Around these parts, vegan treats are Alyna's domain, but a recent spree of snacking on vegan sweets has piqued my interest in making them, too. I suppose it really all started last year when Alyna presented me and our friend Coco with a delicious vegan truffle while we were visiting her in lush, magical, summertime Portland. After eating my fair share, I demanded that one of them bring me another, immediately.
Not the same, but these vegan and raw truffles by Living Raw are very good.
Although not a vegan (when it comes to cheese, I share the same sentiment as this Moth storyteller, who declares cheese to be her small god whom she always tries to honor), I subscribe to Oh, Ladycakes because the blog is so visually appealing, and anyone who calls out a corporation deserves the title of "Great American Hero." I finally made an Oh, Ladycakes recipe -- the no-bake almond butter cookies with goji berries -- because I needed a snack to take on a Big Sur backpacking trip that would be delicious, healthy, and hold up well. These cookies are all three. Perfect for hike breaks, dessert, hammock lounging, and first thing in the morning while impatiently waiting for your camping companion to wake up and make you breakfast.
I continued my foray into vegan sweets by making a variation of the above almond butter cookies. These chocolate-hazelnut butter cookies are chocolatey, nutritious, and have a delightful crunch from the nibs. They also come together incredibly easily, and are a prudent break from your chocolate bar stash if you find yourself, well, going through a lot of chocolate bars. Going to try to recreate the Living Raw truffles next!
P.S. So excited for longer days!
No-Bake Chocolate-Hazelnut Butter Cookies with Cacao Nibs
Makes roughly two dozen cookies
Adapted from Oh, Ladycakes
1 1/2 cups oat flour *
1/2 cup hazelnut meal
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup cacao nibs
Pinch of sea salt
10 medjool dates, pitted and soaked in warm water for about 15 minutes
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
Generous 1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut butter **
* Bob's Red Mill has an extensive collection of different flours and nut meals, if you're not in the mood to pulverize things yourself.
** I used Justin's chocolate-hazelnut butter, which is tasty without being exorbitantly sugary, like most chocolate-hazelnut spreads (this Bon Appétit debate on Nutella still makes me laugh). If you use another brand you might end up with a much sweeter cookie. Nuking the chocolate-hazelnut butter in the microwave for 30 seconds makes stirring the cookie dough a little easier.
In a medium bowl, stir together the oat flour, hazelnut meal, coconut, cacao nibs, and salt. Set aside.
In a food processor, blend the dates and almond milk into a smooth paste.
Using a spatula, transfer the date paste to the dry ingredients. Add the chocolate hazelnut butter next, and then stir until ingredients are completely incorporated.
Using a tablespoon, scoop the dough, use hands to form into a sphere, and then press with a fork. Freeze for 20 minutes. Transfer cookies to an air tight container and store in the freezer.