These Date Apple Cookies are the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth with a better-for-you treat. Plus, you get to customize with your choice of nut butter and apples!
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Table of Contents
Why you’ll love these fluffy apple cookies
Whether you’re meal prepping for the week, planning a picnic, or just looking for a wholesome treat, these cookies are sure to be a hit! Here’s why you’ll fall head over heels for them.
- Natural sweetness: The combination of Medjool dates and apples gives these cookies a delightful, natural sweetness without the need for much added sugar.
- Customizable: Whether you’re a fan of different nut butters or apples, this recipe lets you choose your favorites.
- Great for holidays: These cookies are perfect for Valentine’s Day, a spontaneous baking afternoon, or to bring to a holiday party.
Are these apple cookies healthy?
These cookies contain a number of nourishing ingredients like dates, whole wheat flour, and apples.
Dates are a fantastic source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They also provide natural sweetness, reducing the need for added sugars.
Using whole wheat flour adds more fiber and nutrients compared to regular white flour, making these cookies a healthier choice.
Finally, the star of the show: apples! Apples are not only delicious but also packed with vitamin C and important dietary fiber. Apples are rich in a specific type of fiber called soluble fiber, which research shows helps slow down the digestion process and promotes appetite-suppressing signals in the body. In turn, this leads to feeling fuller and more satisfied for longer.
What ingredients do you need?
- Medjool Dates: There are all types of dates but I tend to love Medjool for their caramel-like sweetness. Find them in the produce of your grocery store.
- Whole Wheat Flour: This flour adds a nutty flavor and boosts the fiber content. Look for it in the baking aisle.
- Apples: Select firm, fresh apples for the best flavor and texture. We tend to use red apples over green for more sweetness.
- Nut Butter: Opt for a natural, unsweetened version of your favorite nut butter. This adds a creamy texture and healthy fats.
How do you make apple cookies?
These cookies have a few different steps, but come together super quick.
1. Gather your ingredients
Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Make sure you have all your wet and dry ingredients measured and ready to go, including the Medjool dates, maple syrup, your choice of nut butter, and chopped red apples.
2. Blend wet ingredients
In a blender or food processor, blend the wet ingredients. This creates a rich, flavorful base for your cookies.
3. Combine with dry ingredients
Mix the wet and dry ingredients until just combined. You can either use a hand mixer or a stand mixer like a Kitchenaid. Gently fold in the diced apples and chopped dates to distribute them evenly throughout the batter.
4. Scoop and press down
Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon, scoop the batter onto your prepared baking sheet. Space the scoops about 2 inches apart to allow for spreading. Gently press down on each scoop with your hand or the back of a spoon to flatten them to about ½-inch thickness. This helps them bake evenly and gives them that classic cookie shape.
4. Bake and top
Keep an eye on the cookies, as oven temperatures can vary. Timing wise–8 minutes tends to give a softer cookie, 10 minutes for a soft-crunchy combo, and 12 minutes for a crunchier texture. After baking, allow the cookies to cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. For an extra touch of sweetness and elegance, drizzle over a generous amount of date syrup and sprinkle with flakey sea salt.
Recipe tips and tricks
- Serving Tips: Pair these cookies with a glass of almond milk or your favorite herbal tea for a cozy evening snack.
- Troubleshooting Tips: If your dough is too sticky, you can chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes before shaping.
- Scaling Tips: This recipe can easily be doubled. Just make sure to use a larger baking sheet or bake in batches.
Customize it your way
Like all of my other recipes, this Date Apple Cookie is completely customizable. You get to choose what type of apples and nut butter you want to use.
- Apples of your choice: Experiment with different apple varieties for varying levels of sweetness and texture. This is a great recipe to use any that have been sitting in your fridge for a while.
- Nut butter of your choice: Try almond, peanut, or cashew butter to change up the flavor profile. Make sure they’re creamy for the best texture for the dough.
Can I make these date apple cookies ahead of time?
Absolutely! Simply prepare the dough in advance and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days. Then, you can scoop and bake when you’re ready. Note: If you’re cooking from the chilled dough, they may take a couple minutes longer to bake.
Can I turn them into cookie bars?
Yes! If you want to make these apple cookies into apple cookie bars, simply add the batter into an 8×8-inch pan and bake for around 30-32 minutes until cooked through.
How do I store leftovers?
Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days at room temperature. For longer storage, freeze them for up to a month.
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Date Apple Cookies
- 6 Medjool dates, pitted (about 2/3 cup)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup nut butter of your choice (We tested this with either peanut butter or almond butter which work well. You could also experiment with cashew butter, sunflower seed butter, hazelnut butter, etc.)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted in the microwave (then let cool for 1 minute in order to not cook the egg)
- 1 1/2 cups (160 grams) whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup red apples of your choice, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (Honeycrisp, Envy, SugarBee, Fuji, Gala, Pink Lady, or Braeburn etc.)
- 2 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a half size (18"x13") baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a blender or food processor, blend dates, maple syrup, egg, vanilla, nut butter, and coconut oil.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined. Then, gently stir in chopped apples and dates.
- Add blended wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Scoop out with cookie scoop (~1 tablespoon) and add to the prepared baking sheet. Gently press down with your hand to flatten to about ½-inch thickness. Repeat with remaining batter.
- Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes then let cool on a rack.
- If desired, drizzle over a generous amount of date syrup and flakey sea salt on top.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
save this lower sugar apple cookies recipe on pinterest:
A big thanks to Cheerful Choices intern Claire for her help testing this cookie recipe!