Coconut Date Cookies

Have you ever had a culinary adventure in the kitchen?
The kind where you’re experimenting with something completely out of your league and have no idea if you’ll succeed or not.  Or even more common, you’ve started cooking something that’s pretty straight forward and somehow, you’ve gotten way off track and you’re really not sure you’ll be able to get to the finish line in one piece – literally….what happened to that crepe you were trying to flip?

Something like that happened to me today while I was trying to make date balls.
I picked out an easy enough recipe to give a try. I had all the ingredients on hand and
I wanted to put them to good use.

Except, from the beginning this recipe seemed bound for failure;
An epic flop, waiting to happen.

I did stay the course and acted quickly when disaster was first striking – using years of
kitchen experimentation to save me from a serious mess. The thing is, while I was thinking
it was a sure fail, this cookie adventure was turning out wonderfully!

I probably would have been really sad if it didn’t. I have trouble remembering that failure is better
than not having tried at all. Because that’s how we discover new things isn’t it?…that’s how we
create and invent new recipes. So these aren’t date balls, as planned...these are coconut date cookies!

The original plan was  to use a version of this recipe.  I was going to follow it pretty closely,
cutting the sugar by half. Perhaps I should have read the written reviews more thoroughly.
Right from the get go things didn’t quite make sense, so I tossed the instructions out the window
and followed a little thing called ‘instinct’ – baking instinct, in this case.

And I came up with a spin off of the original recipe and directions to get you to an end
result that is worth the winding road and your patience.  I hope you’ll enjoy these as much
as I (finally) did!

p.s If things go haywire, follow your own gut and let me know where it got you!!!

Gluten-Free Coconut Date Cookies
Makes 12 

1 cup pitted & chopped dates
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup organic sugar
3/4 cup chopped mixed nuts (I used cashews, walnuts, almonds and peanuts)
3/4 cup sugarless shredded coconut
2 egg whites

In a medium sauce pan, on low heat, mix together – water, olive oil, 1/4 cup sugar & dates.
Stir on low heat for 15 minutes.  Bring to a boil for 5 minutes and then simmer for another 10.
Dates will blend with water & sugar to form a paste-like mixture.

Let cool for about 15 minutes.

Whisk egg whites until they get stiff.  Set aside.

Pour date mixture into medium sized bowl.  Now add in 1/2 cup sugar, egg whites & chopped nuts.

Place the bowl in the fridge for 30-45 minutes. The mix will become tacky and pliable.
With a teaspoon make 1 1/2-2 inch balls and roll them in the coconut.  Once you’ve covered
them in coconut, they are even easier to shape.  Place them on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 350F.  Let them cool. Then sit back and enjoy your hard earned treat with a tall glass of coconut milk! Yummy!

Emily Smith

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