There’s nothing like a soft, homemade, oatmeal-raisin cookie! Dates and almond butter stand in for the more traditional ingredients of butter, eggs, and refined sugar. These cookies are rich and sweet, but without being heavy and greasy.
7 ounces pitted dates (11 to 12 Medjool or 22 to 24 Deglet Noor), chopped
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (will be ground into flour)
1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons almond butter
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup raisins (plus extra for the tops of the cookies)
2 ounces walnuts, chopped (about ½ cup; optional)
Place the pitted dates into a small bowl and cover them with water. Set aside for at least 15 minutes so the dates can soften. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Grind the 1 cup of oats into flour with a blender. Transfer to a medium bowl, and whisk in the 1½ cups oats, baking powder, and cinnamon.
Pour the water off of the dates into a small bowl or cup. Place the dates, almond butter, vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons of the date-soak water into a blender, and blend until smooth.
Stir the date mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients until all of the dry ingredients disappear. Stir in the raisins and walnuts (if using).
To get the most uniformly sized cookies, use a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop (or you can use a soup spoon). Place 9 scoops of cookie dough onto the baking sheet. These cookies will not spread out during baking, so using your fingers, press each scoop down until it looks like an already baked cookie (about 2½ inches wide). I like to push 2 to 3 raisins into the top of each cookie at this point.
Bake for 13 to 14 minutes, or until just starting to brown (or leave in longer if you want cookies that aren't as moist and soft). Remove from the oven and after 5 minutes, transfer to a cooling rack.
For a lower-fat, cakier cookie, use ½ cup of applesauce in place of the almond butter.
Almond butter is sold near the peanut butter, and will ideally be made of 100% raw (not roasted) almonds with no added salt, oil, or sugar. The price is higher for raw, but I like the taste better.