Reinvented Monster Cookies

Remember those huge "Monster Cookies" we all used to get as kids? The ones jam-packed with all the goodies that were as big as your head? Totally the best.

But these days, I prefer my cookies to have some redeeming nutritional value. They should absolutely still be delicious and decadent (and BIG). But there's no rule saying that cookies can't be both indulgent and also nourishing for your body. In fact, let's take the perspective that cookies should be so good for you that you should want (need!) to eat them every day.

These monster cookies are all of my dreams come true. The dough is just dates and peanut butter (plus leaveners and a bit of flax meal to bind it all together). Have you seen my homemade Lara Bars yet? Exact same idea, just in a different shape and baked.

The dates make them so wonderfully chewy, in a way that a flour cookie can't even imagine. The idea for a date cookie came from The Detoxinista's Date-Sweetened Peanut Butter Cookies. It's truly brilliant. I've used her concept, with the ratios tweaked, to create the base for these monster cookies.

These cookies are essentially a protein bar in disguise. There's no flour (not that I have anything against flour, but why would I want flour when I can just have peanut butter?). There are no added sweeteners- just dates. They're full protein and healthy fat.

Perhaps best of all, these cookies are brought to you by the power of the food processor in just a few minutes. No fussy measuring, no bowls, no dry ingredients and wet ingredients. Blitz 'em, bake 'em, and devour.

To make them into classic Monster Cookies, add whatever other goodies you wish. You could stay a bit on the tamer side with some nuts, coconut, and/or cranberries. Or go all-out with loads of chocolate. Or some combination thereof. This recipe is easily vegan, grain-free, and/or free of refined sugar as long as you obey those criteria with your add-ins.

And oh my goodness, are they ever delicious. I adore a good peanut butter cookie, and these are honestly some of the best. All too often, peanut butter cookies are overshadowed by the other ingredients (e.g. they become too sweet and just taste like a sugar cookie). These put the peanut butter in the forefront, exactly where it should be.

These will make you feel like a kid again. Decadent! Delicious! And yet they're basically just dates and peanuts, so I vote that having cookies for lunch (breakfast??) is completely acceptable.

Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram.

Love the concept of these cookies? My Granola Almond Butter Adventure Cookies are based on a similar idea, but loaded with crunchy granola. So fun!

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are all just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)
  • 2 c dates, pitted. Double check that they're pitted!
  • 1 c peanut butter. I use extra chunky, but use what you have.
  • 0.25 c milk of choice. I like baking with soy milk most, but anything will work. I prefer unsweetened and unflavored to really let the peanut butter shine.
  • 2 tbsp flax seed meal
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar. I know this sounds weird, but it helps to activate the baking soda, giving the cookies loft despite their dense ingredients.
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 0.5-0.75 c awesome add-ins. Here, I've shown naturally-colored chocolate candies, pecans, and unsweetened coconut flakes. You could keep it more lunch-appropriate with dried fruit and nuts... or go sort of trail mix inspired like I did... or go all-out with mini peanut butter cups or Reese's Pieces. Choose your own cookie adventure.
Thoughts About Method
(These are all just suggestions, be creative and make it yours)
  1.  Measure all ingredients except the add-ins into a food processor. Process just until a sticky ball develops. If you over-process, the nuts will start to break down and become oily (in which case the dough is perfectly fine to use, just a bit messier).
  2. Remove the blade from the food processor and add the chocolate and/or nuts and/or coconut and/or dried fruit. Mix everything together with a spoon or spatula until all the tasty bits are incorporated.
  3. Use a quarter-cup measure to scoop out the dough. Form the dough into a ball to ensure it stays together, then flatten it into a disk about 0.5 inches thick.
  4. Place the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet. They'll puff up a bit but won't spread much, so don't worry about giving them a lot of space to grow.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 18-20 minutes until they are just barely browned around the edges. They will still seem soft in the middle, because the dates won't bake up the same way flour does. That's okay- they'll firm up a bit more as they cool.
Note: I like BIG cookies; you could do smaller ones if you wish, but decrease the baking time a bit. Also, if you plan to do smaller cookies, then use smaller add-ins. In particular, chop up any nuts so that they don't overtake the cookie.


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