These are not the everyday kind of cookies. No wheat flour, no egg, no butter and absolutely no sugar – and they still taste morish and delicious. Rustic, wholesome and mind it, with a crumbly texture, these cookies remind me more of a health bar, than a dessert.
These past few weeks have been insane. I have been cooking and baking like a crazy woman with one thing following the other. Goodies are baking in the oven even before the previous one is all consumed. This cookie at least can be called more on the healthy side, but I am afraid that more indulgence is coming up in this space.
However I have to admit that these were the ugliest cookies I have ever seen or rather made. I also had the most difficult time trying to make them look good in the photographs, until I gave up. You just have to trust me and take my word for it that these were good.
I spied the recipe in the Sprouts – Local Farmers Market free store magazine; what attracted me was the easy list of ingredients and how quick these could be made. What I did not think was it had no flour, no leavening and nothing much to hold the nut flour together other than the sticky dates. I added some chocolate which the recipe did not have and also some citrus zest along with spices, hoping it would appeal to the kids and the bitterness of the chocolate would break up the intense sweet of the dates.
Well, the girls did not much care for it. I think it would have worked better if I told them I made fruit and nut bars rather than cookies. The word “cookies” implies something completely different than this kind, to the kids. No sugar, no icing cookies do not fit well in that category in their books.
In spite of them being not so good looking, we loved them; more as a filling healthy bite than as cookie.
These little bites takes the natural sweet of the dates, so the more you add, the sweeter they are going to be. If you are using sweetened chocolate, you will need to adjust the number of dates.
Spiced Walnut Date and Chocolate Cookies
(Recipe adapted from Sprouts Farmers Market store magazine in print)
Ingredients: (yields 15 cookies)
- 1.5 cups walnut halves and pieces
- 15 dates, pitted and chopped
- 1 teaspoon citrus zest
- 1/4 cup bittersweet/semisweet chocolate chips (Use chocolate chips instead of chopped chocolate bars/chunks**)
- 2 teaspoon grapeseed oil, or almond butter
- a pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon powdered clove
- 1 teaspoon vanilla/almond/orange extract
- raw sugar to sprinkle on the top (Optional)
**Note: Use the chocolate chips, as they do not melt as quickly as the bars/chunks chopped. The cookies are baked for a short while and as it is difficult to handle, and they would be messy if the chocolate melted easily. With the chocolate chips, it worked out pretty good and the broken chips stayed as it is in the cookies without making it gooey.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Place walnuts, dates and chocolate in a small food processor and process/process until they are coarsely ground. Add the rest of the ingredients in the food processor and process/pulse until the entire mix starts to form a ball.
Line a baking/cookie sheet with parchment paper (the parchment paper/liner is a must; you will have a difficult time removing the cookies if you do not use the paper/liner). Scoop out the mix, about 1 tablespoon each, gently roll into a ball with your hands (it will form approx. 15 cookies), and place each on the lined tray (sprinkle sugar if you want) and gently flatten them.
Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Cool completely in the baking/cookie sheet. It gets very difficult to get the cookies out while it is hot. Have patience and allow it to cool completely. After cooled, slowly peel out the parchment paper and handle the cookies with care.
Consume within 2 days.
Preparation Time: 10-12 minutes
Cooking Time: 8-10 minutes + cooling/resting time
Difficulty Level: Easy
Yields: 15 (1.5 inch diameter each) cookies