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While developing the gingersnap crust for my Pumpkin-Spice Cake, I had a happy accident that turned into cookies. A little extra spice and molasses instead of maple syrup and they turned into the perfect gingersnap. This means two coconut-free holiday treat recipes from me this holiday season (no more complaining, coconut sensitive people!). I’ve also included a simple recipe for coconut milk, because who doesn’t love milk and cookies? (note: I know coconut milk is not coconut-free. If you are one of the coconut-sensitive people, I suggest serving these with a cup of tea. When I come up with a coconut-free coconut milk recipe my life’s work will be complete.)
A few notes when making this recipe – be sure to measure the dates whole, before you soak them. Arrowroot starch/flour can be found much cheaper in bags like this instead of the little containers in the spice aisle. Be sure to use fresh, grated ginger – I like this tool for getting a nice fine grate. Also be sure not to overmix the dough. You want there to be little flecks of date in the mixture; if you mix it too vigorously, your cookies will come out rubbery. Lastly, they will still be a little soft when coming out of the oven. They develop a nice crispy texture on the outside, while still remaining soft on the inside. I find that the cooking time varies with how sticky my dates are, so you might want to watch them to make sure yours don’t come out too dry and hard.
- 2 cups pitted dates, soaked in hot water for five minutes and then drained
- 1½ cups arrowroot starch/flour
- ¼ cup blackstrap molasses
- ½ tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or lard
- 1½ teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup coconut sugar (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Place the strained dates, arrowroot, molasses, maple syrup, coconut oil or lard, spices, and sea salt in a food processor. Process just until everything is just incorporated - you will still have little flecks of date and ginger (I like to use the pulse function on my processor to make sure it doesn't get over mixed).
- Place the coconut sugar (optional) on a small plate. Take a tablespoon and a half of dough, form it into a ball, and smash one side of it into the sugar, forming a 2-inch, flat cookie. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until they darken in color and are slightly more browned on the bottom. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes before enjoying.
Substitutions: I've tried this recipe with tapioca flour instead of arrowroot, and it works, but the texture of the dough is a little bit stickier.
- 1 cup fine shredded coconut flakes (unsweetened)
- 2 cups boiling water
- Add the coconut flakes and boiling water to a high-powered blender (a regular blender might work here, but you want to be sure yours can safely handle boiling liquid). Place a towel over the lid to protect your hands, and blend on high for a minute. Give the motor a little break, and then blend on high for another minute.
- Remove the lid and let the mixture cool for 20 minutes, or until it is just warm to the touch. Strain through a nut milk bag, cheesecloth, or fine metal strainer into a container. Enjoy warm or cold - I like it warm with the cookies!
So excited about cookies for Christmas!! Thank you.
Ohhhh, hooray! I will for sure bake these for Christmas. Thank you, Mickey!
Yeahhhh another coconut free recipe. I will be making these soon. I loved your pumpkin pie recipe. I ate most of it myself, even my little girl loved it and she hates all pumpkin/squash recipes.
Thank you so much, Mickey, these look awesome! One question I have is what to do with the ‘pulp’ leftover after you strain the milk. I try to use everything possible and not waste, and it seems that something can be done with this, I just don’t know what. Thoughts?
You can dehydrate the coconut pulp (either in a dehydrator or just on a cookie sheet in the oven set to the lowest temperature). I’ve done the oven route and it took an hour or two to dry out, then I put it in my small food processor and made coconut flour. It worked just like the kind I could buy at the store!
Yum. Gingersnap cookies are a favorite of mine. I can’t wait to try these!
Do you think I can successfully substitute tapioca starch for the arrowroot flour? I have six bags of it and none of the arrowroot :o/
I think so, but I haven’t tried it – in my experience they sub pretty nicely for each other. Let me know how it turns out, then I can add a note for others if it works 🙂
Sweet! I’ve gotta try these. I miss cookies terribly and you can’t go wrong with a good gingersnap!
MICKEY!!!! THESE ARE AMAZING! Really amazing! I love your book, and I love these cookies! My kids even love them!
Thanks Becky! I am so happy you guys like them!! 🙂
Thank you!! I love these. I have missed cookies so much and soft ginger cookies are my favorite. I shouldn’t have but my husband and I ate the whole batch in 2 days. Making more today for Christmas.
