Gingerbread Cookie Dough Balls

Mmmm, biting into one of these soft balls of sweet spicy goodness is just like swiping a spoonful of gingerbread cookie dough from the bowl.

gingerbread cookie dough ballsI don’t get all the fuss about eating raw cookie dough.

When we were growing up my mom told us we’d get stomach aches from the raw baking powder and the raw egg. (That didn’t count, obviously, for the raw egg she’d often add to our fruit smoothies, and which anomaly we weren’t smart enough to catch.) We took her seriously, and I grew up with a healthy fear of nibbling raw dough. (And besides, it didn’t taste so great to me the time I tempted fate and did try to snitch some.) To this day I can’t bring myself to taste the dough before I bake it.

Raymond and our kids, however, suffer from no such hang-ups.

gingerbread cookie dough balls

When we were first married, I’d watch in horror as Raymond would swipe heaped spoonfuls of raw batter (several precious cookies-worth) from the bowl, ignoring my dire warnings of impending pain and possible medical emergencies. He’d just shrug and bravely laugh in the face of doom by snatching another big spoonful. Foolish guy, I’d think to myself.

But nothing ever happened. He must have a stronger than normal constitution, I reasoned.

Then when our four kids came along – oh, horrors – they inherited the same tendencies. My severe warnings about awful stomach cramps and untold illness fell on deaf ears as they watched their father swipe spoonfuls of raw dough and happily followed suit.

I was fighting an unwinnable battle to keep my family from the clutches of raw-cookie-dough-induced traumas.

Surprisingly, they too suffered no such afflictions.

So, I throw in the towel.. . . I give up.

Here is my version of a raw gingerbread cookie dough that takes the cake. Even I think it is pretty darn yummy. My family devours the sweet, doughy, spicy little balls, and doesn’t even realize I’ve kept them safe, again. There’s no risk of serious, raw-baking-powder-induced medical emergencies to deal with, no risk of suffering an agonizing embrace of the great white toilet bowl telephone, or rolling around in the grip of near-death raw-cookie dough gut-wrenching spasms. (Because of course, I’m sure those things will happen – my mom said so.)

gingerbread cookie dough balls

This ‘raw’ cookie dough is delicious and totally good for you – so you can continue to slap the hands of any family members trying to filch regular raw cookie dough from your mixing bowl, and feed ’em these instead. They’re a bit sticky, and nicely doughy, and taste just like the stuff you’d whip up for a big batch of chewy gingersnaps. You’ll give them all the goodness of nuts, dates, and healthy ginger and cinnamon, with the beloved taste of a cheating snitch from the cookie dough bowl.

And since this is what it looked like outside our kitchen door this morning –

first snow of the year, September 8, 2014

jeeeeeeeshhh!!!  – I thought the idea of warm gingerbread spices was definitely in order. Come on, Mother Nature – it’s still summer on the calendar! 

* * * * *

Kitchen Frau Notes: You can save the step of roasting the cashews by purchasing already roasted, unsalted ones, but it is very quick and easy to do yourself. We like the intense level of spice in this ‘cookie dough’. If your family doesn’t, cut the cinnamon to 2 teaspoons and the cloves to ¼ teaspoon.

If you want to add another subtle layer of flavour that goes really well with the spices, add 1 teaspoon grated orange zest and substitute the water with freshly squeezed orange juice.

gingerbread cookie dough balls

Gingerbread Cookie Dough Balls

gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, refined-sugar free (if you don’t roll them in granulated sugar)

  • 2 cups (250grams) raw, unsalted cashews
  • 1 cup halved and pitted medjool dates (about 10-12 dates, lightly packed)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons water, if needed
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar, granulated sugar or finely ground nuts

Toast the cashews by placing them in a single layer on a cookie sheet or a baking pan and toasting in a preheated 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once, until a rich golden brown. Let cool.

toasted cashews for gingerbread cookie dough balls

Place the cashews, dates, spices and salt into a food processor bowl.

gingerbread cookie dough balls

Whiz until the nuts are ground and the mixture starts clumping. If it seems too dry, add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough forms a ball that mostly stays together as it whips around the central post of the food processor. You may have to stop it occasionally to scrape the dough back down to the blades of the processor. (If the dough ends up being too soft to roll – set it into the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes.)

