Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Date Cookies
Yields: 30-36 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes (if no soaking)
Total Time: 30-45 minutes
High in iron and magnesium, these cookies use high nutrient ingredients such as molasses, dates, and oatmeal. Satisfying, they calm a sweet craving any time.
1 cup dates (about 8), pit removed* (see note below about dates)
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon high quality, unsulphured molasses
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup honey
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 - 3/4 cups chocolate chips (depending on how many chocolate chips you want)
*A note about the dates: if they are hard, soak them in water for at least an hour, then drain the water. When the weather is warmer, and they are left on the counter, they tend to soften on their own. In colder temperatures, the sugars in the date harden and make it more challenging to work with in recipes.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Combine dates, honey, molasses, eggs, butter and vanilla in a food processor, and process until well blended.
3. In a separate, larger bowl, combine oats, whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, and salt. Gently fold in wet mixture to dry mixture. Add chocolate chips and mix well. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
4. Drop one tablespoon at a time on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Place dough back in fridge while waiting to use it.
5. Remove from oven and let cool on cooling rack. Best stored in fridge or freezer so they don’t dry out and get cakey.
I never used to have such a sweet tooth, as I heavily favored the savory camp. Then, I swear it has to do something with having kids, I find myself looking to fill a sweet craving more often than not. And since I am aware of the drawbacks to loads of sugar, I try to minimize my intake while still enjoying the foods I love. Sometimes, it takes of bit of compromise and creativity.
Dates are used here as the main ingredient swap for cane sugar. A bit of honey comes into play as well, but for the most part, dates take the starring role. Dates are not just an alternative to sugar, they add quite a bit to the nutritional profile of the cookie. Dates are rich in iron, potassium and fiber. So not only are you removing refined sugar in this recipe, you are adding in extra nutrients.
I do use whole wheat pastry flour, and I would imagine a gluten free base could be used as a substitution. The pre-made gluten free flour combinations are getting better and better now, you can almost make an even substitution between a gluten free and whole wheat.
So, these are not your average chocolate chip cookie. They are free of refined sugar, have extra fiber and nutrients from whole wheat pastry flour, and are full of iron from oats and dates. Butter is present, but for me, it still gives the richness of a traditional cookie, with less than half the traditional amount.
I keep these in the freezer because they tend to dry out if left on the counter (at least in this weather). The freezer keeps them as if they were just baked, which helps because cane sugar is used as a preservative, and these cookies don’t have any.
*This post was originally published July 2015, and has since been updated and republished July 13, 2017.