Delicious! We made these this afternoon and they are fantastic in both taste and texture! I do have one question about the recipe. Are you supposed to place them coconut sugar side up or down?
Yay! I am happy they turned out for you Shannon! Sugar side up 🙂
Hi, my daughter is on autoimmune Paleo, she has MS, and is it true that arrowroot and tapioca are not NUTS or a starch, her nutritionalist is unsure. Also does anyone have a autoimmune recipe for pancakes, with no eggs, dairy, nuts etc?? Please I could really use some help, my daughter is very depressed about breakfast and doesn’t want to eat anymore….thanks
All of the recipes I post on this site are OK for someone on the elimination diet, or the strictest phase of the autoimmune protocol. Arrowroot and tapioca are both roots, and yes they are starch. While nuts are restricted, starch itself isn’t – I don’t recommend combining the autoimmune protocol with any of the pathogen specific diets (like SCD) unless there is a clear diagnosis of an overgrowth. I’ve never been able to make a pancake without those ingredients – sorry!
Mickey, love your site and recipes! I use this recipe for pancakes, minus the blueberries in the batter (too much fruit in my opinion), and it’s delicious. I sometimes put wild blueberries on top. It’s made with bananas, cassava flour and tigernut flour, which are grain and nut free.
Haven’t tried this recipe, but looking forward to trying it. I’ve been on a pudding kick lately (made using avocado, coconut milk and fruit or carob powder). It’s amazing how many great recipes there are for AIP folks!
Just a suggestion for Jennifer in case it is helpful, this AIP pumpkin puck recipe from Paleo Parents might make a good pancake substitution. You could try baking them flat on a cookie sheet and see how they turn out! https://paleoparents.com/featured/banana-pumpkin-pucks/
The Curious Coconut has plantain pancakes with gelatin! I used 1 tbsp less gelatin (by accident) and put them in a waffle maker. They come out a touch chewy but if you let them crisp up you don’t really notice!
Can’t wait to try these cookies!!! Mickey, you are saving me here LOL.
These are so unbelievably delicious!! I just got done making them, WOW!
Wow, I made these the other day and they were excellent! Thanks for taking the time to develop great recipes for those of us with autoimmune issues! You really make a difference!
Wow. I did something really wrong. I didn’t end up with a dough but a gummy paste. I scooped it into a pile of coconut sugar and covered them all around and baked them as directed. They are super chewy, and a little gummy, but amazingly delicious.
I think I used too many dates and really over-processed the mixture. But what else did I do wrong? Not that I am totally complaining, I also ended up with 2.5 dozen, so I also have more to enjoy. 🙂
Jennie, too many dates definitely could be the culprit. I would also make sure to measure them whole, not chopped up or smashed in the measuring cup. Overmixing does create a gummy product! I think both of those things created the result you are talking about. If you try them again, measure the dates carefully and lightly process 🙂
I agree that the taste is excellent. That’s what motivated me to make these cookies three times, each time slightly differently in attempt to resolve the same issue that JennieLynn encountered. I did *not* over-mix, and I measured two cups of whole dates every time. All three times I wound up with tough, chewy globs that didn’t brown the way the picture shows. How disappointing.
I’m sorry Suzanne! Something in your process must have been off – mixing, measuring, or even oven temperature. I will admit this is a finicky recipe, which is why I have added so many notes. When making recipes without allergens (especially eggs or thickeners), they are much more difficult to re-create. I’m sorry they didn’t work out for you!
[…] brands contain thickeners that are not allowed on the autoimmune protocol. Last week I posted a Coconut Milk recipe that you can use if you would like to make your own (get the recipe here). If you […]
I made the coconut milk following your recipe today. I haven’t made the cookies yet (I just found your blog/page the other day). I have made coconut milk before..but with vanilla in it. I scrape out the little seeds in the pod. “Bean” and “seed”… I still wonder if vanilla is safe or not on AIP?
Technically it is a “gray area food”. I would leave it out for the elimination diet, then reintroduce when you get to that phase. Good luck!
I’m wondering about the sugar content. Is molasses as safe as maple syrup while on a strict phase of an autoimmune diet?
Jasmine, according to Sarah Ballantyne they should be fine as an occasional treat, but not on a consistent basis.
These look fantastic! Judge me not, but I’ve been craving molasses and oysters. I’m so glad I found a great recipe to help with the molasses part! I was considering a spoonful. I can’t wait to get my hands on your book- it looks amazing.
