Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Vanilla-Walnut "Shortbread" Cookies: A Tasty Raw Foods Treat

I have been having fun experimenting with raw snacks and desserts lately. I like that they contain few ingredients that are minimally processed and can give me a sweet treat "fix" with some added healthy nutrients. These Vanilla-Walnut "Shortbread" Cookies are from a great little book called "Raw Energy: 124 Raw Food Recipes for Energy Bars, Smoothies, and Other Snacks to Supercharge Your Body" by Stephanie Tourles. I haven't committed to buying a dehydrator yet, but this book has plenty of delicious-sounding recipes that don't require more than a food processor or blender.

I get a craving for a buttery shortbread cookie now and then and I liked the fact that with 5 simple ingredients, I could get a similar taste with these. Of course I had to tweak things a bit, and in addition to making part of the batch as the recipe was written, I dredged some in coconut for a different texture, and also made several "thumbprints" to fill with my mom's homemade strawberry jam and my sister's blackberry jam. Neither jam is raw nor sugar-free, but at about a 1/2 teaspoon of jam in each small cookie, it is a minor indulgence

Tourles says, "These goodies are ultra-rich with a melt-in-your-mouth velvety texture bursting with creamy vanilla flavor; they taste a bit like traditional shortbread. The dough would make a terrific crust for a raw pie."

Vanilla-Walnut "Shortbread" Cookies
"Raw Energy" by Stephanie Tourles
(Yield: About 22 cookies)

2 cups raw walnuts
1 cup unsweetened coconut, finely shredded
1/4 cup raw honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt

Blend the walnuts, coconut, honey, vanilla, and salt in a food processor until a granular, moist dough forms, about 60 seconds. It will not form a cohesive ball and will be very oily when handled.

Scrape the dough into a medium bowl. Pinch off pieces of the dough and gently squeeze, knead, and roll the pieces into balls about 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Press each ball between your palms to slightly flatten into cookies.

Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Recipe Health Notes: A good source of omega-3 fatty acids, plus B vitamins, calcium, zinc, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, natural sugars, protein and fiber--all of which provide for a constants flow of energy.

Notes/Results: Really good, they actually do taste buttery, although the texture is more moist and these raw cookies are a bit chewier than shortbread. The recipe is great as written but the jam filled ones were even better. They also taste great straight out of the freezer. These cookies are rich enough that one or two are very satisfying. I would make them again.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


  1. I really have been meaning to dabble more in raw desserts. I love Larabars so much...I just know I would love these. They look just like non-raw cookies!

  2. They sound delicious! I made my first raw food cookie a couple of weeks ago.

  3. Ah, I get it. It's basically a walnut marzipan.
    How clever to label this as health food. ;)

  4. Interesting. I am hoping to learn more about raw foods too. I am especially loving the jammy ones.

  5. Deb, these look delicious! Shortbread is a weakness, so I will definitely give them a try.

    Happy St. Patrick's Day...

  6. Joanne--These are a cross between a cookie and Lara Bar I think interms of taste and texture.

    Peggy & Kat--Thanks!

    Foodycat--great! How did you like your raw cookie?

    Andreas--it would be similar to a walnut marzipan but without all the processed sugar and with more nutrients--so while not "health food" for sure healthier food. ;-)

    Natashya--thanks. Although not planning to go raw myself, it gives a variety of great healthy options to experiment with.

    George--Hope you like them. Happy St. Paddy's Day to you! ;-)

  7. What yummy cookies! Great idea to make thumbprints out of them.

  8. I love all of your raw goodies! I know they would be delicious with the walnuts as a base. I think my issue would be portion control;D I have a horrible sweet tooth!

  9. Interesting idea to make raw cookies, look truly delicious

  10. This looks fabulous! I am so glad I discovered your blog!!

  11. Reeni--thanks! The thumbprints were my favorites for sure. ;-)

    Kim--mahalo! these are pretty rich and sweet so a couple go a long way!

    citronetvanille--thanks! Not quite the same as baked cookies but a good little treat. ;-)

    Jessica--thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

  12. Oh, these I have to try! I bet they would be a great pre or post workout treat. I like your idea of eating them out of the freezer too.

  13. I love recipes that are out of the ordinary. Raw foods appear to be capturing an audience and this seems a perfect recipe to begin exploring with.

  14. I love the idea of these no bake cookies - so yummy!

  15. Oh that sounds great-I love having raw yummy recipes for my daughter

  16. Those cookies look absolutely delicious!

  17. Those look really good, Deb. I'm really keen to give them a go. I'm not much of a baker so the idea of a raw cookie really appeals to me. Do you think they would work with other nuts such as hazelnuts or macadamias?

  18. Oh Deb these look fabulous! I am so into raw cookie treats lately. I made some PB & J thumbprints recently (, but will have to try some like these!

  19. really? just those few simple ingredients? Wonderful...and they're so pretty too!

  20. Lori--thanks! They would be a great little post or pre-workout treat. I hope you like them.

    Mary--Yes, raw foods are fun to experiment with and this is an easy way to start.

    5 Star Foodie--Mahalo!

    Mom's Best Bets--Thanks for stopping by--hope you enjoy them.

    Lori--Thank you! Mahalo for stopping by.

    Sue--I would think that other nuts would work--especially the softer nuts. This is a great no-bake way to have cookies. ;-)

    Alisa--Mmm...I'll have to check out your PB&J thumbprints. ;-)

    Daniellle--Thanks! Yes they are that fast and easy.


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