These fudgy, melt in the mouth chocolate cookies are vegan and are sweetened with dates rather than sugar. The beauty with this recipe is that you can taste it for sweetness/chocolate before baking as you don’t need to worry about raw eggs.
If you do not have a food processor, use ready-ground flour. I have suggested oat flour as it tends to result in quite a moist, soft bake, but rice flour also works, if you plan to make these gluten free. Doves Farm (UK based) do a gluten free baking powder. You can also buy nut butter of your choice but for these cookies I prefer making my own – a blend of hazelnuts and pecans is my favourite combination. Soak the nuts if you remember/have time – it makes them easier to digest.
Don’t be tempted to bake the biscuits much over 15 minutes. Yes, they may seem too soft coming out of the oven but will harden up a little. Plus, who doesn’t love a squidgy chocolate cookie?
Ingredients (makes 8-9 small cookies)
75g oats – conventional or gluten free
15g coconut oil
10 dates (stoned weight – 110-120g)
50 ml water
5g baking powder
½-1 tsp cinnamon
Cacao powder – 10-15g
Preheat the oven on 160(fan)/180 (conventional)
You will need a baking tray, lightly greased with coconut oil, or use a silicon tray: no need for greasing
- First of all, stone and soak the dates in warm water – 10 minutes should probably be enough to soften them up for easy blending.
- Meanwhile, make your flour by grinding the oats to a powder in a food processor for a few minutes. Transfer to a bowl and leave to one side.
- Next make the nut butter. Grind up the nuts in the food processor – they will first turn powdery and then eventually start to release their oils. You may have to stop the blade every so often and scrape the nuts back down from the sides of the bowl and towards the blade again. Be patient, this can take around 10 minutes, depending on the power of your food processor.
- Once the nuts are looking pasty, add the melted coconut oil and blend briefly before fishing out the dates from their soaking water and throwing in. Pour 50 ml of this soaking water in too and whizz to a smooth puree.
- Tip in the remaining ingredients – the ground oats, cacao powder, cinnamon and baking powder – and pulse to combine. You are aiming for a sticky dough.
- Using your hands, grab chunks of dough, shape into balls and place in the oiled baking tin. Using a fork, flatten each one slightly to form a disc.
- Bake for 15 minutes, allow the cookies to cool a little before tucking in!