Granola Cluster Cookie Bites (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and More Free)
Ingredients
  • about 9 Medjool dates, pitted
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, liquefied
  • 1 ½ cups certified gluten-free oats or quinoa flakes (I used quinoa flakes; see notes)
  • 1 ½ cups chopped nuts (of your choice; I used blanched slivered almonds and chopped walnuts)
  • ⅔ cup almond flour
  • 1 ½ tbsp coconut flour
  • ¼ cup roasted cocoa nibs or chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Chop dates fairly well. (I used my kitchen shears for this task.) Add chopped dates to large mixing bowl and add maple syrup and vanilla extract. Stir so that the date pieces are covered. Set aside.
  3. Toast oats (or quinoa flakes) and nuts, if desired. (See notes for additional guidance.)
  4. Add coconut oil, oats (or quinoa flakes), nuts, and all other ingredients to the mixing bowl that you set aside earlier. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Let batter sit for at least 5 minutes or so until it thickens and “sets up” some naturally.
  5. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonful onto prepared baking sheet. Use fingers to press batter into mounds if necessary. The cookies can be placed close together as they will not spread when baked.
  6. Bake for about 12 minutes until cookies are set and fairly golden brown.
  7. Cool on baking sheet another minute or two. Remove with spatula to cool.
Makes about 2 dozen 2-inch cookies.
Notes
You might wish to toast your oats and/or nuts before adding them to your cookie batter. Toasting definitely adds more flavor to some such ingredients, but not others. On the flip side, the toasting also makes some ingredients less absorbent. As I stated, I opted for quinoa flakes in this recipe and wanted them to absorb and bind well with the other ingredients, so I preferred not toasting them. If you need a nut-free version, seeds, such as sunflower seeds and pepitas, should work in place of nuts, if necessary. I think this recipe could be made with all nuts (and/or seeds) versus oats or quinoa flakes, but I have not yet tried that version. If you wish to add some raisins, include those in the oats (or quinoa flakes) or nuts/seeds measurement. I don't think that you want to go over the total of 3 cups for that measurement. If you want a cookie with more protein, you can certainly make the recipe with one or two eggs if you like—I made a version like that and it is more “cookie like”---but honestly, we liked the egg-free cookies just as well. The latter has more maple flavor. However, the cookies that include eggs do hold together a bit better and perhaps have more of a typical cookie consistency than the vegan version.
Recipe by gfe--gluten free easily at http://glutenfreeeasily.com/gluten-free-dairy-freegranola-cluster-cookie-bites/