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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!