Oh Lent, you last such a long time. What idiot would give up sugar for six weeks? Oh, right. Me.
The craving for sugar comes and goes, and at times is intense and makes me evil. And then I don’t think even think about sweets for a few days at a time. But friends, when the insane desire strikes, I need something. Anything. And I need whatever it is that I am eating to trick me in to thinking I am having actual dessert of some form.
The other night, I was going about my evening routine, and WHAM, my brain let me know that being without dessert was no longer a sustainable option. I had tried the peanut butter with honey and apples already. I had already consumed my favorite “sweet” tea. I was tempted to make some homemade Lara Balls, but I wanted something substantial, and in cookie form. I suddenty had a flashback to when my sister and I were younger and allowed in the kitchen without adult supervision and would make no bake cookies! Of course. Of course that was the answer. The fact that I got more than halfway through this sugar fast without thinking of no bake cookies, both astounded and saddened me.
The beauty of no-bake cookies is that besides not having to bake them (duh), you can personalize them in so many ways. Simply taking the base recipe and adding your own spin on it opens up amazing opportunities. For the recipe below, I used a product called cacao butter that I have had in my pantry for over a year and rarely use. It was purchased on impulse, and makes a huge difference in the flavor of these cookies. But if you don’t ever see yourself wanting to buy this product, or it isn’t in your budget, no worries as I have suggested a substitution within the recipe. For the flaky sea salt, I recommend something that is decent quality; do not use table salt on these cookies. My fancy sea salt container was a gift, is years old, and still has a bunch in it. A little goes a very long way. The cookies are made better by a sprinkle on top, but are delicious without it. If you find yourself without good quality salt, just leave it out of the recipe. It’s better to not replace it with general salt.
And yeah, maple syrup and honey at their base are sweeteners, but my friend and I gave up refined sugars. Don’t be the douche who points out the fact that “technically honey is still sugar”. I’m sugar-crazed, jumpy, and tired. Don’t mess with me.
Sugar-Free No-Bake Cookies with Sea Salt
A delicious and easy no-bake cookie that satisfies an intense sweet tooth.
- 1 cup no sugar added peanut butter feel free to use almond, cashew, or soy nut butter
- 1/4 cup honey (raw if you can find it)
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups raw oats
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup cacao butter (melted) You can also use coconut oil instead, but the flavor won't be as rich
- 1 pinch flaky sea or finishing salt Don't have it? Skip this step. Don't use table salt.
- Feel free to add chopped nuts, unsweetened coconut, chia seeds, etc.
Place oats in a medium mixing bowl.
In a small saucepan, melt the cacao butter. I melt it, measure it, and then put it back in the pot to avoid washing multiple pots. Add the peanut butter, cocoa powder, vanilla, maple syrup, and honey to the pot and stir until combined.
Add the liquid mixture to the oats, and stir to combine. Put in the freezer for 20 minutes. Unless you want to burn your hands on super hot cookie "dough". Ain't nobody got time for that.
Form the cooled "dough" in to whatever sized cookies you'd like. I find I have to squeeze the mixture in my hand a bit to get a solid cookie formed.
Place cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Top with a conservative sprinkle of the flaky sea salt. The salt is meant to bring out the chocolate flavor; you don't want it to taste like the ocean.
Refrigerate for a few hours, and store in an air-tight container at room temp or in the fridge.
These cookies aren’t my favorite whole wheat chocolate chip cookies. They aren’t the donut, or the vanilla decaf latte I have been craving like a fiend. But they scratch an itch that needed desperately needed to be scratched. I was like a happy bear rubbing on a tree when I took my first bite.