Anytime Cookies (Fruit-sweetened and Grain-free)

As kids we were always told that cookies were not an acceptable meal for breakfast. I’d like to know who made up that rule, and then tell them that I’m breaking it.

I let my 18 month old eat these cookies for breakfast. They’re made with all natural ingredients so even though they’re cookies, I feel confident that they’re nourishing his little body. These are halfway between a cookie and a muffin anyhow, so let’s just call them Cookfins and we won’t get in trouble!

I get a little excited when I look at the ingredients for these cookies. I love that there’s no dairy, minimal flour, and are completely sweetened by fruit. They’re low in calories and high in fiber and protein.

I lay in bed at night not only excited to eat one the next morning, but also concocting different add-ins. Like a macadamia chocolate chunk cookie, or apple cinnamon with walnuts. Or maybe pumpkin pistachio. So stay tuned for other variations, because I’m not done with these guys yet.

Seriously though, they’re the perfect way to start off your day. Or to give you an energy burst to help you get through the middle of your day. Or to eat for dessert at the end of your day. Make these whatever you want them to be.

where to buy coconut flour

This recipe calls for coconut flour and dried, unsweetened coconut.  If you live near a well-stocked health food store, you should be able to find coconut flour; however, you can also purchase coconut flour and dried, unsweetened shredded coconut online (see sources).  Coconut is a unique, highly absorbent flour with unique properties.  It is favored by those on grain-free diets like the GAPS diet, and you can learn more about baking with coconut flour here.

Anytime Cookies

anytimecookies

By Danielle Walker Published: April 10, 2012

  • Yield: 1 dozen (12 Servings)
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Ready In: 20 mins

These simple cookies acquire their sweetness not from sugar or honey, but from dried fruit: dates, currants and cherries. They're good for breakfast or any time you need quick bite or boost of energy.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 6 pitted dates (soaked in warm water for 15 minutes)
  • 3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 1/2 tsps cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp unrefined sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsps dried cherries
  • 2 tbsps chopped walnuts
  • 3 tbsps currants

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the coconut flour, almond butter, and dates in a food processor or blender. Process until well combined and the dates have broken up into really small pieces, about a minute.
  3. Add the shredded coconut, applesauce, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and baking soda and process for 30 seconds until a wet dough forms.
  4. Add in the remaining ingredients, and pulse once or twice until the fruit is incorporated into the dough but not chopped up.
  5. Using an ice cream scoop or large tablespoon, drop the dough in heaping spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Dip a metal spatula in water, and use the bottom to lightly press down each ball of dough. These cookies will not spread or rise so make sure to make them the shape you want them prior to baking.
  7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until they are golden on top and slightly brown along the edges. Serve immediately or store in the freezer, thawing for 15 to 20 minutes before you plan to serve them.

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What people are saying

  1. says

    These sound really good – I’m looking foward to trying them! I have just recently gone grain-free, and I really miss baked goods.

    • Jenny says

      You know … I’m not sure everyone needs to be or should be grain-free, but I know it’s been enormously helpful for many people.

  2. Divya says

    I’m curious to know if coconut flour has similar saturated fat content as the coconut meat itself? Is the coconut oil completely removed from the meat to leave a dry flour? I love the idea of these cookies, especially since my family is reducing sugar intake. thanks!

  3. Heather Chupp says

    Hi!
    These look absolutely wonderful – I love a healthy cookie :) Do you have any suggestions to make this egg free also?
    Thanks!

    • ILoveToLaugh says

      Soak some chia seeds in hot water until it gels. Bingo, all natural, home made egg substitute.
      You can also use flax seeds for this, but I prefer chia seeds to avoid phytoestrogens, since we are already having to be exposed to so many endocrine disruptors in our environment.

      • Michelle says

        thanks for the chia seed tip to replace eggs I hadn’t heard that how much seed to water per egg should I use

  4. Maryann says

    These sound delicious, I have been looking for a good replacement for packaged trail mix bars that contain coconut and healthy chocolate (which you said can be added.) You also mention that they should be consumed immediately or frozen. I have a couple questions. Is there a substitute for almond butter, and will they safely keep as a regular baked cookie in a tin on the counter for several days or maybe in the refrigerator?

  5. Kristin says

    These look delicious! Is there a good substitute for almond butter in this recipe? Peanut butter, maybe?

