“Raw” Peanut Butter Cookies

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I don’t have any New Year’s resolutions.  I’m not sure whether that portrays me as lacking initiative or rather being happy with where I am.  I’ve enjoyed reading and hearing about other people’s resolutions, however; check out Google Zeitgeist to read resolutions from all over the world.  “No junk food”, “Propose to Dawn”, “Quit Facebook”, “Get into shape”, “Tell my family every day that I love them”, “Play better golf”, and heaps more.  Good luck to those of you who have resolutions!

With today’s post, I hope to encourage those of you who have goals of eating healthier, eliminating junk food, and perhaps going vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free.  I have a friend who is vegan; she eats some crazy food, but the photos she posts on Instagram look spectacularly delicious.  It appears that it’s actually quite easy to achieve a healthy and balanced diet without using refined sugars, processed foods and meats.  She inspired me to try out a recipe I found for healthy peanut butter cookies via La Mesa that uses no sweeteners except medjool dates and almond meal instead of flour.

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This simple recipe, which results in a cookie dough-like texture, uses only 4 ingredients and can quickly be prepared in your food processor.

You’ll need almond meal (whole almonds, raw or dry-roasted, will also work), pitted medjool dates, natural peanut butter (although you can use any type of peanut butter, or other nut butter such as almond, cashew, etc) and pure vanilla extract.  The ingredients are processed in a food processor, then formed into balls.  You could probably leave them as balls and call them “bites” instead of “cookies”, or you could flatten them with a fork for that classic peanut butter cookie look.  And that’s it.  That’s all there is to it.  You don’t even need to turn on your oven.

A quick note about using almond meal vs. whole nuts – almond meal will result in a smoother texture without the appearance of nut chunks.  I used almond meal for this blog post, and you’ll see how the texture looks smooth in the photos.  When I made these cookies again, I used a mixture of whole cashews and whole peanuts, which resulted in the appearance of small nut chunks, and also giving the cookies a bit of crunchier texture.

A word of warning on the dates… processing the dates can put a bit of strain on a food processor, so process the mixture with caution.  If you have a strong processor, you should be fine, but if you have a cheaper brand or if it’s just not a good processor, well, you’ve been warned!  Remember to remove the pits from the dates before processing.

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As I mentioned, these cookies have a cookie dough-like texture, and I’m sure they’d be perfect to use as cookie dough truffles, or buckeyes, if you formed the dough into balls and dipped them in chocolate.  You could even add some chocolate chips to the dough, if you felt so inclined.  I’d suggest mini ones, as the cookies themselves aren’t very large.  They’re not the type of cookie you’d want to make large anyway as the cookie would just fall apart if it were any bigger, and the texture is very chewy; it’s best that the cookies are formed into a smaller size.

I admit, I was a little bit scared of tasting these because I’m not real keen on dates.  But, I love peanut butter, so I had to give it a go.  I fell in love with these little cookies and couldn’t get enough of them.  The taste of the peanut butter overpowers the taste of the dates, so the cookies basically tasted like raw peanut butter cookie dough.  I was so excited and immediately proclaimed my love for them!  This is one recipe I’ll be making again and again, and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

These particular cookies may or may not be labelled as “raw”, depending on the ingredients you use.  If you prefer raw food, just make sure the ingredients you use are raw.  In my case, I used store-bought almond meal and peanut butter, so I doubt I’d be able to officially call these “raw”!  However, these cookies are perfect for vegetarians, vegans, people with a gluten/sugar-free lifestyle and those just simply looking to eat healthier.  Here’s to eating right in 2013!

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If you loved these peanut butter cookies, visit Megan at La Mesa for more delicious healthy and vegan-friendly recipes!

3.7 from 3 reviews
"Raw" Peanut Butter Cookies
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A quick and easy recipe for healthy peanut butter cookies that is suitable for vegans, vegetarians, gluten/sugar-free and anyone looking to eat healthy.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 20 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw, or dry-roasted, whole almonds (or almond meal)
  • 1 cup pitted medjool dates
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. If you're using whole almonds, process them until they resemble a coarse meal.
  2. Add the dates, peanut butter and vanilla; if you're using already-prepared almond meal, just toss all the ingredients into the food processor together. If the nut butter isn't salted, you may add a few pinches of salt.
  3. Process the ingredients until the mixture starts to form a dough, about 2 minutes. If it doesn't seem to come together, add another tablespoon or two of peanut butter and process again.
  4. Form the dough into walnut-sized balls and place on a sheet of parchment paper. Press each ball gently with a fork to make the classic peanut butter cookie criss-cross pattern.
  5. Store in the refrigerator.

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Comments

  1. vespa woolf says

    I can’t get enough peanut butter and these little raw cookies sound delicious. Although I love medjool dates, we can’t get them here so will have to substitute prunes. I’m sure the peanut butter will make up for it. : )

  2. zosia says

    it wouldn’t make sense to use date sugar in place of actual dates, because they add bulk to the recipe! (plus you wouldn’t have the added benefit of it’s nutrients and fibre)

  3. Kristy @ Southern In-Law says

    Yum! I love doing things like this!

    I also make similar raw cookies by using different nuts (try walnuts, pecans, pistachios, etc or even seeds like pepitas) and nut butters and different dried fruits (raisins, prunes and apricots work best – but you can also combine them with drier fruits like dried apples!)

  4. Allie says

    Will these keep outside of the fridge? I’d like to make them for my clients and hand them out in little baggies.

    • Jamieanne says

      Hi Allie, I think they would last outside of the refrigerator for a while, as long as it isn’t a warm day. There’s no milk, eggs, butter, etc. so it should be fine. I’m sure the cookies would be eaten up quickly anyway!

  5. Molly says

    The way to not break your food processor is to add the dates to the almond meal one at a time while it is running.

  6. sheila says

    What a fantastic idea! I love that there’s no added sugar (the sweetness is from dates and vanilla). can’t wait to try it, i bet they’d be good with a little cocoa powder too.

  7. Dorie @ Brooklyn Salt says

    I just made almond milk for the first time yesterday and was looking for something to do with my almond meal. I can’t wait to make these cookies. I’m kind of curious what would happen if you baked them a little bit. I might experiment with a few and report back.

    • Dorie @ Brooklyn Salt says

      So the baking didn’t work, haha. But I ended up making the cookies into little ball shapes and then took it a step further by dipping them in chocolate. They were like buckeye candies. I brought them to a baby shower and everyone loved them. Thanks for the great almond meal recipe!

  8. Amy says

    I can’t find medjool dates or any kind of dates here in my area. Can I just use honey or raisins?

    • jamieanne says

      Hi Amy, medjool dates are usually with the fresh produce. If you can’t find them, I might suggest using dried dates and soaking them in water overnight to make them softer. I definitely would not suggest using honey, as this would ruin the consistency of the cookies, although raisins could possibly work.

  9. Miri says

    Loved these! the only thing I did differently was soak the dates overnight, it made them a bit easier to process.

  10. victoria says

    I made this recipe as written soaking the dates. The end result is cookie dough. It is not even possible to make a cross hatch pattern with a fork because the dough just sticks to the fork.

  11. Robert says

    these sound great. do they need to sit in the fridge for awhile or can I eat them right away? also, do I have to use parchment paper? is there an alternative?

    Thanks,

    Robert

    • jamieanne says

      Hi Robert, you can definitely eat them straight away. You can use baking paper, or waxed paper, or aluminum foil. Or even just a plate! Hope you like them if you make them! :)

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