Samoa Cookies (raw, vegan, grain free)
I used to be a Girl Scout troop leader, so I had a little bit of a love/hate relationship with the cookies if you want to know the truth. It was a way for the girls to learn about setting and reaching goals, managing money, and sales. And it was a way for the troop to raise money to do fun things together. But as a Nutritionist - I didn't like that we the girls were peddling cookies that were loaded with sugar, gluten, and bad fats. But at the same time, I do have to admit - before I went gluten free, I did used to enjoy the Thin Mints and Samoas when they came around. They are pretty tasty, and those Girl Scouts are good salepeople!!
One of my favorite things to do, is create recipes that are both delicious and nutritious - and so that is what I did with these Samoas (I guess they are called "Caramel Delight" Cookies now). Unlike the originals, these have no refined sugar, flour, grains, dairy, or trans fats. This version is grain and gluten free, dairy free, vegan and also require no baking!! And you can make them any time of the year! The sweetness for these cookies comes entirely from the Medjoul dates - which is what I like to call "Nature's caramel."
These are great with a cup of coffee, or would be a lovely addition to a Holiday cookie platter. Let me know if you make them and what you think. I like to store these in the freezer.
8 medjoul dates (pits removed)
1.5 cups blanched almond flour (Ideally organic)
1.5 cups shredded coconut (unsweetened)
2 Tablespoons cashew butter (or your preferred nut or sunbutter)
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/8 tsp Real Salt
1/2 tsp vanilla (I prefer alcohol free)
Chocolate drizzle ingredients:
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life brand)
2 teaspoons of coconut oil
First, toast 1 cup of the shredded coconut. I put it on a sheet in my toaster oven for 3 minutes. You know the saying a watched pot never boils? Watched coconut never burns...but unwatched coconut can burn in a second, so keep an eye on it! I found 3 minutes in the toaster gave me a beautiful golden brown (note - you will have some golden and some that does not look toasted, that's perfect! Put 1/2 cup of the toasted coconut into a bowl, set aside (you will roll the cookies in it). 1/2 cup of the toasted coconut goes into the food processor with 1/2 cup untoasted coconut.
Now put all of the following into the food processor: 8 pitted dates, 1 cup of coconut (1/2 cup toasted, the other 1/2 cup not toasted), 2 T. cashew butter, 2 T. coconut oil, 1/8 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Process until the "Cookie dough" looks kind of like wet sand.
Scoop out a spoonful of the cookie dough, roll it into a ball, then press the ball down flat into the roasted coconut you reserved in the bowl. Coat both sides of the cookie in the toasted coconut. They should be a flat circles. Place the circles on a small cookie tray (covered with parchment (I ran out, so I used aluminum foil). If you want the classic circle shape with the hole in the center, press into the center of the cookie with a chopstick, or something circular (we have spoons that the ends worked perfectly). You can skip this step if you prefer. Once all the cookies are all made, put the tray into the freezer for about 10 mins.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips - I like to put them into a small Pyrex measuring cup and put them into the toaster oven on warm (180 degrees) for about 5-7 minutes (stir occasionally). You could melt it over a double boiler, or in the microwave. Once melted & smooth, stir in the coconut oil. Set aside until ready to decorate the cookies.
Take the cookies out of the freezer and spread a light coating of the chocolate on one side (these will be the bottoms of the cookies). Set them back on the tray chocolate side up. Return to freezer for 5 mins to harden the chocolate. Note: If you don't want to bother with this step, you can skip it and just do the drizzle.
Flip the cookies over, putting the chocolate side down, and now drizzle the chocolate on the tops of the cookies. Return to the freezer for 5-10 mins.
Done! Store them in an airtight container in the freezer or fridge. Yum!