Peanut butter, sweet dates and dark chocolate is one of my most favorite dessert ingredient combinations! Peanut butter truly is my frenemy. I love the unique nutty flavor and creaminess so much that, with the help of a sturdy spoon, I could easily consume way too much. Thankfully, when I make a rich (yet gluten-free, sugar-free and way more satisfying because you made it yourself) peanut butter cookie sweetened with nothing but whole medjool dates, I feel like I can have just one cookie or two or okayyy, sometimes three. In my defense, I only ate three in one sitting approximately one time in my recent memory. Meanwhile, at this very moment, I am earnestly attempting to avoid paying attention to my conscience because it’s loudly protesting that I quit lying. It’s saying, “Ha! One time. Nice try. How about that time you were in the kitchen with Sean watching Wall-E or that other time you went hiking and came back famished or that other time….” Okay, you get the picture. Thanks Conscience. Thanks a lot! Most of the time I eat one after a huge raw salad or something else vegetable-rich at dinner time and a cookie really hits the spot as a satisfying dessert post-veggie consumption. All of the other times I didn’t eat three, I ate one (or two). So there conscience, so there!
I am having a fight with my conscience as you are reading this. I am so sorry to subject you to our bickering.
Anyway, to avoid subjecting you to any more quarreling between me and apparently fib-detesting conscience, let’s talk about the upcoming holidays! Thanksgiving is upon us and this is a fun and easy recipe to make for you and your guests. Things can get crazy this time of year, so I know how the combination of words, “easy,” “delicious,” “chocolate” and “peanut butter” can have a magically appealing effect. You might be wondering why I employed the use of the term “magically” in the previous sentence and if so, I am so glad you did. Here is a little 411 on my feelings about magic in the real word. What is better than a recipe post involving peanut butter and chocolate? The only feasible way an improvement could be accomplished is if I included some magic with the peanut butter and chocolate. Obviously.
Behold the MAGIC!
Magic exists in real life. Don’t believe me?! Well aside from catching this sign in real life absolutely randomly one day last year (it’s at 6 1/2 Street and W 55th in NYC), we all have little moments in our lives that are pretty magical, unpredictable and extraordinary. Magical experiences occur in our minds when we splash gratitude with stunning hits of pleasure to our senses. Magic is when two people give each other a much needed hug, when you receive a genuine compliment from a friend who cares about you, when you spot a work of art at a museum and soak up its brilliance deep down in your soul, or perhaps it simply happens spontaneously while you are out on a run on a chilly day with the wind blowing gently on your face and you feel so alive. Magic by definition is, “any extraordinary or mystical influence, charm, power, etc.” So, remember that you can create your own magic at any moment whenever you consciously recognize the stunning experience it is to be a human being on this intricate, dazzling world of so much both simple and phenomenal good. See beauty (aka feelings of gratitude and appreciation) wherever and whenever you can and you will create more magic in your life. You are in charge of creating your own “magic spells, dances and experiences,” it’s just that they are of a different sort of magic than that of movies or science fiction. Magic is everywhere you choose to see it.
I hope you see (and taste!) the magic in these cookies. Enjoy!
Ingredients (makes 7-9 cookies):
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter (crunchy would also work)
2 heaping tablespoons coconut butter
13-15 medjool dates (use more if you want the cookies to be a bit sweeter!)
2-3 tablespoons nondairy milk
1/2 cup oat flour (this is simply ground up whole oats, you can purchase oat flour or make your own by grinding up oats in a food processor or blender)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2-4 ounces at least 75% dark chocolate, melted (I was ambitious and used 100%!)
Easy as Cookies (not pie!) Directions:
1) In a food processor, combine peanut butter, coconut butter, dates (make sure they are pitted!), nondairy milk and vanilla essence. Process until smooth and completely even.
2) In a mixing bowl, stir oat flour with baking powder and baking soda. Once mixed, add this mixture to the food processor and blend with the rest of the ingredients (excluding the dark chocolate) until you have a firm but slightly sticky dough.
3) Take a piece of dough (about 2-4 tbsp for each cookie) into your hands and roll it around until you have a firm ball. Place this on a lightly greased baking sheet and repeat until all the dough is used. Then press down on the balls using your palms, forming thick cookies. Repeat.
4) Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until the cookies have turned a slight golden brown. Take the tray out and get ready for some dark chocolate drizzlin’.
5) Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave by heating it for 30 seconds in a microwave safe bowl, stir well, and then heat again for another 30 seconds. Using a small spoon, drizzle the melted chocolate over the warm cookies.
6) Once the chocolate has been drizzled on top, allow the cookies to cool for 15 minutes and they will be softer and taste even better. These will keep in an airtight container for up to a week!