One of my favorite Christmas-time activities as a kid was making homemade gingerbread and sugar cookies with my mom. We would spend hours decorating cookies that we had shaped or cut into gingerbread men, Santa, reindeer, snowmen, and Christmas trees.
At the end of the day we would have frosted cookies that were dazzled with sprinkles and sugar. I was a sugar-crazed kid who thoroughly enjoyed scarfing down both the sugar cookies and the gingerbread cookies.
Even as a kid my favorite of the two were the gingerbread cookies. I adored that sweet malty molasses- flavored cookie that was laced with all of the warming spices that make you think of Christmas.
With Christmas approaching I have been reminiscing the days of baking gingerbread cookies with my mom. I began craving for some serious gingerbread cookies.
I tend to have a little problem making a dessert that serves 12 in a two-person household. Paul will usually eat about two servings of a dessert and be done with sweets for a month.
Is he even human? Sometimes I seriously wonder what is wrong with him.
I, on the other hand, can’t get enough of desserts. I knew I would end up eating most of those cookies all by myself. My taste buds may thank me at the time but my waist line would not, so I set out to create a guilt-free gingerbread cookie.
Enter Raw Gingerbread Cookie Bites. The result is a doughy, sticky, decadent treat without the refined sugar.
The base is made of raw pecans and cashews that create a rich dough-like consistency. They are purely sweetened by sticky dates and of course rich, malty molasses.
Due to the natural sweetness of the dates and molasses and the energy from the healthy fats in the nuts, coconut oil, and chia seeds I don’t get a sugar crash like I do with traditional cookies. In fact, I find that these little dudes help to satisfy my hunger, so I only want 1 or 2 at a time.
Plus these babies are naturally vegan and gluten-free. So, take them to a party or a cookie swap so that both you vegans and gluten-frees can enjoy them!
These raw gingerbread cookie bites may be a healthier version of your traditional cookie, but healthy does not mean that they are lacking any flavor.
They are perfectly sweet, malty, gooey, and every bite is filled with all of your classic gingerbread spices that make you all warm and fuzzy inside.
They are every bit as satisfying as the real thing, aside from the fact that they don’t bake in the oven and make your house smell amazing. But that is a fair trade off for some guilt-free, healthier gingerbread cookies.
I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and hope you enjoy the time with family and friends.
We are traveling to a slightly warmer climate to spend Christmas with family. We will eat lots of delicious food, and enjoy watching the little ones open their gifts.
Let’s meet here after Christmas for many more epic recipes, deal?
Happy Holidays, my friends!
- 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews*
- 1 cup raw, unsalted pecans
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- Pinch of sea salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil, melted
- 3 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
- 6 to 8 pitted Medjool dates**
- Add the cashews, pecans, chia seeds, sea salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to the bowl of a food processor. Process for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the nuts begin to break down into small bits.
- Add the coconut oil, molasses, and 3 to 4 dates. ***
- Pulse the mixture until it is well combined. Add a date or two at a time until the texture of the dough sticks together and becomes tacky. The amount of dates you use depends on the size of the dates and how sticky they are. I used 6 large dates. The nuts should also be pretty finely ground and not chunky.
- Roll the dough into tablespoon-sized balls and place them on a plate or tray that has been lined with parchment paper. Place the balls in the refrigerator or freezer for at least 20 minutes, or until set. They will still be slightly sticky to the touch, but not as tacky.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container lined with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
- Keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or the freezer for up to 3 months. The balls become really sticky and tacky when left at room temperature.
**If dates look dry soak them for 10 minutes in hot water to make them sticky.
***Make sure to add the molasses using the same measuring spoon you use for the coconut oil. This will make the molasses slide right off the spoon.
Adapted from my Almond Joy Raw Energy Balls