(Note: this post was originally published on July 7, 2019 and the photos were updated on February 28, 2021. The date above reflects migration to the new platform.)
Remember those huge "Monster Cookies" we all used to get as kids? The ones as big as your head and jam-packed with all the goodies? Totally the best.
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, right?? 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. Oh yes, now we're talking!
These monster cookies are all of my cookie dreams come true. The dough is just dates, peanut butter, and nut milk (plus baking powder and a bit of flax meal to bind it all together). This means that they're loaded with protein, have lots of healthy fats, and are completely fruit-sweetened. The ingredients are actually better for the body than the vast majority of "healthy" protein bars.
Speaking of protein bars, does the combination of dates and nuts sound familiar to you? If so, that's because these are basically a (round, baked) Lara Bar! If you haven't made them yet, you'll definitely want to check out my homemade Lara Bars, which are the go-to portable snack in our house. While Lara Bars are a raw snack, these cookies are baked, meaning they need a little help with binding and leavening, but otherwise it's the exact same idea.
If you've never baked with dates before, you'll be addicted after making these cookies. The dates make them so wonderfully chewy, in a way that a flour cookie can't even imagine. Plus of course dates have all sorts of redeeming nutritional value and add not only great natural sweetness to the cookie but also a delightfully caramel-like flavor. I've honestly become so enamored with dates in baking that I use them in pretty much everything now; check out these Flourless Coffee Macadamia Blondies for more inspiration!
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 separate dry ingredients and wet ingredients, no chill time. Just blitz 'em, bake 'em, and devour. You can easily make a double batch if your food processor is big enough.
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 do 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. In the photos here I've shown dark chocolate chunks, rainbow chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, and coconut, but every time I make these cookies they end up a bit different.
Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.
I can't even describe to you how much I love these cookies. 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.
I have to admit that, out of everything on my blog, this is one of the recipes that I make most frequently. We just can't get enough of them. I've made these cookies a truly absurd number of times.
These monster cookies 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.
It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.
A very nourishing take on the classic monster cookie, these whole-food treats get their sweetness from dates and their moisture from nut butter! Load them up with whatever fun add-ins you love.