Cookies & Cream Energy Bites

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Cookies and Cream Energy Bites are our latest obsession! America’s favorite cookie (Oreos®) in a more nutritious way? Heck yes! We make faux (more nutritious) “Oreo” cookie crumbs and mix them into an energy ball for a healthful snack that everyone will go crazy for!

Cookies and Cream Energy Bites in a bowl

This Cookies and Cream Energy Bites recipe is a BONUS recipe as part of our Back-To-School Lifesavers — a series of recipes that are intended to have little (or no) veggie chopping, minimal prep time, around 10 ingredients or less (not including pantry staples), and use kid-friendly ingredients. This (obviously) isn’t a dinner recipe, but a fun back-to-school snack or addition to a balanced breakfast. Click here to see all the recipes in the series!

Cookies and Cream Energy Bites

If you search for Oreos or Cookies and Cream Energy Bites you’ll most likely find Energy Bites with crushed up Oreo cookies mixed in. While that makes for a great treat, I wanted a treat that had notes of Oreo flavors WITHOUT the actual cookies — something I could feel good about packing in my kids’ lunches or adding to their breakfasts. 

So, I created my own Oreo cookie crumbs — these crumbs taste surprisingly similar to Oreo cookies, but without all the additives and unrecognizable ingredients. Plus these “cookie crumbs” are even (naturally) gluten-free!

QUICK TIP

For gluten-free Cookies and Cream Energy Balls: While the ingredients in these balls are naturally gluten-free, make sure to check all the ingredient labels to verify they weren’t processed in a facility with gluten.

Process shots-- images of the oats and coconut being pulsed together; the remaining ingredients being added

Cookies and Cream Energy Bites Ingredients

There are two parts to these energy bites — the “cookie” crumbs and the energy bites. Below we’ll chat about the energy bites ingredients.

  • Old-fashioned oats. Make sure to get rolled (old-fashioned oats), not quick oats or steel-cut oats — these types won’t work the same in this recipe. Even though we blend up the oats, for measuring consistency it’s important to use old-fashioned oats.
  • Cashew butter. Cashew butter varies quite a bit from jar to jar. I like to get cashew butter that is salted and tasty straight out of the jar. Make sure you enjoy the flavor of the cashew butter by itself — this will be a major flavor in these energy bites. If using a no-stir/natural cashew butter, give it a good stir before measuring out a cup. See “quick tip” below.
  • Salt. Depending on the cashew butter used, you may want to adjust how much salt you add. If you’re using cashew butter with no salt added, you may want to add a touch more salt to the mixture. On the flip side, if you’re using salty cashew butter or are sensitive to salt, cut back a bit.
  • Chocolate chips. To add in some additional chocolate flavor to emphasize the “cookie” flavor, we add in some dark chocolate chips. Any type of chocolate will work, but to keep these bites more nutritious we prefer dark. (Dark chocolate has antioxidants and other healthful properties.)
  • Coconut. We like to use unsweetened shredded coconut so these bites aren’t too sweet. If you’d like to make them more of a treat (less of a nutritious snack), you can use sweetened coconut instead.
  • Vanilla extract. The vanilla is what emphasizes a dessert-like cookies and cream flavor. 
  • Maple syrup. Not to be confused with corn syrup or pancake syrup, pure maple syrup is the sap from a maple tree that has been boiled down to a thicker consistency. It’s just one ingredient and known for being a natural, more wholesome (less refined) sweetener. Pancake syrup is made with corn syrup and maple extract. Pure maple syrup is quite spend-y (a lot more than pancake syrup), because it is so labor intensive to make.

QUICK TIP

If the cashew butter has separated and is dry when measuring, the energy bites will be dry. Be sure to take the time to fully mix the cashew butter to ensure it is ultra creamy before adding to the mixture.

