It’s Autumn and it’s sometimes it just doesn’t serve us to skimp on comfort food. If we don’t have a little bit of what we fancy, we can easily be reaching for an unhealthy sugar-laden cookie jar.

We need something to sustain us as we are walking through the forest, kicking up leaves.

But you can relax. It’s OK to be a cookie monster with these luscious chewy raw cookies with a touch of Autumnal pumpkin pie spice. You can an extra chewy element such as a few soaked raisins or some chopped medjool dates, if you like.

As a snack, they are a healthy option containing no more than a handful of nuts and oats and have less than one teaspoon of maple syrup per cookie.

They are the perfect partner for a warm drink – you could try them with this Golden Milk.

I like these warm straight from the dehydrator, but if you don’t have a dehydrator, you could chill them in the freezer. Both methods are outlined below.

Raw cookies are part of Sweet, my online raw desserts intensive for anyone who wants to learn how to perfect gluten-free, dairy-free raw desserts. The doors are open and within 10 days I can turn you into a raw pastry chef. You will be turning out creations that you can be proud of such as crème patisserie, cheesecakes, frozen desserts and even sponge cakes.

A FEW TIPS
Raw baking is a science, so make sure you follow the precise measures to get the best results from these recipes. Invest in some measuring cups, scales or measuring spoons for accurate results.

I use bought ground almonds for this, called almond flour in the US and ground almonds in the UK. They are paler than when you grind whole almonds yourself and they don’t contain the bitter skin.

Bring all your ingredients to room temperature before using. This will make the dough easier to mix.

Use a large mixing bowl. This may sound strange but you need plenty of room to mix the ingredients together.

If you want to make shaped cookies using cutters, chill your cookie dough for 30 minutes for it to firm up a little. This means that you will get really sharp edges on your shaped cookies.

IF YOUR COOKIE MIXTURE IS DRY Add a little water a teaspoon at a time and work it into the mixture.

IF YOUR COOKIE MIXTURE IS WET Dust the work surface with oat flour to absorb some of the moisture.

INGREDIENTS
2 cups (180g) cashew nuts, dry
½ cup (60g) ground almonds
1 ¾ cups (160g) oat flour
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
¼ tsp sea salt
½ cup (125ml) maple syrup

METHOD
In a food processor or blender, combine the nuts with the oat flour until it forms a fine flour. In a mixing bowl combine the flour, ground almonds, oat flour, salt, pumpkin spice and sugar until well combined.
Add the maple syrup and mix well until the mixture forms a cookie dough.
TO MAKE SHAPED COOKIES Lay the cookie dough in between sheets of baking parchment or Teflex sheets from the dehydrator if rolling your dough to prevent the cookie dough from sticking.
Roll the cookie dough about ¼ inch thick and cut into shapes. Using this method, the mix should yield 35 – 40 cookies, depending on size and shape.
NO CUTTERS? NO PROBLEM Simply roll the cookie mixture into a small ball and squish flat. Use an ice cream scoop to ensure that each cookie is roughly the same in proportions. Using this method, the mix should yield 25 cookies.
DEHYDRATED COOKIES If you are dehydrating your cookies, dehydrate at 115F until your cookie reaches the desired consistency. Place the cookies on the fine mesh dehydrator screen. A minimum of 12 hours will produce a chewy cookie and up to 24 hours will produce a harder cookie. Once dehydrated, store your cookies in an airtight container in the fridge.
NO DEHYDRATOR? NO PROBLEM If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can freeze the cookies on a metal tray lined with baking parchment and enjoy them straight from the freezer.
SHELF LIFE These cookies keep well. Once dehydrated, you can keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for between 5 – 10 days or even in the freezer for up to 2 months. If you are using the freezer method, they will keep for up to 2 months if kept in a sealed container in the freezer.

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