These just came out of the oven and they are fantastic!!!! I left some relatively large chunks of ginger in the batter which are really fun to bite into. They came out perfectly just like your raspberry “cheese” cake. Thank you thank you thank you.
I just made these but didn’t have fresh ginger so subbed 2 tsp of the ground ginger (we like ginger alot!) The taste was awesome! They didn’t look as pretty as yours–perhaps I needed to pulse it more but was afraid to over mix it. However, it left a powdery texture on my tongue. It made it taste a little dry but the cookie really wasn’t. Is that normal? If not, what might help that? Would pulsing it more and making the dates into actual flecks as opposed to 1/4 inch “flecks” make the flour texture more pronounced? The mixture was crumbly but stuck together.
Jodie, It does sound like you could have processed a *tad* more. Its a fine line, I think if you are careful you won’t get into the territory of over mixing (which makes these gummy and not pleasant). The flour should at least be all incorporated, and I’d say the date flecks should be smaller. Hope it helps!
Hmmm. Ok. I think I will try pulsing the dates before I add the flour and see if that helps. I noticed as they sat longer that they got much harder. That being said, I had twice the amount of cookies that you said this makes even though I used my TBSP cookie scooper so maybe I overcooked them. Though you said they are gingerSNAP cookies so maybe not. We like chewy cookies so I’ll try cutting the time. Also, a couple of people said theirs didn’t brown like yours. I did half with the coconut sugar and half without to see which ones my five kids liked best and noticed that the ones without the sugar didn’t brown like yours so maybe people can be aware that the “browning” is likely from the coconut sugar being brown already. And for the record, my husband, all of my children and myself all ate these cookies and liked them, both with and without the sugar coating. That’s just amazing because even with desserts that NEVER happens in my house!
Jodie, that is a good observation about the number of cookies, so you are right you could have over cooked them a little bit. I do think the sugar coating is what makes them brown on the top. I’m so happy you guys liked them! 🙂
Hi Mickey, I just started AIP and wanted a treat for my birthday. These cookies were perfect, small treats I can have a little of and then share with the rest of the family. I didn’t have dates so I used apricots, and the combination of ginger and apricot is delicious! Thank you. 🙂
That combination sounds amazing!
Oh yum! I might have to try that!
Made these today and they turned out great! Delicious!!….anyone else think they tastes a little like Christmas pudding ? 😉
I’m wondering if you could use raisins instead of the dates? Just because I have those on hand and would have to go buy dates and I want to make these now!
You can try, but I have a feeling they won’t blend well enough!
Is tapioca starch an acceptable AIP starch? I have some arrowroot, but it’s been so expensive so I was thinking of trying tapioca instead. Thanks!
Heather, yes tapioca is OK on AIP, but I have not tried this recipe with it. I can’t guarantee it will work. I recommend buying arrowroot in a big bag from Bob’s Red Mill–much cheaper than the tiny jars in the spice department! Good luck!
I’m having a cookie craving right now and these look SO good! I only have maple syrup, do you think this would be too runny if I used it to replace the molasses?
No, I think they will come out fine, they just won’t have the same depth of flavor. Enjoy!
Your comment above, ” When I come up with a coconut free coconut milk, my life’s work will be complete.” caused me to throw back my head and laugh loudly–something I desperately needed today! I haven’t tried the cookies yet but after that great guffaw I see them as pure bonus! Thanks once again for brightening my day.
Christine, I am happy it made you smile. I had to add that because I got a complaint that coconut milk was not coconut free 🙂
Oh dear. 🙂
I have regular molasses – does that work too?
Can I use honey in place of the maple syrup?
You can try it, but the regular molasses won’t have as rich of a flavor as blackstrap. I didn’t test the recipe with honey, but I imagine it would work (although also not have as much flavor as the maple). If you make those two substitutions you may want to up the spices a bit!
Have just started reading your blog, and have made your raspberry lemon gummies and these incredible cookies. Thank you, thank you for posting these!!!
Abby, thanks for being here!
Hi Mickey- would these cookies freeze well? Thanks for the incredible recipes!
I haven’t done it, but I don’t see why not!
How were these cookies after freezing?
Oh my gosh, my husband can have these! Yippee! Thank you! xo
Yum! So is blackstrap Molasses ok on AIP?
