Date Sweetened Buckwheat Spice Cookies Recipe- Gluten Free, Vegan

 photo IMG_1760_zps62b6994e.jpgI am always on the lookout for cheap desserts that I can serve my family, that don't contain refined sugar. The problem is that refined sugar is so much cheaper than non refined sugars, that desserts made with the healthier sweeteners usually end up being so expensive to make... so I rarely feel justified in making them. Dried dates, and specifically date puree (pure blended up dates, minus the pits) are the cheapest natural sweeteners available in my area, and though I use them to make larabars, once you add in the cost of the nuts, they're not so cheap anymore...
But I wondered- could I maybe use pureed dates to sweeten cookies? Would it work? I googled a bit and found some recipes that used pureed dates as a sweetener, so decided to experiment a bit with it.
I ended up with this yummy recipe for spice cookies made with raw buckwheat flour (made from green buckwheat, not toasted buckwheat), no xanthan gum, and no additional sweeteners other than the dates. I'll be honest- these aren't the sweetest cookies ever, so if you're expecting sugar cookies, you'll be disappointed. They're sweet, but mildly so- enough to satisfy a craving for sweet for someone like myself whose cut back on the amount of sweeteners in my day to day life. I'm sure you could make it sweeter by increasing the amount of dates in it, or decreasing the amount of flour, but I'm happy with how these cookies are at the moment.
I used spices that I like in the cookies- feel free to play around with the spices used, maybe using pumpkin pie spice mix, or even subbing the spices for cocoa powder. This is a good base to work with to create many different types of cookies.
If you don't need to be gluten free, I am pretty sure this recipe would work well with wheat flour, whole wheat flour, or spelt- just replace the raw buckwheat flour with that, and enjoy! It probably also would work well with an all purpose gluten free flour mix.

Date Sweetened Buckwheat Spice Cookies Recipe- Gluten Free, Vegan

1 cup date paste (or equivalent amount of pitted dates)
1/2 cup solid fat, like palm shortening, coconut oil, or butter.
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups raw buckwheat flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Put the fat and the date paste/dates and boiling water into the food processor. Process until uniformly mixed.

2. Add the ground flax seed, baking powder, and salt. Process some more.

3. (If needed, remove from food processor. I did, and mixed the rest by hand.) Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

4. Shape the cookies onto a cookie tray- wetting your hands helps to be able to do this better. Flatten the cookies- these will not spread/run, so whatever shape you make them is the shape they'll be. I ended up making 22 with this recipe.

5. Cook at 350 until the bottom starts to brown- this should take between 10 and 20 minutes most likely (my oven is being problematic so is taking longer to cook things than the average oven, so I can't give you a precise time).

6. Let cool, and enjoy!

What is the cheapest healthy sweetener you can buy locally? What desserts do you tend to make with them? Does this look like a recipe you'd try?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. I made these yesterdat and came back to say they were wonderful! I used butter as my fat, and replaced the flaxseeds with a couple of eggs. I'll be making these again.

    1. Thank you for coming back to tell me! So glad you liked them! I think i'll be making them again soon, because they definitely were a hit here too!

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