Monday, February 4, 2013
Good For Ya: Peanut Butter Date Cookies with Cacao Nibs
I had second thoughts on telling you about these cookies, mainly because I didn't think they were super photogenic. Silly me. While they don't necessarily rack up the food porn points, they score a ten out of ten for their delicious healthy goodness. I first spied these cookies over on Sprouted Kitchen (naturally) and knew right away I must make them. I'm a fan of the date, especially the fat and juicy Medjool variety, and any time I can sneak dates into baked goods, I'm there. Plus all you need for these cookies is a food processor, your hands and a fork. Gotta love a low maintenance cookie. Save the oven for another baking experience because these babies are raw, as in unbaked. Did I mention they're vegan and gluten free too? Well now you know. You know what else? There is no butter in the recipe, and I don't even miss it. That's a fact. These cookies are good for ya! So let's jump to it!
Start with good, wholesome ingredients. All you need here is peanut butter (natural is best), almonds, pitted dates, a pinch of salt, splash of vanilla, smattering of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey. Peanut butter is made even better when paired with chocolate, so do add the cacao nibs - they made the cookie crazy good. Put all ingredients in a food processor and, well, process them.
It will look lumpy and bumpy, but pulse until uniform and the "dough" sticks together. The original recipe does not call for any sweetener, but I totally had to add honey to get them to stick together more. Use your own discretion. You may have to add a little more peanut butter and honey than the recipe calls for. Do what works for you. Not into honey? Sub in agave syrup. Why the heck not. (About a year ago I made these "raw" brownies with chipotle and chocolate and these cookies totally remind me of them). Gotta gluten free/vegan pal to feed? They will love you even more if you wrangle up some of those brownies or today's cookies. Honest.
Roll into balls, flatten with a fork and then pop in your mouth. Soft and chewy, with full on flavour, these cookies take a seat next to all of my favourite high butter content cookie pals. Did I tell you how good they are for you? Smack full of protein, fibre and Omega 3's, they are Healthy with a capital H. The dates aren't really detectable amongst the strong nut and chocolate flavours so if you are anti-date, don't give up on these. Keep in the refrigerator for snacks, pop into lunches, take them with you on your travels, heck even eat them for breakfast. True story: I slept in one day last week - for some reason the alarm didn't go off. Sleeper error, most likely. The only thing that could wake me was the the bristly tongue of a hungry cat licking my face. Out of bed in a flash I was, and with no time for breakfast, I threw a few of these in my bag and munched on them at work. Good stuff. Though I don't recommend the sleeping in bit.
Peanut Butter Cookies with Dates & Cacao Nibs
1 cup almonds (I used toasted, sliced almonds, but whole or slivered would be fine)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup pitted Medjool dates, packed
heaping 1/2 cup good quality, natural, organic peanut butter
1/4 cup cacao nibs or finely chopped dark chocolate
two pinches of kosher salt (if your peanut butter isn't salted)
4 tbsp or more of honey or agave syrup
Process almonds until they are a coarse meal. Add rest of ingredients, pulse until uniform in texture and colour and it sticks together between fingers. Scoop out with a tablespoon, roll into balls and flatten with a fork to make a cross hatch. Cover and keep refrigerated. Makes about 2 dozen. Recipe from Sprouted Kitchen.