If you read my blog with any consistency, you probably know that many of my recipes are posts for Recipe Redux, the first and only recipe challenge that is focused on taking delicious dishes, keeping them delicious, but making them better for you. Recipe Redux was founded by RDN’s extraordinaire: Regan Miller Jones, Serena Ball and Deanna Seagrave-Daly, and this year is turning 6 years old. We’re celebrating with
cake small bites of dessert, which is a good thing because a baker I am not. I hung up my baking apron (?) after years of making dozens and dozens of chocolate chip cookies with my high school BFF Toni in my parents’ kitchen. Actually, we probably made enough cookie dough to make thousands of cookies, but how many actually turned into the final product likely numbered only in the hundreds. Why? Well, cookie dough of course. That sweet, addictive flavor that, 30 years later, is now an actual flavor of products like ice cream, candy bars, and even protein bars.
Thirty years ago of course, I was not a dietitian. So eating the dough of what undeniably made the best cookies ever (my dad used to tell me Mrs. Fields had nothing on me) would never cross my mind. I’m almost embarrassed to say that we actually used a combination of Crisco (when Crisco was still 100% trans fat) and butter as the fat. And then there’s the whole raw egg thing. I may live in Philly (ish), but Rocky Balboa I’m not, nor do I down raw eggs because – Salmonella. There’s actually a vegan solution to using eggs in a recipe called “Flax egg.” But these bites are raw, so you don’t even need the egg to achieve cookie dough consistency and flavor. I will admit, this recipe took about 4 tries. Which is annoying and oh-so-typical of baking even though these bites are technically raw. Go figure. I tried to make them all raw and vegan and “natural” sugar-y and then asked myself who I was trying to kid. There’s no way one is going to make good-for-you ingredients taste like a combination of flour, sugar, brown sugar, butter, Crisco and eggs. You’re just not. So I compromised, substituting high fiber chickpeas and oat flour for white flour, using a LOT less sugar and medjool dates to increase sweetness. I didn’t mess with the chocolate chips – semisweet chips will not be replaced in my world, but you could use cacao nibs to make the recipe vegan.
The days of raw cookie dough consumption are long gone. Like piling way too many friends into a car to “ride around” all night or swinging from ropes into swimming holes of depths unknown, it was fun while it lasted, and we’re lucky we all survived. So here’s a much healthier walk down memory lane…
(P.S. Each time I post a Recipe Redux recipe, be sure to scroll to the end and check out my fellow bloggers’ recipes on the same theme. It’s like getting a FREE cookbook of up to 100 recipes each and every month!)
- 3/4 cup cooked chickpeas (about 1/2 of a 13.5 ounce can), drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup oat flour (you can grind Old Fashioned oats to a fine powder in a coffee grinder)
- 2 T. packed brown sugar
- 4 medjool dates
- 2 T. nut butter (peanut, almond or cashew butter; smooth or crunchy, I used crunchy peanut butter)
- 2 T. water, divided
- 2 t. pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 t. Himalayan pink salt (or other fine salt)
- 1/2 c. chocolate chips* + 1/3 c. chocolate chips, divided
- *to make these bites vegan, use cacao nibs
- Add to the bowl of a food processor: chick peas, oat flour and dates. Pulse until course.
- Add to chick pea mixture: brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and peanut butter.
- Only as necessary, add water one tablespoon at a time, processing after each addition until smooth. Scrape sides of bowl and pulse again. Dough should resemble cookie dough batter.
- Remove dough from food processor and place in a medium bowl.
- Stir in 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips.
- Roll dough into approximately 18 (tablespoon-size) balls, and replace them on the wax paper-lined baking sheet.
- Place baking sheet in freezer for 10-15 minutes.
- In the top of a small double boiler, melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips. (Or melt chips in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave).
- Remove cookie dough balls from freezer. Using tongs, dip one end of the cookie dough bite into the melted chocolate, then replace on baking sheet on the bare/flattened side. Repeat until all bites are topped with the chocolate.
- Store in an air-tight container in refrigerator or freezer.