You guys know I love cookie dough. I make cookie dough milkshakes, and cookie dough you can simply eat with a spoon. Cookie dough is probably my favorite unhealthy food – when I was a kid, I used to eat it straight out of the Tollhouse tubes – which is why I love making healthy versions of it so much. That buttery, sweet goodness, studded with chocolate chips…is there anything better?
Yes, well – actually, there’s one thing better.
In addition to sharing the recipe for these amazing healthy cookie dough cups, I’ve partnered with Vitamix to give away one of their blenders (a $529 value!!). This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered! My Vitamix is literally my most beloved kitchen tool. I use it daily to make green smoothies, soups, popsicles, chia puddings, and treats like the Healthy Pecan Pie Tarts with Salted Caramel I made for last year’s giveaway (which, PS, if you haven’t tried this recipe, you must! It’s easy enough that my dad made it successfully, and tastes like the best pecan pie you’ve ever had – but it’s refined sugar free, vegan, protein-packed…all the good stuff!). It’s super high-powered, which means your green smoothies are always chunk free and your soups are always super smooth and creamy (it’s the blender of choice at nearly all smoothie and juice shops, as well as the vast majority of high end restaurants).
Guys. These cookie dough cups. I’ve given them to so many friends (without sharing that they were secretly healthy). Here are a few of their reactions:
“Holy shit, what’s in these things?”
(Wide-eyed) “Is this cookie dough? A cookie dough cup?? How did you make this?”
“Mwarshalolohhj.” (Swallows) “Sorry, can I have another? Too late, I’m taking another. Actually, I’m taking all of them. Byyye!”
When I told people what was in them, literally not one person believed me. No flour? No refined sugar? No dairy?? What was in these things – unicorn tears?
Disclaimer: No unicorns were harmed in the making of these cookie dough cups.
There’s a few secret ingredients in these guys. A copious amount of vanilla extract gives that distinct cookie dough flavor, while almond butter lends a buttery richness. Almond meal is actually the secret for the powdery, flour-y flavor that makes cookie dough so distinct (and why I like cookie dough better than actual cookies). I use cacao nibs in place of chocolate chips – they don’t melt, are much healthier (they’re the raw form of chocolate, filled with the most antioxidants) and still give that chocolate-y goodness. All of this is encapsulated into a beautiful, chocolate-covered bite. While you can make the cookie dough in a food processor or normal blender, the power of the Vitamix ensures you’ll get that perfectly smooth result every time. The trick is to keep blending, scraping down the sides as you go. You want your batter to look like this:
If it looks like this, keep on going.
Trust me – it’ll be worth it in the end.
Cookie Dough Filling
- 1 cup cashews, soaked for 1 – 2 hours and then drained throughly
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp almond meal or flour
- 3 tbsp unsalted almond butter
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp + 1 tsp honey (you can sub rice malt syrup or 4 – 5 Medjool dates, pitted, soaked for an hour and drained, if you’re vegan or low sugar)
- 1/4 cup cacao nibs (you can also use high quality dark chocolate chunks)
- Note: You have two options here – a make your own version that’s slightly healthier but a bit finnicky, or a super easy hack with store-bought dark chocolate. Choose your own adventure!
- 1.5 cups of dark chocolate chips
- 8 oz raw cacao butter
- 1.5 cups raw cacao powder
- ¼ cup maple syrup, honey or other sweetener of choice
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Cookie Dough Filling
- In your Vitamix or a food processor, process all ingredients except for cacao nibs or chocolate, scraping down the sides, until very very smooth. You really want to go for quite awhile – 2 – 3 minutes at least. That’s key to getting the perfect texture.
- When it’s very smooth, let cool for a few minutes (if it has warmed at all)
- Then add in cacao nibs or dark chocolate and pulse 4 – 5 times until well distributed but still chunky.
- Set aside.
- If you’re making your own chocolate, melt the cacao butter in a double boiler over simmering water (make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the top pan) or the microwave at 15 second intervals, then whisk in all other ingredients until very smooth. If you’re using store bought chocolate, melt the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water (make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the top pan) or the microwave at 15 second intervals.
- To get that classic peanut butter cup shape, line a mini muffin tin with mini muffin liners.
- Spoon in a heaping teaspoon of chocolate shell of choice, then use your spoon to push it up the side of the liner.
- Put in the fridge for 10 min to set, then dollop a spoonful of cookie dough batter in the center of each.
- Cover with more chocolate shell, until no cookie dough is visible and sides are connected to top of chocolate. Put in fridge to set. Alternatively, you can just spread a layer of chocolate in a parchment-lined pan, top with a layer of cookie dough and another layer of chocolate, letting set in fridge for 15 minutes before each round.
If you use store-bought chocolate, these are pretty resilient – they can be stored at room temperature for up to a day, or in the fridge for 4 – 5 days. If you make your own chocolate, it’s best to store them in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. They can also be stored in the freezer for 6 months.