Hidden Gem “Butter” Cookies

by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on April 7, 2011

I’ve been having crazy dreams lately, and no, not about food… although this next recipe did come to me in a daydream!

I’ve been waking up with a peaceful mind, clear head, and focused intentions.

What have I been dreaming about you ask?

Yoga.

I haven’t visited my mat since November, but after a couple of nights of the same dream, I was convinced I was trying to send myself a message. So, I shuffled around my schedule and headed to the first yoga class I could find.

The class was full of balancing poses [my favorite!]. Each movement flowed into the next with purpose, intention, and grace. My body + mind was sucking up every ounce of clarity that it could squeeze out of the experience.

When the class was done, I had the same sense of bliss that I’d had in my dreams, only stronger. It was exactly what I needed at that very moment.

Sometimes I get so busy that I forget what’s important to me, what keeps me balanced, and what I enjoy doing. I’m so happy that my body worked hard at reminding me how important yoga is to my overall health. So in keeping with my journey of honoring my bodies queues, I’ve decided to make a conscious effort to set aside a bit of time each week to focus on my practice again, starting with another class today at noon.

Here’s to a calm, blissful, and intentional Thursday!

Hidden Gem “Butter” Cookies

Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Refined sugar free, Yeast free

These cookies may look like your average run-of-the-mill cookie from the outside, but don’t let that fool you. One bite and you’ll be welcomed to a soft and sweet date center!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 3 medjool dates, pitted, quartered and rolled into a ball
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 flax egg [1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water]
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Set side.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk almond flour, sugar, and salt until combined.
  3. In a larger bowl, combine coconut oil, flax egg and vanilla extract. Add dry to wet and mix until incorporated.
  4. Separate dough into 2 balls, cover with parchment paper, and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  5. Once complete, spoon 2 tbsp of dough in your hand and flatten, then place 1 date ball in the middle and fold the dough over top. Roll the dough in between your hands to make a ball [make sure you can't see the date!], then press down to make a bit flatter. Place on the prepared cookie sheet and continue with the remaining dough.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool.

Makes 12 cookies

Do you practice yoga?

If so, what’s your favorite pose?

Hands down, my favorite is: Lord of the Dance Pose [or Natarajasana]

Do you listen to the messages your body sends you?

Do you set aside time for yourself on a daily basis to connect to yourself before you continue on?

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

chelsey @ clean eating chelsey

Those cookies look so good – seriously, I don’t have enough time in a day to make all your recipes!

I love yoga – I usually start off each morning with about 5-10 minutes just to get my blood flowing. Is it sad my favorite pose will always be downward dog?

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

I don’t think it’s sad at all! Downward dog is an excellent pose!

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Jess@HealthyExposures

I’m with Chelsey – slow down!! All of your recipes are piling up and I can’t choose between them because they are all equally amazing!! :P (or you could just have a direct mailing route to my house…you know…I’ll repay you in…uhhhh…uhhhh….waffles?)
I really want to find this coconut/palm sugar you’re using a lot lately.
I am loving yoga lately. I’ve found if I do 30-40 minutes before I go ride my horse, I am so much more relaxed and able to follow him than when I don’t.

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

haha I can’t stop?! ahhh! You do need to find palm sugar. It’s the best thing. I’m in love! You could always replace the palm sugar with brown sugar… I just like palm sugar for it’s incredibly low GI.

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Faith @ lovelyascharged

My all time favorite is crow (or side crow.) I love the feeling of being so strong that I can support my body with just my hands. I always feel amazing after it!

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Tara @The Game of life

I do yoga on p90x… my favorite moves are the balance poses!

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

p90x yoga rocks! I need to get back to doing p90x. How long have you been doing it?

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table

I love that one too! I’m addicted to it and the Ab Ripper.

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)

Leanne, I love cookies, muffins, etc with a center filling..these fit the bill. Great work!

Btw, asked you in a comment about the top 9 thing…do you submit your recipes to foodbuzz or not? I know some ppl do, I just dont know how to even do that or where to go :) any info?

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Hey Averie, sorry I thought I got back to you. Crazy week I guess. If you log into foodbuzz and go to your profile, there’s a drop down box on the right hand side that says “Submit a post” then select recipe. Then input the information and save. The recipe with then be added to your foodbuzz activity + recipe box. I hope that helps!

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)

ok I have seen that, thank you for lmk that’s what and how you do it :)

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Kristina @ spabettie

I love dates and I love filled cookies – these look delicious! what is coconut sugar? I need to find this!

I’m not much of a yoga person, really… I’ve tried. I was using restorative yoga classes in my injury recovery, but it’s a very different class (lovely!). I definitely take time each day for myself…

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

coconut sugar is also called palm sugar. I get mine at bulk barn, but I know many health food stores carry it. Restorative yoga is a lot different, but still really nice too!

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Alayna @ Thyme Bombe

Oooo…they look so soft!

I just got into yoga recently and dancer’s pose is definitely my favorite. I can’t get my leg too high and can’t hold it for long yet, but it just feels good.

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kate@ahealthypassion

These cookies look delicious as does everything you bake! I love yoga and usually practice it 3x per week! I love warrior 3 side planks and tree pose !

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Tree pose is a fantastic one. I like it too! Good for you for practicing 3x a week. I can’t wait to get back up to that!

