Healthy Cookie Dough Balls

Guys, I have a confession to make.

It’s nothing terrible. I pay my taxes, I open doors for others, I strive to be a good and upstanding citizen.

But I have this issue with reading recipes. I tend to skim them quickly and make snap decisions about making them. This becomes an issue when my kitchen is only stocked with a mostly empty bag of chocolate chips or no coconut milk whatsoever. Because halfway through the recipe, when I suddenly realize that I’m out of a key ingredient, I have to run to the store or make up some crazy substitution. I’ve had this happen more than once in one recipe.

It’s an even bigger problem when I don’t read through to the end and think I’m making something to eat that will actually take several hours to set.

It’s even worse when I leave my laptop in one room and go to the kitchen without the recipe on hand. I can remember how much maple syrup goes in these cookie dough balls, right? Wrong.

Anyway, this is my long winded way of saying that I was really excited to find a healthy-sounding recipe over at Oh She Glows for cookie dough balls. Healthy + cookie dough? That could end wars, people. So it turns out these aren’t exactly like cookie dough. Which is really obvious once you read the ingredients, but I was so blinded by the idea of healthy cookie dough that I dove in head first. And then put in the wrong amounts of several ingredients. When the dough didn’t come together, I was really confused, but I eventually made it work.

Below you’ll find my unintentionally adapted version of her recipe, which actually uses less sweetener than the original but tastes great. These cookie dough balls remind me a lot of cashew cookie Larabars, although they have fewer dates and more whole grains added in. They’re salty and sweet at the same time, and are a very satisfying and filling snack. They may not be quite as indulgent as eating raw cookie dough, but I really enjoyed them and they’re so much better for you!

Tell me – do you read recipes all the way through before you start cooking?


Healthy Cookie Dough Balls

Adapted from Oh She Glows

  • 2/3 C cashews
  • 1/2 C + 1 T regular oats
  • 2/3 C whole wheat flour
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 5 pitted medjool dates, chopped
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 6 t pure maple syrup
  • 3-4 T chocolate, chopped (or mini chocolate chips)

Blend the cashews and oats in a food processor until they turn into crumbs like this:

Add in flour, salt, and dates, then process until the mixture is a fine crumb again. Add in vanilla and maple syrup, then process until the mixture either binds together in a ball or you can form it into balls with your hands. If the mixture is too crumbly, add more maple syrup. Mine looked like this when I was done:

Place mixture into a large bowl and mix in the chocolate. Roll dough into balls (or other preferred shape). Store in the refrigerator.

28 Comments on Healthy Cookie Dough Balls

  1. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
    May 20, 2011 at 11:20 am (10 years ago)

    I have the same problem with recipes. It has happened more than once I get part way through a recipe, and realize oh crap this had to sit for 30 minutes, or rise, or marinade. Never planned on that – oops!
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts recently posted Zucchini Fritters

    • Stephanie
      May 20, 2011 at 11:22 am (10 years ago)

      @Erin – I’m glad I’m not the only one!

  2. Andrea
    May 20, 2011 at 1:22 pm (10 years ago)

    This is amazing.

    • Stephanie
      May 22, 2011 at 11:30 am (10 years ago)

      @Andrea – thanks! 🙂

  3. Rochelle
    May 20, 2011 at 3:06 pm (10 years ago)

    I too, make the mistake of not reading through recipes. I have a terrible tendency to look at pictures and then skim the ingredients to decide what I need to make things. That being said though, this sounds like some fantastic cookie dough balls that you adapted here. I’ll have to give them a try 🙂
    Rochelle recently posted Eu Nao falo Portugues Eu entendo um pouco de Portugues

    • Stephanie
      May 22, 2011 at 11:42 am (10 years ago)

      @Rochelle – thanks! It’s so easy to see something delicious and jump into making it.

  4. Lindsey@Lindseliciou
    May 20, 2011 at 6:16 pm (10 years ago)

    I do the same thing! I seem to always not have enough flour or sugar, even after I look at the ingredient list! I totally want to check this out, I’ve been seeing it on Oh She Glows too. =)
    Lindsey@Lindseliciou recently posted Asparagus Yogurt Quiche

    • Stephanie
      May 22, 2011 at 11:43 am (10 years ago)

      @Lindsey – you should try the recipe, they cookie dough balls are delicious!