Place the coconut sugar, sugar or ground nuts into a small bowl. Taking one tablespoon of the ‘cookie dough’ at a time, roll it into balls, then roll the balls in the coconut sugar.

shaping and rolling the gingerbread cookie dough balls

Place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and let air dry for several hours (and hope there are still some left for you to taste when you come back to check on them.) Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Makes 25 perfect 2-bite gingerbread cookie dough balls (guaranteed not to give you a tummy ache).

Guten Appetit!

You might also like:

Breakfast Balls

Gingerbread Rice Krispie Squares with Cinnamon Ganache Topping

Chocolate-Dipped Apricots

Oma’s Ginger Molasses Knobs

Decadent Little Truffles


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14 Responses to Gingerbread Cookie Dough Balls

  1. Sandy Porter says:

    Well we were both on the same page today, as I made (one of our favorites) ….. Ginger Muffins. Some comfort food for days like today.


    • Margaret says:

      There’s just something about the smell of spices in the air, when it’s snowing outside, that brings comfort, isn’t there? Those muffins sound great with a hot cup of tea on a cold day. Even though I always love the first snowfall, I have to say it IS a teensy bit early this year though. I hope we get a great Indian Summer to come yet!

  2. Tammy says:

    Oh my goodness Margaret! I can’t believe you have had snow already! At first glance at the photo, I was wondering why you were posting an “old” Christmas photo! Those Ginger balls do look yummy – must try them in November when I focus on Christmas baking and when it gets a little cooler for us. It was smokin’ hot for us yesterday – close to 30 degrees!

    • Margaret says:

      Ooooh, how I wish we still had those kind of temperatures! Unfortunately that picture I took was all too true. It actually snowed all day long here today. The leaves are still on the trees, so lots of the branches are bent way down from the weight of the snow. Raymond, Andreas and I were outside tonight, wet, and with our fingers freezing, trying to pick all the zucchini, corn and tomatoes to bring inside before the frost we’re expecting tonight. Life in the north here is never boring, weatherwise! (But I’d sure like it a little less exciting – it IS still supposed to be summer.)

  3. Vivian says:

    I, too, was flabbergasted at the white wintery scene that greeted me that morning. It certainly dulls one’s mood. I hear warmer (than average) days are on the way, go figure!?. Seems like a cruel trick of Mother Nature’s to me. Tomatoes were covered but everything else is lost! But, hey, there are still carrots and beets to play with!

    • Margaret says:

      Yes, thank goodness for the lovely, lowly root vegetables. We got our above-ground veggies off in time, luckily. Here’s looking forward to a lovely Indian Summer ahead!

  4. Marisa says:

    Is there another nut that would work in place of cashews? I’m supposed to abstain. 🙁

    • Margaret says:

      I just made a batch yesterday with toasted pecans, and they were delicious – not quite as smooth or doughy as the cashew ones – a bit more texture, but same great taste. I think pecans are a soft enough nut to work well as a substitute. Hope you enjoy them – they disappear like magic around here!

  5. These cookie dough balls look so incredibly delicious. They are the perfect sweet treat.. craving a couple right now!

    • Margaret says:

      Thanks so much, Thalia. I’m getting quite addicted to them – even with my non-cookie-dough-eating childhood!

  6. Maria G. says:

    So I guess I’m not the only one who doesn’t like people to snatch the food I’m making . . . telling myself it is a good sign that the food is tasty . . . but that was several “precious cookies-worth!”
    By the way, these cookie dough balls look super delicious! Thank you! (also for the good laugh you gave me with your story 😀

    • Margaret says:

      You’re not alone! It’s a losing battle around here to keep snitching fingers out of my cookie dough bowls. Thanks for your great comment – made me smile. Hope you have a wonderful, sweet-treat-filled day!

  7. Laura kemp says:

    Has anyone tried baking biscuits from this?

Comments are closed.