According to Sarah Ballantyne’s protocol (which I follow), yes.
Ive just made a batch of these ginger snaps. I never had enough arrowroot and substituted with Tapioca flour. They came out fine.. We dont get the authentic mape syrup here in South Africa so I substituted with honey. Thanks for an awesome recipe.
Busy trying out the cocanut milk at the moment
PS is palm sugr the same or similar toocanutsugar.
Wonderful, I’m happy the sub worked out for you!
Palm and coconut sugar are the same 🙂
I’ve made these twice with Tapioca in place of Arrowroot. They are quite fluffy, and very chewy. Still delicious, but definitely not “snappy”!
[…] Gingersnap Cookies with Coconut Milk. […]
what about almond flour instead of arrowroot starch/flour? because it’s problematically to find such a product in our country… I’m wondering about a replacement and an amount of another , suitable flour?
I’ve never tried this recipe with almond flour and it won’t be AIP compliant that way, but you are welcome to experiment. You could also try tapioca instead of the arrowroot, I think it would make a better substitution there. Good luck!
[…] Click here for the recipe. Ingredients: dates, arrowroot starch/flour, blackstrap molasses, maple syrup, coconut oil or lard, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, sea salt, and coconut sugar […]
[…] Autoimmune Paleo: Ginger Spiced Cookies and Coconut Milk […]
[…] syrup and coconut milk. Haldiman, meanwhile, puts in a good word for “warm, comforting” ginger snaps, which she makes using arrowroot flour, blackstrap molasses and fresh ginger. She also likes cherry […]
The cookies look AMAZING!
Can you substitute the arrowroot with coconut flour?
Hi Vardit! Unfortunately since arrowroot is a starch it does not sub well for coconut flour!
[…] Gingersnap Cookies – Autoimmune Paleo […]
thought I would never get to eat a cookie again! Thank you!
I just made these. Great texture, nice to chew, lovely flavor. I skipped the maple syrup but still feel that these are too sweet. How would it effect the dough if I cut down on the dates by maybe 1/2 cup? Do you think it would still work? PS I used tapioca starch and it worked great. Thanks for the recipe!
Hi Becca! I do think you could cut down on the dates, you might have to add a little water though if the dough isn’t wet enough. Now that you’ve made them you know the consistency I’m going for. Let me know how it works out!
[…] Spice Cookies from African Frugal Paleo *Update 2018: This blog is no longer online. Here's a similar recipe from Autoimmune […]
Hmm.. I made this recipe and it was… not so good. The dough was very crumbly and dry. I had to mash it into a ball, and it resembled dry play dough. The baked cookie was extremely hard. I knocked it on the counter and it made a loud rapping sound. Yikes! It was sadly inedible. I don’t know what I could have done wrong. Is the dough supposed to look like regular cookie dough or is a crumbly play dough texture what we’re looking for?
Hi Davina! Oh no – that texture isn’t right, the cookies are on the firm side but still slightly chewy. Did you use all the ingredients I call for or did you make any substitutions? My thought is that you might have used too much arrowroot, or a different type of flour. Another thought is possibly that your oven could be cooking at a different temperature.
[…] Gingersnaps and Coconut Milk from Autoimmune Wellness […]
Can you substitute the lard with duck fat?
Yes, but you’ll want to make sure to use a duck fat that isn’t too strongly flavored, as that flavor will transfer to the cookies.
Hi I made these and changed it a little. I didn’t have two cups of dates so I used a scant one cup, and added a half cup of apple sauce. I doubled the coconut oil, and added 1/3 cup of molasses. Also, I put in an additional tsp of ground ginger, and used 1 c cassava flour and 1/2 c tapioca. The flavor was perferct! But I think they definitely needed even more fat. Next time I will use 1/2c coconut oil, and all cassava flour, because the tapioca made them a little gummy.
Hi Kathryn! I’m glad they still worked out for you with all those modifications! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much for this recipe! It’s fairly easy and the snaps turned out delicious. The second time I made them, I accidentally soaked the dates five minutes longer and used extra super fresh and juicy grated ginger, and I think those two accidents made for a very moist snap. Enjoy yer holidays, y’all. Stay safe. Be kind. Be well.
Hey Lisa! Thanks for sharing why your second round didn’t come out as snappy – AIP baking can be tricky, and even the slightest adjustments can yield a different result! I hope they still tasted good 🙂