COOKIES & CREAM COLLAGEN PROTEIN BLONDIES
I am taking a break from all of the pumpkin to embrace the cookies and cream cravings I’ve been having! These Cookies & Cream Collagen Protein Blondies are irresistibly gooey with a rich dairy-free buttercream on top. Mmmm. I am clearly obsessed with collagen bar recipes! It all started with the original Cookie Dough Collagen Bars (Paleo option), then my Collagen Protein Brownies, then Sugar Cookie Collagen Protein Bars, Peanut Butter Collagen Protein Blondies, S’mores Collagen Protein Blondies, Collagen Protein Carrot Cake (Paleo), and Pumpkin Collagen Protein Blondies. Although each one is slightly different, they are all favorites of mine!
Did you know? Collagen peptides may even be more effective for suppressing appetite than some other protein supplements (whey, casein, soy) according to one recent study (source). The only drawback is that collagen is not particularly high in leucine, which is the rate limiting factor for protein synthesis of muscle tissue. So, don’t rely on collagen for all of your daily protein needs – choose a variety of quality protein sources.
I love adding collagen to my baked goods because it offers beauty-boosting, gut healing, and joint restoring amino acids. When used in the right amount, it doesn’t ruin the taste or texture either! If you don’t have collagen peptides, substitute an additional half cup (60g) of gluten-free baking flour, or 60 grams of another protein powder (whey, casein, or plant-based protein). If using whey or casein, you will also want to replace half the egg white with a quarter cup of unsweetened applesauce, buttery spread, vegetable oil, or more cashew butter. Unlike collagen, using too much of these other proteins will make the bars dry and dense.
I used gluten-free baking flour in this recipe, but feel free to sub one-third cup of coconut flour to lower the carbs! If you don’t have either, you can substitute two-thirds cup of all-purpose flour, brown rice flour, cake flour, cassava flour (Paleo), oat flour (oats blended into flour), sorghum flour, spelt flour, tiger nut flour or whole wheat pastry flour.
To sweeten these delightful bars, I used Pyure Organic Stevia Blend, a calorie-free blend of stevia and erythritol that’s twice as sweet as sugar. An almost identical substitute would be Truvia Natural Sweetener. You can also use baking stevia, granulated erythritol, or a granulated sugar like coconut sugar, but you will need twice as much (one cup) to achieve the same level of sweetness. If using stevia extract or drops, please refer to the brand-specific conversion chart.
To add richness and moisture, I used my tried-and-true combo of cashew butter and egg whites. Feel free to substitute cookie butter or another nut butter for the cashew butter, or a couple whole eggs or flax eggs for the egg whites! The vanilla extract and butter extract impart even more cookies and cream flavor to the bars.
Sugar free buttercream frosting
The sugar free buttercream frosting is my go to recipe! It combines confectioner’s erythritol, tapioca starch/flour, unsweetened almond milk, vegan buttery spread, and pure vanilla extract. Feel free to substitute regular powdered sugar for the confectioner’s erythritol, or simply blend granulated erythritol into a powder. You can also swap out the tapioca starch for corn starch, potato starch or arrowroot powder. Any type of milk will work in place of the almond milk, and you can substitute unsalted butter for the vegan buttery spread if you prefer. DO NOT sub baking stevia or any type of granulated stevia here or your frosting will be bitter and disgusting.
These wouldn’t be cookies and cream protein blondies without some crumbled sandwich cookies in there! I used mini Oreos, but you can use a gluten-free brand if needed (Oreos are already dairy-free). I used some in both the frosting and the actual blondies!
Here is the printable recipe for these Cookies & Cream Collagen Protein Blondies! I hope you’ll rate and comment below if you try them 🙂
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Cookies & Cream Collagen Protein Blondies
- 90 g unflavored collagen protein*
- 3/4 cup (90g) gluten-free baking flour*
- 1/2 cup calorie-free sweetener* I used one that's twice as sweet as sugar
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt optional
- 1/2 cup cashew butter*
- 1/2 cup (4 large) egg whites*
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. butter extract optional
- 2 oz. chocolate sandwich cookies crushed
- 1 cup confectioner’s erythritol* I used Swerve brand
- 2 tbsp. tapioca starch*
- 3-4 tbsp. unsweetened almond milk*
- 2 tbsp. vegan buttery spread*
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