No Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars
For the (optional) crust
8 ounces cookie crumbs (I used crushed gluten free graham crackers)
5 tablespoons (70 g) unsalted butter, melted
For the cookie dough filling
2 cups (240 g) raw cashews (pieces are fine)
Water for soaking
1 cup (8 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (112 g) virgin coconut oil, melted
2/3 cup (145 g) packed light brown sugar
4 ounces miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
Line a standard 8-inch square baking pan. For the (optional) crust, in a medium-sized bowl, combine the cookie crumbs and melted butter, and mix to combine well. Transfer the wet mixture to the prepared baking pan and press into an even layer on the bottom of the pan, using a moistened spoon or offset spatula. Place the pan in the refrigerator to chill.
For the cookie dough filling, you’ll need to soak the raw cashews. If you can plan in advance, place the cashew pieces in a medium-sized bowl, cover them with room temperature water, cover the bowl tightly and place in the refrigerator to chill overnight. If you haven’t planned in advance, place the cashew pieces in a medium-sized bowl, cover them with hot (but not boiling) water, cover the bowl, and allow the cashews to soak for 15 minutes. Drain the cashews of the soaking liquid, and discard the liquid.
In a blender, place the soaked and drained cashews, cream, vanilla, salt, coconut oil, and brown sugar. Stir a bit to combine, then blend on high speed until very smooth. The mixture will be thick. Place the filling in the refrigerator to chill for about 10 minutes or until no longer warm to the touch (otherwise the filling will melt the chips after you add them). The filling will thicken as it sits, but will still be stirrable.
Add about 3 ounces of the miniature chips into the cooled filling mixture and stir to combine. Remove the baking pan from the refrigerator and transfer the filling to the pan. Shake the filling into an even layer, and top evenly with the remaining miniature chocolate chips. Place the pan in the freezer to chill until very firm (about 4 hours). Remove from the pan, then slice into 9 square bars and serve chilled.
Adapted from Amy Le Creations.