate coating but this protein bar is additionally creamy. Along with the similar fudgy, chocolaty sweetness of the previous two bars, this one has an added tropical burst of coconut flavor (which comes from the shredded coconut within) and a level of buttery richness that makes it extra decadent, from the coconut oil added. The coconut flavor isn’t too discernable, which is good for those of you who don’t particularly like the flavor, but it’s noticeable enough on a whole and not underwhelmed too much by the chocolate and cacao, which is a great balance. All in all, another fabulous bar that I very much enjoyed eating.

I’ve had these bars on top of pancakes, oatmeal, french toast, and inside bagels (mm that was good) and alone–they have been very much a welcome quick fridge grab in the morning when I have homework due but haven’t managed to complete and would therefore have to devote recess time to doing, ensuring that I’ll have something to munch on even whilst toiling away. I love Squarebars very much and am glad and humbled for the chance to be able to sample this deliciousness; the friends that I’ve given some to to try have also been heartily approving its taste and delicious chocolatiness whilst still managing to keep things feeling good and wholesome. And they’ve recently released two new flavors–cocoa cherry and cocoa mint–which you will see on this space very, very soon so watch out for that! All in all, Squarebars is a wonderful company that endorses a firm set of ethics and that has managed to create something that is beautifully scrumptious. Definitely find the chance to check them out if you can–they’re available on the website itself if you click the link.

And yup. I know you’ve been waiting for these. Cups of cheesecake cookie dough deliciousness sitting on bases of chocolaty, fudgy Squarebar–these add the extra decadent dessert element to the snacky one, and are perfect for a tea time treat. I had fun thinking of cookie dough flavors to complement the Squarebar flavors, and in the end these are the three that combine the original combo pack of Squarebars with an added level of cookie doughy yumminess!

The cocoa almond base is topped with a layer of almond vanilla cheesecake cookie dough and then another layer on top of berry jam cheesecake cookie dough (think almond butter and jelly), the cocoa crunch base is topped with a brownie cheesecake cookie dough filled with a crunchy buckwheat crackle, and the cocoa coconut base is topped with a buttery chocolate-chip coconut vanilla cheesecake cookie dough. I discovered cheesecake cookie dough–an amazingly squidgy, creamy and rich cookie dough–when thinking of adding cold coconut cream to a cookie dough recipe I was tweaking! Long story short, it was divine. It creates a beautiful cheesecake-like melt to the cookie dough, and definitely increases the scrummy meter by a few notches.

The recipe is for 6–making Cocoa Coconut2 of each flavor. I hope you try these and Squarebars out, do let me know what you think!

(disclaimer: I was not paid to advertise these products, Squarebar sent them to me for review. All opinions expressed are mine, and I think it’s pretty darn delicious.)


Vegan Squarebar Cheesecake Cookie-Dough Cups

You will need:

Cocoa Almond

-1 cocoa almond Squarebar

-1/4 cup rolled oats

-2 tbs almonds/almond flakes (or just a small handful’s worth)

-1 tbs coconut sugar

-1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste/extract

-2 heaped tbsp cold coconut cream (should be a solid, scoopable consistency–like the type used to make coconut whipped cream)

-1 tbsp coconut butter/any nut butter, melted

-1/2 tbs berry jam

-1 tsp BareBlends Bare Berries (optional but recommended)

Cocoa Crunch

-1 cocoa crunch Squarebar

-1/4 cup rolled oats

-1 tbs carob/cacao/cocoa

-1/4 tsp cinnamon (or as much as you wish)

-1 tbs coconut sugar

-2 heaped tbsp cold coconut cream

-1 tbsp coconut butter/any nut butter, melted

-1 tbs buckwheat groats+1/2 tsp coconut oil+1/2 tsp maple syrup

Cocoa Coconut

-1 cocoa coconut Squarebar

-1/4 cup rolled oats

-2 tbs dessicated coconut/shredded coconut

-1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

-1 tbs coconut sugar

-2 heaped tbsp cold coconut cream

-1 tsp coconut butter/any nut butter, melted

-2 tbsp vegan chocolate chips/dark chocolate chunks/carob chips

First of all, prepare a silicone 6-cup muffin mould/any silicone mould of your choice, or line a 6-cup muffin tin with muffin cups. Using a small food processor attachment, blitz up the cocoa almond Squarebar. It should break up into chunks and then start to gather again to form a dough–divide the dough amongst 2 of the 6 cups and press to cover the bottom. Repeat with the other two Squarebar flavors until you get 3 sets of 2 bases for each flavor.

For the cocoa almond: Blitz the rolled oats in a food processor till you get a floury consistency. Add the almonds and blitz against until everything is a coarse meal. Add in the coconut sugar, vanilla, coconut cream, coconut butter and stir till you get a thick cookie dough consistency. Take half of this dough and spread it evenly on top of the two cocoa almond Squarebar bases. Add the jam and the Bare Blends Bare Berries to the remaining half of cookie dough and then spread that on top of the almond cookie dough.

For the cocoa crunch: Blitz the rolled oats, cacao/carob/cocoa and cinnamon till a flour forms. Add the coconut sugar, coconut cream and  coconut butter and mix till a chocolate cookie dough forms. Mix the buckwheat groats with the coconut oil and maple syrup till coated, and either toast in a small pan over low heat until golden and crisp and crunchy or bake on a parchment lined dish till golden brown and crunchy, stirring every now and then. Tip this in, mix and then divide over the cocoa crunch bases. Spread that till evenly covered.

For the cocoa coconut: Blitz the rolled oats and dessicated coconut till a meal forms. Add the coconut sugar, vanilla bean paste, coconut cream, coconut butter/nut butter and mix till a dough forms. Tip in the vegan chocolate, stir and then spread evenly over the cocoa coconut bases.

Freeze the cheesecake cookie dough cups until solid, at least 2 hours. Let defrost slightly in the fridge for maybe 20 minutes to half an hour to get the perfect softness before eating, or a shorter time outside if you wish. Enjoy!







One thought on “Vegan Squarebar Cheesecake Cookie-Dough Cups+Review

  1. Alissa says:

    hey Lin! I wanted to make some banana bread, but I can’t find your recipe, which I really like. Did you delete the post? Thank you and have a really nice day! xx, Ali

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