Our friends were due over for a belated birthday celebration. 30 minutes before they arrived, I realized I had made my “trail mix” cookies (recipe to follow in another post) with almond butter. My friend Rafa is allergic to almonds. I almost died when I realized what I had done! Quickly, I searched for another easy dessert recipe to whip up that wasn’t loaded with white sugar and butter and eggs and all that stuff I don’t normally have on hand. I ran across a page torn from “Delicious Living” in my recipe binder. Walnuts? check. Dates? check. Grapeseed oil? check. Vanilla extract? check. Cinnamon? check. Sea Salt? Always!
1 Cup Walnuts (pieces, halves, whatever you’ve got) * variation below
9 pitted dates ( I used Deglet Noor dates, but I’m sure Medjools would work as well)
1 TBS grapeseed oil (or neutral oil)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
Chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place walnuts and dates in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Pulse in oil, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Continue to pulse until mixture begins to form a ball.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form small dough balls about the size of a TBS and place on sheet. I added one dark chocolate chip to the top of each one; this is totally not necessary, but tasted good! Smash them down a bit. Bake for 6-10 minutes (8 worked well for me) until firm. Cool on baking sheet.
We were all surprised at how delicious these were! *Here’s another variation I made a few weeks later where I subbed Brazil nuts for the walnuts and topped them with a dried cranberry. They were a little more crumbly, but they had a great taste all the same!
Do you have a great cookie recipe that’s healthy and delicious? Please share!