Chocolate Date Cashew Butter Cookies
August 5, 2014 § 4 Comments
I know I mentioned my affinity for using up ingredients in my fridge. It’s like a puzzle figuring out the best use for what I have on hand! This recipe came out of my desire to use up the Medjool dates that were on their last legs. I love putting dates in my salads, but can never quite get through a whole container of them (I buy these ones at Trader Joe’s) before their expiration date.
I was browsing the Internet for recipes (by the way, if you search date recipes, sometimes you get recipes that use dates, and sometimes you get recipes to make for your date or on a date, which are not quite the same thing if you ask me), and stumbled across these Chocolate Date Freezer Cookies from a wonderful new-to-me-blog, Will Frolic for Food. The ingredient list was short and the cookies are supposed to be kept in the freezer, I mean, it was fate. I love stashing food in the freezer!
The original recipe calls for almond butter, which I didn’t have on hand. I had a stash of cashews, though, and I remembered making a sort of homemade cashew butter when I played around with this salted caramel peanut yogurt dip by Tracy from Shutterbean. In that recipe, you whir some nuts around in the food processor for awhile until they form a paste. I figured I could use the same process to make cashew butter for these cookies.
It worked, and I felt so resourceful–no grocery shopping required for this recipe! You could likely substitute peanut butter or any other nut butter you have on hnad, but its kind of fun to make your own.
These cookies are my newest pre-workout cookie; they’re sweet but not too sweet, which means I get to eat chocolate cookies in the morning! Total win. I also really love the consistency–they are a bit chewy, and hold up like a dream in the freezer.
Next time I want to try adding in some of my favorite dried, unsweetened cherries (that I put in my granola) to the batter. I think the tartness would add a nice balance to these cookies, but they are just perfect as is.
Chocolate Date Cashew Butter Cookies
10 Medjool dates
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I like the Whole Foods 365 brand dark chocolate baking chunks)
generous 1/2 cup roasted cashews (or 10 tablespoons of a nut butter)
1/2 cup rolled oats
- Line a baking sheet (one you can fit in your freezer) with parchment paper.
- Roughly chop dates and dark chocolate chips. If the dates are really sticky, I sometimes just use my hands to tear them into pieces.
- Place the cashews in the bowl of a food processor and blend for 1 minute. The mixture will be coarse.
- Use a spatula to scrape down any cashew bits that have stuck to the sides, and then process for another minute or so. You want the cashew butter to be smooth and fairly creamy.
- Add dates, dark chocolate, cashew butter, and rolled oats to a medium bowl.
- Use your hands to combine the ingredients, and knead the dough for 5 minutes. This basically consisted of me moving the dough around in my hands to really incorporate the ingredients. I didn’t roll it out on parchment paper or anything like that. The goal is to end up with a cookie dough, with the ingredients evenly distributed throughout. Don’t worry if your dough isn’t looking that chocolatey. I found that my dough completely changed colors, and looked like chocolate cookie dough, after the next step.
- After you knead the dough, blend it in the food processor for 30 seconds.
- Use a soup spoon to scoop up some dough, roll it around in your hands to form a ball, and then place it on the cookie sheet.
- Repeat with the remaining dough, and then press down on each cookie with a fork to flatten. The cookies should be about a 1/2 inch thick.
- Place the baking sheet with the cookies in the freezer for at least 15 minutes. Once frozen, transfer the cookies to freezer bags and store in the freezer for up to a month (if you can make them last that long).