Process shots-- images of the cookies and cream crumbles being made and added to the energy ball mixture

Homemade “Oreo” Cookie Crumbs Ingredients

  • Oat flour. No specialty flour is needed for this recipe — if you have old-fashioned oats leftover from the energy bite portion, you’ll have oat flour in seconds! See the “quick tip” box below
  • Dutch-process cocoa powder. Oreo cookies are actually made with black cocoa which is a cocoa powder that has been heavily Dutched. To keep this recipe more simple and not require “specialty” ingredients, we simply use regular Dutch-process cocoa powder instead of black. This is the exact cocoa powder I use (and highly recommend; it’s amazing!). Hershey’s “Special Dark”® cocoa powder is another Dutch-process cocoa powder that is readily found at most grocery stores.
  • Sugar. To balance the acidity of the cocoa powder, we do need some sugar. Light brown sugar works great. If you’d prefer to use unrefined sugar, use coconut sugar instead — the two sugars interchange nicely in this recipe.
  • Coconut oil. The coconut oil brings everything together. Be sure to use the oil in its solid-state form not melted!
  • Salt. A pinch of salt intensifies flavors and brings everything nicely together in these Cookies and Cream Energy Bites!

QUICK TIP

To make oat flour, be sure to use old-fashioned or rolled oats– not quick or steel-cut oats and follow these steps: 

  1. Add the oats to a food processor or small blender jar.
  2. Pulse the oats until they are ground into a powder-like consistency that resembles flour.
  3. Stir the oats around to be sure that all the oats have been finely ground and there aren’t any whole oats left. (This will affect the texture and liquid absorption of the cookie crumble.)
  4. Measure oat flour after and not before blending to get the correct measurement.

  Images of the Cookies and Cream Energy Bites dough in a bowl and then the dough balls being rolled out

Cookies and Cream Energy Bite Tips

  • Cookies and Cream Energy Bites are very adaptable. As long as you can get a consistency that holds together as a granola ball, you’ll be golden. Swap out cashew butter for different nut butter if you like. Other nut butters can be drier than cashew butter — you’ll know you need more if the mixture is crumbly and not coming together nicely. Add additional nut butter slowly; use 1-2 tablespoons at a time.
  • Allow time for the oats to absorb the liquid. At first, these energy balls may seem too moist. After they sit for a bit, though, they firm up as the oats absorb the maple syrup and cashew butter.
  • A couple of kitchen tools make recipe prep a breeze! We use a 12-cup large food processor and a cookie scoop to make this recipe. Here’s the exact food processor and cookie scoop we use.

Up-close image of the Cookies and Cream Energy Bites in a bowl ready to be eaten

STORAGE

Storage

We typically enjoy a few of these Cookies and Cream Energy Bites right as we make them. Then we’ll store some in the fridge to eat throughout the week and typically freeze the rest (if there are leftovers, that is!).

To freeze: Space the energy bites on a lined plate or tray in the freezer. Once firm (about 1-2 hours), transfer to an airtight bag or freezer container. They’ll last up to 6 months in the freezer.

To thaw: Simply pull one out and let it stand for about 15-30 minutes. You could also pop them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. (When these bites are completely frozen they are very hard to eat, but don’t feel like you need to completely thaw them before eating — we enjoy them still a bit frozen– they’re delicious that way!)

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Cookies and Cream Energy Bites

5 from 2 votes
Cookies and Cream Energy Bites are our latest obsession! America's favorite cookie (Oreos) in a more nutritious way? Heck yes! We make faux (more nutritious) "Oreo" cookie crumbs and mix them in an energy ball for a healthful snack that everyone will go crazy for!
Print Recipe

Cookies and Cream Energy Bites

5 from 2 votes
Cookies and Cream Energy Bites are our latest obsession! America's favorite cookie (Oreos) in a more nutritious way? Heck yes! We make faux (more nutritious) "Oreo" cookie crumbs and mix them in an energy ball for a healthful snack that everyone will go crazy for!
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Cookies & Cream Energy Bites
Prep Time 25 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 40 energy balls
Calories 194kcal
Cost $5.96

Ingredients

"Oreo" Crumbles

  • 3 tablespoons (22g) oat flour (blended up oats!) Note 1
  • 2 tablespoons (12g) dark/dutch-processed cocoa powder Note 2
  • 2 tablespoons (29g) light brown sugar OR coconut sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon (22g) fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon coconut oil (measured when solid)