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Fresh and Foodie

Beautiful! I love the idea of hidden jem cookies!

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Clarkie @ Beloved Green

I love that these have a little hidden surprise inside. So delightful!

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Junia @ Mis Pensamientos

i love healthy cookie recipes!!! this looks delicious leanne!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table

anything with a gooey center is ok by me! i’ve got a few dates left that may be donated to this cookie-cause. :)

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Great call, Laura! They’re pretty darn tasty, you’ve been warned!

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Susan

LOVE this simple yet delish cookie recipe.. i’ve been dying for an alternative to the usual breakfast cookies i make with carrot, ginger, apples and oats. btdubs- i too looove dancer’s pose! as a yoga teacher, i have a few favs- like side crow or firefly (incidentally both are balancing poses!).. but balancing poses not only build strength, but as you work on maintaining physical stability, the poses promote mental and emotional balance too… xoS

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Those breakfast cookies sound delicious, Susan! How long have you been a yoga teacher? Gosh, I wish I could do firefly and side crow. I’ve just about got my side crow, I just think my arms are in the wrong place! You’re right, the balances for me are more about my mental and emotional balance than physical. It’s such an amazing experience!

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Jenny (Fit Girl Foodie)

Wow I’m incredible impressed at all the recipes you dish out everyday :) I’ve never practiced yoga before but it looks like it would definitely be a good workout and a good way to relax and get in touch with other senses. Keep dishing out those amazing recipes! :D

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Thanks Jenny! I have one busy kitchen, that’s for sure.

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Happy When Not Hungry

These cookies look delicious! I recently started doing yoga and am really loving it. My favorite pose thus far is dolphin pose. Always makes me feel good!

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Dolphin pose is a great one! I’m glad you’ve found something that you really enjoy doing :)

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Sara @CaffeIna

Oh yoga classes…it seems like a far away memory in this moment. I used to do yoga too but since when my work schedule got crazy I haven’t been going anymore. Can I compensate by eating a few of these cookies? :)

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

heck ya! I know exactly what you mean. When work gets crazy I don’t go either but I find that when I force myself to go, my energy is so much better for the whole day!

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Melissa@EyesBigger

Love these cookies! Surprises in the middle are always good. I don’t do yoga but I run. Running is my mind space place. It’s the one thing I do where my mind just frees itself and I go.

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Sleepinghorse

You brought back wonderful memories for me when my mum and I used to go to yoga together many years ago. She has been dead now for about 15 years and I still miss her every day.
She never knew that I was diagnosed with Coeliac disease and she isn’t here anymore to talk to her about her. Did it come from her maybe, or maybe even her mum? I will never kmow.
Thanks Leanne, for the memories and the recipe. Looks great.

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Sarah

Mmmmm, yoga. That sounds lovely. I’m a bit out of touch with my mat as well.

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RavieNomNoms

Good for you! I need to do that more often, we tend to get so busy and then we forget to slow down. It is nice to once and a while. These cookies look great!

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Parsley Sage

These cookies look so tasty! Not too difficult to make either which is right up my alley. Good for you on the yoga! We’ve got a studio here in Cayman that does ‘hot’ yoga. I try to go a couple of times a month for an anaerobic workout (I’m addicted to spinning) and I gotta tell you…ITS HARD! As a (former) ballet dancer, my body loves it but my mind has trouble getting into it. Glad you’re enjoying it tho!

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Tammy

These cookies look yummy. I have a question about the dates though. Do you pinch off part of the date ball that you’ve made with the three dates and put it in the middle? It wasn’t clear on that.

I haven’t done a lot of yoga, but so far child’s pose and plank are my favorite. Plank is kind of funny. I had open heart surgery in 1998 and have not been able to do push ups since then because the breast bone moved too much, even several years afterwards. I was in a class last week and did plank into cobra and afterwards I realized it was pushups and it didn’t bother me. I thought it was really great!

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

I just updated the recipe so that it makes more sense. Thanks for catching that. Good for you, Tammy! It’s fantastic that you were able to move into that pose :)

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Ryan @ Aloha Appetite

I have to make these. I love surprises.

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(what runs) Lori

I LOVE these! They’re so cute! And easy. Score.

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Joy

My daughter would love these.

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Sabine

These look incredible! And it’s awesome that they have no butter or eggs! I can’t wait to make them.
My only question is, is the sea salt essential or could table salt work as a replacement?

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Table salt would be fine. I only use Himalayan rock salt because of it’s additional minerals but it can be substituted.

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Hailey

I am allergic to all forms of coconut so I can’t use coconut oil or sugar. Are there any substitutes that would work in most recipe? Date sugar? Olive oil? Thanks!

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Hailey

Oh and coconut flour! Thank you :)

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hi Hailey – for the sugar, use any other type, no issue at all. For the oil, any type of butter spread would do the trick. For the coconut flour, that get’s a little tricky as it’s not like any other flour out there. You could try peanut flour or, add extra almond flour. Hope that helps :)

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Sarah

These look delish – I seem to be on a date craze lately so I’m totally stoked to try these! Alternative flours are so darn expensive for a very small amount – do you think this would work with regular ol’ whole wheat flour instead? And would the quantity be similar? I have no concept of the density of almond flour. Thanks! :)

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hi Sarah – I think your best bet would be to find a sugar cookie recipe that uses whole wheat flour and then stuff them with dates. I hope that helps!

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