Craving a sweet yet healthy dessert? This Protein Cookie Dough recipe is perfect for you! It’s packed with natural sweetness from Medjool dates and packs a protein punch with your choice of protein powder. Plus, you get to customize it with your favorite add-ins like chocolate chips or nuts.
Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Natural Delights. All opinions are my own; I never feature a brand that I don’t love!
Table of Contents
Why you’ll love it
Let’s be honest… who didn’t love sneaking cookie dough as a kid? Unfortunately, it can be unsafe due to the raw eggs and uncooked flour.
Instead, this edible version uses ingredients that are safe to eat without cooking! It’s also…
- Nutrient-Rich: Each scoop of this cookie dough is filled with wholesome ingredients like Medjool dates and oat flour, providing essential nutrients in every bite.
- Customizable: Love nuts? More of a chocolate fan? This recipe is all about making it your own with your choice of add-ins.
- No-Bake Ease: Forget the oven; this recipe is as simple as mixing and chilling. Perfect for your busy schedule!
Is protein cookie dough healthy?
This cookie dough is unique because it uses protein powder to add a significant protein boost. As a dietitian, I’m always talking about the importance of protein in my “Coaching + Cooking” program. Protein is important for satiety, muscle repair, and supporting our immune system. By choosing a high-quality protein powder, like your favorite whey or plant-based option, you’re adding a nutritious element to this treat.
It also uses a base of Medjool dates and oat flour–both filled with fiber and important nutrients.
Are medjool dates healthy?
Medjool dates have started to become more popular, especially with viral recipes in the spotlight like Date “Snickers” and date barks with tasty flavor combos like Chocolate Peppermint and Coconut Almond! Many people don’t know this but Medjool dates are actually considered a fresh fruit, not a dried fruit. They have a caramel-like taste, making them perfect to satisfy any sweet tooth. Since they’re a fruit, all their sugars are naturally occurring, meaning there are no added sugars. They’re also a source of potassium, iron, and satiating fiber.
When it comes to picking out Medjool dates, we always like to buy a pack of Natural Delight Medjool dates online or at my local grocery store. We’re using Medjool dates for this recipe because they tend to have a sweeter and softer texture that easily breaks down into a dough consistency.
In October 2022, I was actually able to help harvest dates and see the full process they go through to reach our grocery shelves! Did you know each date palm tree produces around 200-250 pounds of dates? SO. COOL.
What ingredients do you need for protein powder cookie dough?
- Medjool Dates: These naturally sweet fruits are the perfect base for our cookie dough. Look for them in the fresh produce section of your grocery store, often placed on a display shelf nearby.
- Protein Powder: Choose your favorite – whey, pea, or any plant-based option. It’s all about what works for your dietary needs.
- Oat Flour: A gluten-free and fiber-rich ingredient that gives a great texture similar to regular flour. You can find it in the baking aisle or make your own by grinding oats (more on this below!)
- Peanut Butter: A source of healthy fats and flavor. Feel free to sub in another nut or seed butter of your choice for different dietary needs.
How do you make this edible protein cookie dough?
This recipe comes together in no time! Just grab your food processor and a few pantry ingredients.
- Soften the Dates: Microwave the Medjool dates for 20 seconds to soften them. This makes them easier to blend.
- Blend Dates: Add the softened dates to a food processor and blend briefly to break them down into a paste.
- Add Ingredients: Mix in the protein powder, oat flour, milk, peanut butter, vanilla extract, salt, chocolate chips, and any other add-ins. Blend until just combined. You don’t want to overblend or it will become mushy.
- Chill and Scoop: Let the mixture chill in the refrigerator, then scoop out your desired amount and enjoy. For an even firmer texture, chill longer or chill in the freezer.
Can I make it without a food processor?
It’s possible to make this protein cookie dough with a high-powered blender. However, we recommend using a food processor for the best results in achieving the perfect texture.
Can I make my own oat flour?
Don’t have oat flour or don’t want to buy it? You can easily make your own oat flour. Simply blend 2/3 cup of regular rolled oats in a blender or food processor until they reach a fine, flour-like consistency. This will give you about 1/2 cup of oat flour needed for this recipe.
Recipe tips and tricks
- Serving Tips: Pair this cookie dough with a cup of milk or hot tea for a delightful dessert. You could even pair it with sliced fruit or yogurt for a quick and balanced snack during your work week.
- Troubleshooting Tips: If the dough is somewhat sticky, lightly dust your hands with oat flour while rolling.
- Scaling Tips: Want to make a larger amount? Simply double or triple the ingredients and use a large food processor. This makes the dough perfect for meal prep or sharing with friends!
Customize it your way
Like all of my other recipes, this cookie dough is completely customizable. You get to choose what protein powder and add-ins you want to use.
- Protein powder of your choice: Feel free to use both your favorite flavor and type of powder. We usually use vanilla protein powder but you could experiment with chocolate or cookies and creme for a unique variation. Use a protein powder that works for your dietary needs such as whey, pea, or others.
- Add-ins of your choice: If you like a classic chocolate chip cookie dough, then simply add more mini chocolate chips to the “1/4 cup add-ins of your choice”. This will give you a total of 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips in the dough. Otherwise, you can mix it up and add other creative mix-ins. Here are some ideas:
- Chopped nuts
- Dried fruit
- Pumpkin seeds
- Toasted coconut flakes
- Cacao nibs
- Protein crisps
Can you make this protein dough ahead of time?
Definitely! This is a great recipe to meal prep ahead of time and store in the fridge for a quick, healthy snack anytime.
How do I store leftovers?
Store cookie dough bites or jar in an airtight container for up to 7 days in the fridge or up to a month in the freezer.
To freeze, place individual scoops on a parchment-lined baking sheet, freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer-safe zip-top bag or reusable stasher bag.
Could I bake this cookie dough if I wanted to?
You can actually turn this into more of a cooked cookie if you want. To do this, partially flatten a 1-inch cookie dough bite and the microwave for 30-40 seconds. Let it cool and it should firm up into a soft cookie. Similarly, you can try baking at 350ºF for ~15 minutes to achieve a similar effect.
Note: We’ve only briefly tested baking this cookie dough. It’s primarily designed to be enjoyed without cooking, as the texture and taste are best then.
Need more help with recipes for your busy schedule?
In my coaching + cooking program, I help busy people with beginner cooking knowledge become confident in the kitchen so that they can enjoy nourishing foods they love and stress less about mealtime. Click here to learn more about this virtual program led by a dietitian.
Protein Cookie Dough
- 1 cup Natural Delights Whole Medjool Dates, pitted (about 8 to 10 dates)
- 1/2 cup protein powder of your choice (Feel free to use your favorite flavor and type such as vanilla, chocolate, etc. As well as whey, soy, pea, etc.)
- 1/2 cup oat flour see note on making your own from rolled oats
- 1/4 cup milk of your choice (cow's milk, almond, soy, oat, rice, coconut, cashew, hemp, flax, macadamia milk, etc.)
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup add-ins of your choice (more mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts, dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, sprinkles, toasted coconut flakes, cacao nibs, protein crisps, etc.)
- Microwave Medjool dates for 20 seconds to soften.
- Add Medjool dates to a food processor and blend for 10 seconds until mostly broken down.
- Then, add protein powder, oat flour, milk, peanut butter, vanilla extract, salt, mini chocolate chips, and add-ins of your choice. Blend on low for about 10-20 seconds until just incorporated.
- Chill the food processor bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Then, scoop out with a cookie scooper, roll into 1-inch balls with your hands, or transfer to a jar to enjoy.