Energy Bites

  • 2 cups (200g) old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups (115g) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup (165g) cashew butter creamy, lightly salted Note 3
  • 1/2 cup (164g) pure maple syrup Note 4
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt Note 5
  • 3/4 cup (120g) dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  • "OREO" CRUMBLES: Add all the "oreo" crumbles ingredients to a medium-sized bowl. Mix with a fork and then switch to kneading the mixture with your hands until small crumbs form. If the mix is too wet, add a touch more oat flour, and if too dry, add a touch more oil. Set aside for now.
  • OATS AND COCONUT: Add the oats and coconut to a large (12-cup) food processor fitted with the blade. Pulse for 30 seconds to a minute or until fairly ground up.
  • ADD REMAINING INGREDIENTS: Add in the cashew butter, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and chocolate chips. Pulse mixture again until ingredients are finely chopped and well incorporated. If the mixture is too dry and crumbly, add a touch more cashew butter and/or maple syrup. If it is too wet, add a bit more oats and re-pulse. (Keep in mind, oats do need some time to absorb liquid; they will dry more as they stand.)
  • COMBINE: Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add in the crumbles. Mix with a wooden spoon until incorporated.
  • ROLL: Use a 1-tablespoon measuring spoon or cookie scoop to portion out the balls and then tightly roll into balls. Once rolled, place in the fridge to firm up for about 1 hour, and then transfer to an airtight container. Store in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or freeze (See next step).
  • FREEZE: To freeze, space the energy balls on a lined plate or tray in the freezer. Once firm (about 1 hour), transfer to an airtight bag or freezer container. They'll last up to 6 months in the freezer. To thaw: Simply pull one out and let it stand for about 15-30 minutes. You could also pop them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. When these bites are completely frozen, they are very hard to eat, but don't feel like you need to completely thaw them before eating -- we enjoy them still a bit frozen. They're delicious that way!

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: No specialty flour is needed for this recipe -- if you have old-fashioned oats leftover from the energy bite portion, you'll have oat flour in seconds! Here's how to make it: Add the oats to a food processor or small blender jar. Pulse the oats until they are ground into a powder-like consistency that resembles flour. Measure oat flour after blending and not before to get the correct measurement.
Note 2: Oreo cookies are actually made with black cocoa which is a cocoa powder that has been heavily Dutched. To keep this recipe simpler and not require "specialty" ingredients, we simply use regular Dutch-process cocoa powder instead of black. This is the exact cocoa powder I use. Hershey’s “Special Dark”® cocoa powder is another Dutch-process cocoa powder that is readily found at most grocery stores. Don't use regular cocoa powder for this recipe.
Note 3: Cashew butter varies quite a bit from jar to jar. I like to get cashew butter that is salted and tasty straight out of the jar. Make sure you enjoy the flavor of the cashew butter by itself — this will be a major flavor in these energy bites. If using a no-stir/natural cashew butter, give it a good stir before measuring out a cup. If the cashew butter has separated and is dry when measuring, the energy bites will be dry. Be sure to take the time to fully mix the cashew butter to ensure it is ultra creamy before adding to the mixture.
Note 4: Not to be confused with corn syrup or pancake syrup, pure maple syrup is the sap from a maple tree that has been boiled down to a thicker consistency. It’s just one ingredient and is known for being a natural, more wholesome (less refined) sweetener. Pancake syrup is made with corn syrup and maple extract. Pure maple syrup is quite spend-y (a lot more than pancake syrup), because it is so labor intensive to make.
Note 5: Depending on the cashew butter used, you may want to adjust how much salt you add. If you’re using cashew butter with no salt added, you may want to add a touch more salt to the mixture. On the flip side, if you’re using salty cashew butter or are sensitive to salt, cut back on the salt. The salt measurement is for FINE sea salt which is different from table salt.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 46mg | Potassium: 183mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    made these and they were so good! next time I’ll add the chocolate chips last and chop them up myself to have some crunch. thank you for the recipe!

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