These are without a doubt my new favorite cookies.  Those of you who are devotees of basic chocolate-chip may call them blasphemous, and I get it. But since obvious sweets are not my thing, these chewy-nutty little guys are my heaven. And they even do include chocolate chips, so there is that.

With a base of dates, walnuts and chocolate chips, they are naturally vegan and gluten-free.  Which is not why we stumbled across the recipe in the first place, but it’s good to have a recipe or two that fits those bills in your back pocket.  Catie and I made these originally for a dinner {party} with chai ice cream for dessert, and the fact that these couldn’t be easier was the real thrill.

They have since shown up numerous times since they are so well loved, and I’ll let you in on a little secret . . . they aren’t too bad for breakfast either!

ingredients for date & walnut cookies



For the recipe, 

Date & Walnut Spice Cookies with Chocolate
(Recipe adapted eCurry; originally from Sprouts Farmers Market store magazine in print)

Even though I am not a huge chocolate person, we doubled the chocolate in the recipe (they were made for a party after all), and in all the subsequent bakings, I have seen no reason to scale back.

Use chocolate chips, not chopped chocolate, as they have stabilizers and do not melt as quickly.  In this cookie, for both structure and taste, you do not want fully melted chocolate.


1½ cups walnut halves and pieces
15 dates, pitted and chopped
1 teaspoon orange zest
½ cup bittersweet/semisweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoon grapeseed oil, or almond butter
a pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon powdered clove
1 teaspoon vanilla/almond/orange extract
raw sugar to sprinkle on the top (optional)

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Place walnuts, dates and chocolate in a food processor and process until they are coarsely ground. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until the entire mix starts to form a ball.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (the parchment paper, or silpat liner, is necessary to ensure successful removal of the cookies from the pan). Scoop out the mix, about 1 tablespoon each, gently roll into a ball with your hands (it will form approx. 15 cookies), and place each on the lined tray and gently flatten them.  Sprinkle with course sugar.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Let cookies cool completely on the baking sheet. It gets very difficult to get the cookies while they are hot. After they have cooled, slowly peel out the parchment paper and handle the cookies with care. Enjoy!

Yields: 15 (1.5 inch diameter each) cookies