No Bake Haystack cookies – Sugar free, gluten free, simple, and delicious!

A couple of days ago I was making dinner (and it was a less than impressive dinner).  I was thinking about my youth and eating haystack cookies with Muriel (her favorite cookie, and my favorite ‘second mom’).  I was thinking it would be great to have a ‘Berrik’ friendly version of that cookie for the holiday season, although considering that cookie is literally more than 1/2 straight sugar, I wasn’t sure it would be possible.  So, while my uninspired dinner was cooking, I started mixing up some ingredients to see if I could make this cookie work.  The result was incredibly good.  Surprisingly good for a first run at it.  I took a few of them to the dance studio and shared with a couple of my dance mom besties (and a dance dad!) and they were met with approval.  Granted, the one mom was dying of hunger as she had yet to eat dinner…. but still, I think everyone thought the cookies were pretty good.  They were quickly kid approved in my house.  So I knew I was on to something good.  I wanted to try the recipe again, with a few minor adjustments though, before I posted it.  Yesterday I tried it again, made a few minor changes, and I think it’s pretty good.  My kids love the cookies, so ultimately that is always the goal for me!

You will see there are many substitution possibilities – that’s the beauty of this cookie.  The base of it is delicious, and the addition options are pretty much endless so you can adjust it to your own tastes or to accommodate food sensitivities/allergies.

The ultimate test would be for Muriel to try them and approve!  I may have to send her some.

Ingredients:

NOTE: The cocoa is not in the photo… I forgot.  But it’s the second most important ingredient. So don’t forget it.  ðŸ™‚

1 cup  Date Paste

3/4 cup cocoa

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup coconut milk (or any other kind of milk you’d like to use)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups gluten free large flake oats

1 1/2 cups long flake coconut

Approximately 2/3 cup of whatever other additions you’d like to add.  I have done 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, plus 1/3 cup walnuts, and in another recipe 1/3 cup pumpkin seed plus 1/3 cup chopped peanuts.  The options are limitless.  Dried fruit would be good also  Alternatively you can add more oats or coconut if you’d prefer instead.

Directions:

Heat up the date paste, coconut milk and coconut oil over low heat until melted and mixed together. Let cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring.

Stir in cocoa, cinnamon & vanilla and continue stirring over low heat until well mixed.

Remove from heat and add oats, coconut and whatever other add ins you are using and mix well.  It should be just sticky enough to hold together.  Add more coconut and/or oats a little at a time if it seems too sticky.

NOTE: Taste the batter at this point.  If you are more accustomed to a sweeter cookie and that is your preference, add pure maple syrup or gently melted raw honey to taste.  I would start with 1/4 cup and go from there.

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Use a small cookie scoop or just roll by hand and place on parchment paper to cool.

After about an hour, put into an air tight container with parchment between the layers and refrigerate.  These freeze well also and taste really good frozen (which means that trips down to the freezer become a regular part of the day for me!)

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