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. (Skip to recipe.)
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.
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.)
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 -
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
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
- ⅛ 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.
Place the cashews, dates, spices and salt into a food processor bowl.
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.
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).
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