We’re a cookie family. You might not realize that because there aren’t THAT many cookies on the blog, but we love cookies. In Eat Like a Dinosaur we made dozens of test batches of (the now famous) Anytime Cookies and Chocolate Chip Cookies to get them just right, because we care that much about the quality of a good, chewy cookie. We don’t end up posting a lot of recipes for cookies on the blog, but that’s mainly because we really enjoy making other people’s recipes and when we’re ready for an indulgence without thinking too much we let the boys pick out recipes off our Pinterest wall or cookbook collection.
So, hear me when I say, when we claim a cookie is good we know what we’re talking about.
And this one, dear friend, this recipe… you’re going to be thrilled. We’ve been told it tastes like french toast. We’ve been told it’s amazing. We watched Stacy’s trainer take one after another after another after a few more when she brought the burned test batch to the gym. We even got the rare treat of having all the boys come and join us in the kitchen to make them…
Please note, we are not the geniuses who came up with the clever name for these cookies. I’m not exactly sure who is, but I do know Primal Palate and Against All Grain each have N’Oatmeal cookies. Problem is, the ingredient list never matched up to what I had in my head for the flavor and texture I used to enjoy from classic oatmeal cookies. It’s been years that I’ve been meaning to make our own version.
I finally had the motivation I needed while undertaking my first Whole Life Challenge. Our gym chose this “challenge” for the members as a way to kick-off new years’ right. I was hesitant to hear there was a challenge because I know traditional cross-fit challenges can be very strict and make people give up or feel like failures if they make a mistake, or alternatively they can be too loose and allow people to eat 2 snickers bars if they simply sacrifice real foods (similar to weight watchers for athletes). But when I checked out the WLC online I was thrilled to see that it was set-up to create good habits over a long period of time. Furthermore, it emphasized lifestyle factors like drinking water, getting sleep, moving your body and allowed for people to make less than perfect choices.
I signed up for the Advanced level of the WLC. The requirements meant pretty much strict paleo with no sweeteners (since I don’t really eat stevia). It also means I had to give up organic grass-fed heavy cream and white rice for a while… but I can have butter. I haven’t minded “losing a nutrition point” (1 of 5 per day) on Saturday afternoons when our family usually goes to a sushi buffet after working out. I love that it’s a CHOICE on how to do your WLC – which I believe people need in order to actually do this long term (hence our phased approach in 3 Phase Paleo).
Ultimately, the challenge is pretty much how I live my life, which is awesome. It points out to me how often I actually chose to consume things not perfectly paleo (happily well under 20%). I love that for a brand new person learning all this stuff it would cause them to really think about their food choices and associate a repercussion with them. I’m hoping WLC updates their program soon to mirror more updated versions of paleo (for example, taking stevia off the Advanced list and changing the lower levels to allow the more digestible white rice instead of just brown). However, overall I’ve been extremely impressed with the online program – and most of all how it’s brought our gym community together!
Which is exactly why I wanted to make cookies. I know quite a few people at the gym are feeling like straying and a bit bored with their food choices… or what they think they’re food choices are. So, when that monthly sugar monster came around I decided to tackle it for the benefit of the group! Luck struck when there was a power outage at my day job’s office building and I was forced to come home (oh darn!) during daylight… when we could take food photo pictures!
I asked ye old faithful kitchen helper Wessie-kins, Sir Sneaks Snacks A Lot, if he wanted to help me and he immediately ran to pull up his stool shouting emphatically. “Wesley do you want to help me take the seeds out of the dates?” I asked. “Yes!” he replied. “Without eating them?” I asked. “No!” he honestly answered back. But as you can see, he wasn’t the only little helper who volunteered, all the boys were on-board with making these cookies. In fact, it’s the first time I’ve seen them all helping since we made Candy Cane Cookies. When I first asked everyone if we should make cookies, you can imagine the response from 4 young boys… (glass almost broke from the shrieks of excitement). Then the tough question: Oatmeal Raisin or Chunky Monkey (we still plan to eventually make this cookie inspired by our extremely popular nut-free egg-free fruit-sweetened muffin recipe). It was a split decision, but the house went Oatmeal Raisin… and hence, N’Oatmeal Cookies!
- 1 C raw cashews
- 1/2 C fresh medjool dates, pitted
- 3/4 C palm shortening, lard, or butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 T pure vanilla extract
- 2 T coconut flour
- 2 C blanched almond flour
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 1 t salt
- 1/2 C raisins
- 1/2 C sliced almonds
- 1/2 C pecans, finely diced
- 1/2 C dates, finely diced
- Puree the cashews and dates together in a food processor for about 2 minutes, until very finely diced and thoroughly blended.
- Add wet ingredients to the processor (shortening, eggs, vanilla), puree until smooth and blended.
- Add dry ingredients to the processor (coconut and almond flours, baking soda and salt), pulse until just combined.
- Empty out mixture into mixing bowl and fold in remaining ingredients (raisins, sliced almonds, pecans and diced dates)
- Roll into tablespoon size balls and put on a lined or greased cookie sheet. Flaten with the palms of your hands and bake 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees. Cookies are done when slighly brown - they will still be soft in the center. Let sit on the baking tray for about 5 minutes before moving to cooling rack, they will firm up during this time.
Makes 36 cookies (unless your 3 year old eats a bunch of dough), store at room temperature for up to 3 days then chill or freeze.
Dates have a wonderful, rich flavor that evokes the classic brown sugar taste while the sliced almonds have the texture of rolled oats. We love the softness the fresh dates and raisins give, and the sweetness comes naturally from the raw cashew and date mixture. We hope you enjoy it as much as our family – this is going to be our new go-to recipe when we want a treat! And… you don’t even have to feel guilty having one for breakfast or as a snack at lunch!