For a long time my son didn’t have a particularly sweet tooth, other than fruit. Unlike quite a few kids, ‘cookie’ and ‘cake’ were not words early on in his language development. In fact he wouldn’t even try his own cake on his second birthday. I have to admit being pretty glad, but also knew that realistically that would change, even with parents who are not hugely sweet-toothed. And true enough, it now has. There’s one coffee shop that I go to where he almost immediately asks “cookie?” and starts pointing at various things he would like. While I don’t mind now and then, I would prefer it to not be too much of a habit. In preparation of that becoming more common, I wanted to make cookies that didn’t have too much, or any, sugar in them to feel better about the times he does have them. But for both him and me, they still need to taste good. After all, it’s still being sold as a treat. So here’s version one – sugar free date oatmeal cookies.
How they’re made
I plan to keep playing around with the general concept, but I figured date oatmeal cookies were a good place to start to use natural sweeteners. In this case, the sweetness comes from dates. You start by blending the dates with butter, as you would sugar in most regular cookies. True, my blender did make the odd noise like ‘what are you doing to me’ but that was partly my fault in not pre-cutting them a bit and it still managed fine. I have used medjool dates which might seem a bit indulgent, but I don’t think regular dates would blend as easily without being soaked. I didn’t want to do that as it would probably make the cookies too moist.
Here I have added oats for a bit of texture and a little cinnamon for flavor, plus both are pretty natural partners to dates. I debated adding vanilla and didn’t, but I think I might try it next time as I am pretty sure it would work well. You may look at the recipe and say ‘what, half an egg?’ I know, it’s a bit odd, but I prefer to make smaller quantities when I am experimenting and we don’t get through cookies all that quickly. Feel free, of course, to just double the recipe. These date oatmeal cookies hardly melt and expand in the oven. As a result, you do need to flatten them a bit before baking but don’t worry about leaving too much space between them on the tray.
These date oatmeal cookies are soft, flavorful and so tasty. They’re not chewy or crunchy, so I guess it’s almost verging into scone territory. But they look like and are sold as cookies in my house, and get both kid and grown up thumbs up. And that’s good enough for me.
Sugar-free date and oatmeal cookies
These cookies might not have any refined sugar, but they're full of flavor and loved by all.
- 4 oz medjool dates 110g, pitted weight - around 1/2 cup, well packed
- 2 oz unsalted butter 1/2 stick/55g, softened to room temperature and cut into chunks
- 1/2 egg beaten
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour 60g plain flour
- 1/2 cup oats 40g, old fashioned rather than quick
- 1/4 tsp baking soda bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350F/175C
Roughly chop dates and blend with the butter.
Add egg and mix in.
Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined.
Take spoonfuls and roll slightly in your hand then put on a baking tray and flatten.
Bake for 12-15mins until starting to brown.
Try these other healthier cookies:
Sharing with A Life in Balance’s healthy kid snack recipes for the new year roundup.