  6. Stevi says

    These look awesome and the recipe is very similar to one we’ve been making for years under several names: Wholesome Cookies, Breakfast Cookies, or Lembas Cookies (as my husband calls them because just one or two will fill you all day – LOL). I do get tired of the same old, same old so I’ve found that switching up the dried fruits will do wonders! Some of our favorite combinations are: pineapple, coconut, and papaya; apples, raisins, and walnuts; dates, goji berries, and almonds; cherries, blueberries, pecans, and apricots. Enjoy!

  7. Monika says

    I’m looking for a substitute for almond butter, too, but in my case it has to be nut-free. Would dairy butter work? Or coconut oil? The walnuts are easy to substitute, I’d probably just add more dried fruits or maybe “sin” a little and try one with chocolate chips.

      • Monika says

        I actually just bought some “sunbutter” (peanut butter substitute made from sunflower seeds). Not sure how healthy this is but the only other option at our store is soy butter, and there is no way in h… I’m using that LOL I’ll have a look at the coconut spread, maybe it’s available in Canada too?

        • Lia Fernandes says

          I made it with homemade sunbutter and it was fine :) They work anyway… I’m guessing you can hardly miss with this very forgiving recipe.

    • Sarah James says

      I made these with regular butter because almond butter is soooooooooo expensive here in New Zealand. Absolutely fabulous. I just made an autumn variation with feijoas/pineapple guavas instead of applesauce (slow cooked to get rid of most of the moisture) and walnuts (about 1/2 cup chopped) but no dried fruit, and I only used 4 dates because I thought 6 made it too sweet the last time I made them. I’m pretty sure these are the best cookies I’ve ever had, although I’m calling them “mini feijoa cakes.”

    • Debbie says

      Pea butter might be an option for you. It is made from dried peas and tastes just like peanut butter. I am not sure if there is a commercially available organic version but you could make your own in a good blender.

  8. says

    I tried the recipe using flax “eggs” a couple of times and they came out great. They’re much more moist than the original and come out a little darker in color, but the overall flavor is still there. Sub 2 tablespoons finely ground flax + 5 tablespoons warm water for the 2 eggs. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes until it resembles the consistency of an egg. :)

  9. Branwen says

    I make a similar grain free “no-oatmeal” raisin cookie. I wanted to make an oatmeal raisin type cookie that was grain free for me and that my toddler would like since oatmeal raisin is his favorite. They were great. Though I did sweeten them with a few tbs of honey instead of fruit they were not real sweet and the coconut gave it a texture similar to oatmeal :)

  10. Heather says

    Do you think I could get by without the dates and add more applesauce? I’m on a candida diet, and dates are forbidden for now.

  11. dina says

    just made them at lunch. I have to say, not only is this delicious but also an extremely forgiving recipe :). I didnt have time to run to the store so I had to do a few substitutions: coconut butter instead of almond, only had 2 dates, so threw in a few prunes and 2 unusually sweet dried apricots, extra nuts and cherries instead of currants. Also, completely spaced the apple sauce until it was pretty late and threw in an extra egg and a bit of water to make up for it. And they came out totally yummy! My only issue is that I just cant get the hang of using a food processor for such recipes, once I start adding more than the first few ingredients nothing mixes right. Like pulsing at the end didnt work at all. I just fished out all the nuts and cherries and then chopped them separately and put them back in. Could just be me/my food processor. So great recipe! I cant wait til the family tries it this evening. Thank you!

  12. says

    These are very similar to the Breakfast Oatmeal Cookie I make and we love them. I have to admit that your’s sounds a little more nutritious because I do use honey in mine (or brown sugar). I like to substitute different fruits also.

  13. LD says

    Just made these, and they are yummy! They remind me of oatmeal cookies which I have been missing. I didn’t have walnuts or currants on hand, so I used hazelnuts & apricots (along w/ the cherries) :)

  14. Rene says

    I have these in the oven as I type, the smell coming from my kitchen is gorgeous! I might have to burn my tongue when they come out, not sure I can wait until they cool! Thanks for such amazing recipes :)

  15. Rene says

    Okay I just had one, WOW! These are amazing. My boys loved them too which is fantastic.
    I replaced the almond butter with Peanut butter, and I didn’t noticed any peanut butter in the flavour, just lots of cinnamon-y goodness!
    I also put in extra chopped dates as my fruit and a small handful of dairy free choc chips. Delicious!

