Friday, June 28, 2013

Vegan Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

It's been quite a gruesome couple of weeks, and it won't end until the middle of July.  I work and am attending school, but it just so happens that the final week for school and the end of my lease is up at the same time.  So, I have to pack and move the same time that final papers are due.  Yikes!
I never realized it before, but being in the kitchen, playing a video on my laptop and just cooking is becoming my go to relaxation time (since cleaning or organizing has NEVER stuck as a "relaxing" habit).  I guess it's the act of creating something that you know will get immediate results (happy reactions from people.... hopefully) that makes it fun.  Since these next couple of weeks are going to be my last with my roommate, I thought I'd cook her favorite meal for her (she hates cooking) and a treat for dessert.  She decided on tuna melt on naan bread (she claims I make the best), and I decided vegan cookie dough balls, which can be eaten as they are OR blended into some banana soft serve for cookie dough soft serve!!!! YUM!

There are a LOT of recipes for vegan raw cookie dough balls out there.  But~ I thought I'd try my hand using ingredients that I had on hand, since I had to clean out the food in the fridge and pantry anyway.

*You can tweak the ingredients a bit to your liking, if you prefer cashews instead of almonds, but I would suggest a more bland nut as opposed to slightly bitter nuts like walnuts.
*Also, if you wanted it to be nut free, I'm sure you can use more oats and some medjool dates, pulsed in a food processor until broken down to form a paste, but you'd have to experiment with that
*You could probably also omit the choco chips and add raisins instead, adding spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to make an oatmeal cookie ball
*if you added some molasses (maybe half molasses, half syrup?) with some spices, the mixture would become gingerbread OR molasses cookie balls.
*I'm sure you can also use almond paste, marzipan if you wished to make an italian cookie flavor.
Have fun!  Experiment!  and let me know what you create!

Vegan Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls
makes 12-20 balls, depending on how big you roll the dough

1 c almond flour (what I did was take almonds and blend it in a blender until flour consistency) OR 1 c raw cashews, blended until like flour
1/3 c + 1 generous Tbsp quick cooking oats
3 Tbsp maple syrup, honey, agave syrup, or rice syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c chocolate chips IF using mini chips, 1/3-1/2 c if using regular sized chips
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)

1.  blend nuts into flour (do not over blend, as it will become butter), then pulse in oats until course.
2.  mix syrup, vanilla, salt and coconut (if using) into dry mixture.  stir in chocolate chips.
3.  prepare a plate or cookie sheet with parchment paper and place rolled dough balls onto tray/plate.  freeze for 30 minutes, and if you like, place into an air tight plastic container for later consumption.  I'm assuming they should keep for at least a week or two, but they've never lasted that long in my house so....

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