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Healthy Vegan Pecan Sandies on a cookie tray

Healthy Vegan Pecan Sandies

  • Author: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 27 minutes
  • Yield: 17 Cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Description

What could be better than tender, buttery, sweet goodness all wrapped up in a beautifully healthy cookie? Absolutely nothing! These Healthy Vegan Pecan Sandies are what cookie deliciousness is all about.  Absolutely irresistible and perfect for holiday gatherings, these delightful cookies are sure to be a hit.

Whole Food Plant Based, vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, gluten free, no highly processed ingredients.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup rolled oats, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup maple sugar *
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon flax meal (ground flaxseed)
  • ½ cup pecans, minced * (measure after the pecans have been minced)
  • 4 Medjool dates, pitted *
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon almond butter, softened *
  • ¼ cup unsweetened, plain plant milk
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt (+/- to taste) *

Optional Toppings

  • Drizzle or dip of chocolate * (We love Enjoy Life Brand)
  • Sprinkle of WFPB “Powdered Sugar” *

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place oven rack(s) in the center position.
  2. Line one (or two) baking sheets with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  3. Place the oats in a food processor and process just to break up the oats, about 20 seconds. Then add to a mixing bowl.  Add all the other dry ingredients (almond flour, brown rice flour, maple sugar, sea salt, baking powder, baking soda, flax meal) to the bowl with the chopped oats, and stir to combine.
  4. Place the pecans in the food processor and process for about one minute to finely mince the pecans, then add to the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients.
  5. Place the Medjool dates into the food processor and process until minced, then add to the dry ingredients, stir well to evenly distribute the minced dates (you may have to use your hands) then add the remaining ingredients (plant milk, vanilla and softened almond butter), stir well to combine until the mixture comes together into a solid ball. Add very tiny bits of almond milk (1/2 teaspoon at a time) if it doesn’t pack into a solid ball. Use your hands to press it together.
  6. Take a golf balled-sized piece (2 packed small cookie scoop size) of cookie dough and roll it in your hands to form a ball, then place the ball onto the parchment paper/silicone mat lined cookie sheet.Try to keep the cookie size uniform. Continue until you have rolled all the dough into balls, and placed the dough balls on the baking sheet(s). See notes about cookie dough tips.
  7. After the 2nd round of cookie ball rolling, then flattened each ball to form a thick disk about ½ inch thick.Firm up the edges (if needed) to keep a cohesive well-formed disk. The cookies will spread a little bit while baking.
  8. Place the baking sheet on the upper-center rack and bake for 12 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets from bottom to top racks and vice-versa half-way through if using two cookie sheets. If using one cookie sheet, just use the center rack and there is no need to move the cookies around the oven.
  9. After 12 minutes, remove from the oven, allow the cookies to sit on the baking sheet(s) undisturbed for 5 minutes to firm up, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
  10. Enjoy warm, soooo delicious!  (Or allow to completely cool and sprinkle with “WFPB powdered maple sugar” or drizzle with melted chocolate – see notes).

Notes

*Sweetener Questions Answered:  We get tons of questions about sweetener substitutions. We totally get it. Some folks want to use all Medjool dates, while others want to use all maple syrup. We’ve tried these cookies using all Medjool dates, they turned out gummy.  We also tried using all maple syrup, they just didn’t hold up.  Honestly, the best sweetener for this cookie recipe is the combination of Medjool dates and maple sugar.  Additionally, using date sugar is not recommended either as it just doesn’t have the same flavor and texture needed for this recipe.  ***We also get a lot of questions about using coconut sugar, if your diet permits, you can substitute coconut sugar for the maple sugar.  However, we have not tested with coconut sugar; many of our readers have let us know that coconut sugar works well as a substitute for maple sugar.

*Medjool dates: If using Medjool dates vs another dried date, there is no need to soak the dates as Medjool dates are typically very soft. However, if you are using a different date, test the date by pinching it. If the date is very soft, gooey, and pliable, then you can just add them to the food processor to break them up. If the dates are drier and stiff, then you will need to cover them with boiling water for about 20 minutes to soften them up before adding the dates to the food processor.

*Mega Chocolate Chunks: We love the Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Mega Chocolate Chunks or you can use Nut-Free Dark Chocolate Morsels.  Melt ¼ cup of mega chunks in a small bowl and drizzle over the cookies. Or if you are looking to dunk them to cover the bottoms or do a “half-dunk”, then place in a small deep bowl.  Dunk the cookie into the melted chocolate, then place it on a wire rack until the chocolate has fully set, approx. 2 to 3 hours.

*Cookie Dough Tips for Success:  The cookie dough is semi-sticky, but it should form a ball easily.  Tip: The more round and smooth you make the cookie ball, the better cookie texture results.  What we have found works well and creates a great cookie is the following:  We create all the cookie balls. Then we wash our hands again and pick up each cookie ball and roll it again in our hands to create a very smooth round ball.  The 2ndround of rolling is not required, but it does make a really nice cookie shape.  Then flatten each ball to form a thick disk about ½ inch in height. These cookies do expand a little in the oven so do not place them too closely together on the baking sheet.

*Almond Butter:  Most almond butter is generally already very soft; however, some brands do require refrigeration after opening and it becomes rigid when cold.  If you are using an almond butter that has been refrigerated, then heat it up in the microwave for about 25 seconds or remove the required amount from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before stirring in.  It is difficult to distribute refrigerated almond butter evenly throughout the batter as it tends to lump up.  You want it softened, not melted.

*“WFPB Powdered Sugar” – Optional: Place 1 Tablespoon of dried maple sugar and 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch into a high-speed blender (ex. Ninja) and blend on high for one minute to create a very fine powder. Sprinkle the date “powdered sugar” over top of completely cooled muffins through a fine mesh sieve.

*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.

*Serving:  Makes approximately 17 cookies.

*Storage:  Use within 5 days.  Freezes well.

If you try this recipe, we would love to know if you love it as much as we do, please leave us a review!