Cookies and I… we have a bit of love/hate relationship.
I mean, they’re cookies. Yum! But they are also (usually) chock full of sugar that makes me feel blah and my crew of kids go a wee bit wild. Blah! But, it is so fun seeing my family’s faces when I make them cookies. Yeah! But, they can be a pain to make for my gluten, dairy, corn, soy, egg, etc. free daughter. Boo!
I do not know how many batches of cookies, or other treats, have failed over the last year as I try and figure out the art of egg and gluten free cookies. Then, once I figured out several, my daughter’s list of “no” foods dramatically increased and nearly every treat I had developed over the previous year were no longer fine.
I don’t do a lot of treats due to trying to not have too much sugar, not being a huge fan of baking, and wanting to keep treats treats. But, being the ripe age of three now she is going more places and doing more things.
It is important to me for her to not always feel left out, and be the odd child out. So, I make cookies.
Well, the first few weeks I bought cookies, as I got over the kitchen shock of avoiding 6 common foods to over 20. Our local store recently started carrying some allergy friendly cookies she could have. So, we get them occasionally for treat “emergencies” (events when I am unable to make something for her before hand, etc.). But, there really was very little in those cookies that I could even pretend is nourishing. So, I don’t want it to be a weekly thing.
Enter dates. Dates are the little ugly packages of magic in my gluten-free, egg free, and natural kitchen. They naturally sweeten these cookies (plus some chocolate too, to make these extra special) add a caramel-like flavor, delicious chewiness, and they hold the cookies together in the absence of eggs.
Nut butter (I use cashew butter for Natalia’s and peanut butter for mine) adds a bit of protein and makes them a little more of a substantial snack, dates are the bulk of the sweetness, a bit of starch adds structure, and chocolate makes it even better. Which chocolate is grand at doing, of course!
Double Chocolate Cookies made from nut butter and mostly sweetened with dates. They are gluten, dairy, soy, and egg free.
- 8 oz medjool dates
- 1/2 c. peanut butter or cashew butter (+1/4 teaspoon salt if using an unsalted version)
- 2 1/2 Tbs. tapioca or potato starch
- 1/4 c. water
- 1/3 c. chocolate chips + more for topping (I used Enjoy Life brand to be dairy and soy free)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. baking powder (I used homemade to make it corn free)
- Preheat the oven to 325. Prepare two cookie sheets, If using a metal or unseasoned stone cookie sheet oil or line with parchment paper.
- Put the dates, nut butter, and water in a food processor. Blend until smooth (will probably take a few minutes). Add the starch, vanilla, and 1/3 cup chocolate chips and blend them in. The little bit of friction heat from blending the dates and nut butter will melt the chips. Lastly, blend in the baking powder.
- Get a little cup of water ready to use while messing with the dough. It is sticky. I have used either two spoons (which I dip in water each time before touching the dough) to make tablespoon size cookies or a small cookie scoop (which I also dip in the water each time). Don’t worry if a little water gets on the dough, it will bake off. Smooth the mounds out and flatten to 1/4 inch thickness with wet finger tips. Add a few chocolate chips top the top of each cookie and lightly press in.
- Bake at 325 for 10-12 minutes, until the tops of the cookies look dry and crack around the chips a bit. Keep an eye on them as they can burn easily.
- Let cool on the pan. These cookies are best cold from the fridge as the chocolate in them hardens up and lends to a yummy chewy texture.
1. I have used other nut/seed butters but cashew and peanut butter are the ones I found best for this. I tried sunbutter to have a version both Natalia and I can have but it was unsuccessful. It might work with sweetened sunbutter though. Other nut/seed butters might work, but we are limited in what I could try out.
2. These freeze well. I put a few in each little baggie and take them out an hour or two before needed.
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