  5. Sandra
    May 20, 2011 at 6:28 pm (10 years ago)

    Yes I do have that problem, more often than I care to admit. You’d think I’d learn after the first/hundredth time! Love your Cookie Dough Balls.
    Sandra recently posted Devils Food Cupcakes

    • Stephanie
      May 22, 2011 at 11:38 am (10 years ago)

      @Sandra, you’d think I’d learn too! It’s a fun challenge when it’s not frustrating though

  6. Magic of Spice
    May 20, 2011 at 7:29 pm (10 years ago)

    I can’t even follow my own recipes…these sound and look great though and as long as you made it work to where you are happy, nothing left to say 🙂

    • Stephanie
      May 22, 2011 at 11:36 am (10 years ago)

      @Magic of Spice, thanks! I agree, the end product is the important part. Recipes should be used as guidance anyway I suppose.

    • Stephanie
      May 22, 2011 at 11:37 am (10 years ago)

      @Angiesrecipes – glad you have the same problem and I’m not the only one 🙂

  7. Maureen
    May 20, 2011 at 11:13 pm (10 years ago)

    You caught my eye at healthy and cookie in the same sentence 🙂

    These look really good, thanks!
    Maureen recently posted Apple-Sultana Bran Muffins

    • Stephanie
      May 22, 2011 at 11:36 am (10 years ago)

      @Maureen – I know, healthy + cookie isn’t something you usually see, particularly with something that tastes this good!

  8. C&C Cakery
    May 21, 2011 at 8:48 am (10 years ago)

    Finally. Here’s my chance to do what I’ve always wanted to do, but couldn’t – Take a big gob of raw cookie dough and stuff it in my pie hole. Now I can feel good about doing this – and it’s vegan too! Thank you so much for sharing! I’ll be sure to make these 🙂
    C&C Cakery recently posted Journey Around the World of Cake- Victorian Sandwich Cakes

    • Stephanie
      May 22, 2011 at 11:35 am (10 years ago)

      @C&C Cakery – It is fun to eat this and not feel guilty. Enjoy! 🙂

  9. MidLifeBloggers
    May 21, 2011 at 10:02 am (10 years ago)

    Sometimes I read the recipe the whole way through and sometimes I intentionally don’t. The times I do it’s because I’m trying to control my urge to WING EVERYTHING IN LIFE. I want to create the perfect Mise en Place (or however you say it) just like the big guys do on the Food Channel (of course they have little prep chefs chopping and measuring for them, don’t they).
    MidLifeBloggers recently posted Arnold and Maria- back in the day…

    • Stephanie
      May 22, 2011 at 11:35 am (10 years ago)

      @MidLifeBloggers – I think I need to occasionally focus on having my mise en place just so I’m aware of whether I have the ingredients or not! It’s a good habit to have, but I wouldn’t want it to get in the way of being creative and putting an original spin on a dish.

  10. Emily @ Life on Food
    May 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm (10 years ago)

    I have been known to committ many of those same, shall we say mistakes, over the years. Happily I haven’t had complete failures. I kind of think you are a better chef and baker when you add your own flair whether you meant to or not.
    Emily @ Life on Food recently posted Hippie Granola

    • Stephanie
      May 22, 2011 at 11:32 am (10 years ago)

      @Emily – that’s so true, it does challenge you as a cook and makes you better

  11. sweetlife
    May 22, 2011 at 12:08 am (10 years ago)

    I do this all the time…it’s fun to adapt, quickly, lol great cookie dough girls would enjoy these

    sweetlife recently posted Lavender Citrus Cooler

    • Stephanie
      May 22, 2011 at 11:31 am (10 years ago)

      @sweetlife – it is fun to adapt quickly and think on your feet. I like your positive attitude 🙂

  12. Annie
    May 23, 2011 at 5:14 am (10 years ago)

    Lol, I hate it when I do that. Nothing worse than a trip to the store mid recipe. Glad you made it work though, they look great!
    Annie recently posted Rhubarb Pie

  13. kita
    May 23, 2011 at 7:22 pm (10 years ago)

    Ooh, Im so guilty of that one too! A little too much – I totally wing it on a daily basis. But what really kills me is when I realize I did not give nearly enough time for the actual steps. Gets me every time. The cookie dough balls sound awesome – tweaked or not. 😉

  14. Sarah Schiffman
    May 23, 2011 at 9:16 pm (10 years ago)

    Healthy cookie dough? I am sold. Also, I’m terrible about reading recipes all the way through. I’ve destroyed so many dishes that way. Slow to learn I guess.
    Sarah Schiffman recently posted Twenty-Fine

  15. LQ
    June 1, 2011 at 7:17 pm (10 years ago)

    These look pretty good! But yes, I always read the whole recipe, and I go get out all the ingredients before I start cooking. It’s too annoying to have to panic and regroup in the middle of cooking (and let’s face it: I’m not a good enough chef to pull that off consistently).


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