  16. says

    Hi Jenny

    these look great. Can I ask you 2 questions.
    1. You mention you like them because they dont have dairy-do you not eat dairy-even raw dairy
    2. Do you worry about the high natural sugar/fructose content of these with all the dried fruit and applesause

    I love your recipes and think you are an amazing cook. Thank you for what you do

    • Jenny says

      This actually isn’t my recipe; it was a guest post by a paleo blogger. Me, I LOVE my raw dairy and find it to be enormously fortifying. I also don’t worry about natural sugars from fruit. I figure that if I eat real food, in balance and lead a physically active life I’ll be okay. Hope that clears things up!

    • jenny says

      I don’t know if you can get it in Australia, but it’s basically pureed coconut – maybe something you can do with a good blender?

      • Monika says

        Hmm, I can get creamed coconut here, but it’s quite hard. Maybe adding a little water to it to make a buttery consistency might work. I guess I now have to make two batches for testing ;-)

        • Joan Westaway says

          Hi Monika, I haven’y used this coconut cream lately, but knowing coconut, maybe try warming the cream, to soften/melt the oil in it that can be rather solid at low temperatures! Hope that helps!

    • Sheridan says

      Hey Lara, I am in Melbourne and I simply order my Coconut Butter from iHerb.com. I buy the Artisana brand… so delicious!! :) I have also made it with puréed coconut flakes in the food processor, but mine wasn’t as smooth.

      I hope this helps!

      Sheridan :)

  17. says

    Wow. We’re not grain free, but these look great and I am definitely looking for non-sugary baked goods at the moment. I may finally have to pony up for the coconut flour. Thanks for the recipe, and the lovely photo.

  18. Judy Tomlinson says

    Dina, I bought a Thermomix processor, and am amazed at the chopping power. I am now making a lot of my foods from scratch, and avoiding those additives. It also has a mixing ability, so you no longer have to knead your bread. It also cooks and steams. All done in the one jug! Check it out online.

  19. claire says

    wondering about the nutrient density of this cookie? Rami Nagel says that coconut has phytates, almond butter surely does. Then, Christopher Masterjohn says that fructose is worse for us than sucrose….. so I’ve been wondering about fruit-sweetened things being worse than a little maple syrup or honey (which is fructose too). We’ve been on GAPS diet for 18 months and I get that only fructose is allowed on it. just wondering your thoughts on these things in general. thank you!

    • jenny says

      I strongly disagree with Rami’s position on coconut. Bruce Fife, an expert on coconut, explains that the mineral-binding effects of phytate in coconut is non existent. You can read why in last fall’s edition of Wise Traditions Quarterly Journal. Almond butter that is made from roasted almonds is not problematic as roasting almonds largely eliminates food phytates in nuts much in the same way that soaking does. You can say that fructose is worse than sucrose, but apples, dates, currants and cherries are all natural, whole, real foods – and I think they deserve a place in the diet. Of course, if you have special needs and look at this recipe and think, “Wow, that’s not going to work for me.” then simply don’t make the cookies.

      • Crystalline Ruby Muse says

        That’s good to hear about the almond butter. Rami seems to think it’s bad. I stopped buying almonds altogether, b/c we can only get pasteurized at our co-op (raw thru the mail is too expensive for us). But now that you said this, I am wondering whether pasteurized almonds would be okay, b/c the phytates would be destroyed by the heat. What do you think?

        I am feeling really discouraged & overwhelmed, as I just found out I have six new cavities (plus gum disease & bone loss), & I’ve been eating a pretty traditional diet for a few years now … daily raw milk kefir, grass fed beef, soaked grains, lots of kale & other vegies, raw creme fraiche, bone broth, nourishing herbal infusions, very little sugar, lacto-fermented stuff, etc., all organic, & the meat, dairy, & honey from our local farmers. I’ve been studying Rami’s approach & am now paranoid about eating nuts or seeds & wondering where I might have gone wrong. What do you think about the pasteurized almonds, & any other tips for me? I really adore your website, your videos, & your approach, thank you so much!

