Date paste is one of my new favorite ingredients. It adds flavor, sweetness and a little fiber, plus it gives pale baked goods some color. I've been putting it in various cookie recipes including these Vegan Date Paste Double Chocolate Cookies, which are soft, fat, chocolate cookies with no dairy or eggs.
Dates and a bit of cornstarch help bind the cookies, and the fat is coconut oil. For extra flavor I added espresso powder, but you can leave it out and the cookies are still great. Also, if you don't want a hint of coconut flavor in your cookies, use regular vegetable oil or look for unrefined coconut oil.
I've made these at least 4 times and love the results with both whole wheat pastry flour and all-purpose, so use whatever you have, but make sure you weigh the flour since different flours have different weights per cup. I have not tested Date Paste Double Chocolate Cookies with a gluten-free 1:1 blend yet, but I think it would work.
How to Make Date Paste
Making date paste is pretty simple if you have a decent blender. There are tons of websites with directions on how to do it, but basically it's this: Put about a half pound of pitted dates in a bowl (Medjool, but other dates work). Boil 1 ½ cups of water and pour 1 cup of it over the dates. If you need more, use more, but 1 cup should do it. Let the dates sit until they are soft. Drain the dates, reserving about ¼ cup of water. To finish the date paste, puree it in a blender, adding as much of the reserved water as needed.
Date Paste Double Chocolate Cookies
- ¾ cup (3.4 oz weight) all-purpose flour (weigh, or stir well and aerate) or whole wheat pastry flour 95 grams
- ¼ cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons date paste 40 grams
- 2 tablespoons almond milk or another non-dairy milk
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- ¼ cup coconut oil or your whatever oil you have
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ to ½ cup dark or bittersweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, cornstarch, baking soda and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl. stir together date paste, almond milk and both sugars until blended. Add the oil and vanilla and stir until smooth.
- Add the flour mixture to the oil mixture and stir to form a soft dough. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Drop the dough by tablespoons onto a baking sheet. Gently shape the dough into little balls and press down slightly -- dough should be soft, but not at all runny.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.