        • Laura says

          Crystalline,
          I would get the fermented cod liver oil and high vitamin butter-oil from Green Pastures immediately. I would also see if you can find a Nutritional Response Tester in your area. This would help with your specific needs. If you do go to a dentist, please do not get the amalgam fillings! My son is trying to heal his cavity with the two above oils before we try a “healthy dentist”. :)

          • Crystalline Ruby Muse says

            Thank you, Laura! Yes, my husband & I just started on this supplement. Boy, is it yucky-tasting! (I chase it with cheese!!) I’ll look up the Nutritional Response Tester, that sounds very interesting to me. I’ve been making a grass-fed beef liver/heart pate that we eat daily too. I used to think liver was so gross, but when I mix it with a yummy fermented dressing & raw onions & garlic, & then eat it on crackers with cheese, I find it very tasty. Good luck with your son’s teeth!!!

  20. Mike says

    Hi Jenny,

    I’ve been looking for healthier cookies, since I’m on a low-carb, high-fat diet. These sound great, however i’m not much of a almond/peanut butter or applesauce fan. Since I’d love to get more pastured butter in my diet, could I substitute that, and would it be an even trade, same amount of butter as almond butter? I’m not much of a baker so I don’t have enough experience to tell me what would work. Having these be very fatty would be great. Any suggestions?

    • says

      The applesauce will provide the moisture. If you subbed butter you’d end up with a fried cookie. The almond butter will provide fat but also binding power. If you subbed butter there you’d have fried crumble topping. I doubt very much you taste either one in teh finished product, so as long as it’s a preference rather than dietary issue, I’d say try it as written and tweak from there. It only makes a dozen!
      For a high-fat dessert, check out Jenny’s custards. They work beautifully with full-fat coconut milk, too.

  21. Jasmine says

    These look yummy & I’d like to try them, but how do I print a copy of the recipe? Thanks.
    Also, when recipes call for soaking dates/raisins/ or whatever fruit in them before using, how do you know how much water to use? Then do you use that water or throw it out? Thanks!

  22. Jerri-Lynn says

    Could I substitute almond flour instead of the almond butter? I can tolerate the flour right now but not the butter.
    Thanks

  23. says

    I made these today, though I used apricot kernel butter instead of almond butter, and apple-cranberry puree instead of applesauce. I also didn’t have cherries so I used raisins. They turned out awesome! Though next time I’ll use less dates, they came out really sweet..:-)

  24. Sheridan says

    Delicious cookies which are “kid-approved” here! :) I substituted cashews and dried incaberries for the walnuts and dried cherries as that is what I had on hand. I also had to make my own nut butter and apple purée, so it makes the process a bit longer, but is definitely worth it… made a double batch! :)

  25. Carolyn says

    Jenny, first I want to say I love your site, yours was one of the first I got plugged into when being new to the whole foods movement. I appreciate your recipes and info… This recipe looks very good!

    This is kind of off the topic, so you may beat me at willl, LOL…. I cannot seem to find an appropriate blog to ask this. My kids love pudding. We get raw goat’s milk and I make them pudding often. I have found substitutions for the sugar, being succanat, or demerera sugar. I know not perfect, but it does. Succanat isn’t too good in it, but I am thinking of trying xylitol next. But my real question is, what do you think I could use to substitute the corn starch with? Any suggestions would be appreciated. We are still in the transition phase to a whole foods diet, and my oldest son is autistic, so change has to be gentle and slow. Thanks for any help. And again, I appreciate your insights and help!!

    • Jenny says

      I’m glad you asked! Try making a real custard – with eggs. There’s loads of custard recipes on the site. Traditionally puddings were thickened with bread crumbs or people served stirred custards which are basically puddings thickened with egg yolks: http://nourishedkitchen.com/strawberry-rhubarb-compote-with-honey-custard/.

      Incidentally, I don’t recommend xylitol. It is not a natural sweetener (despite being marketed as such, and has not actually achieved GRAS status either). It is usually derived from corn and then very, very heavily processed. I think a bit of honey is better.

  26. Monika says

    Ok, I have a very weird problem here… I just made a batch and they all turned bright green inside?!? They’re nice and brown on the outside and look good, but the entire inside look like someone dunked them in green food colouring. I made two modifications to the recipe, I used “sunbutter” instead of almond butter (it’s made from sunflower seeds) and used soft-dried bananas instead of the dates as a sweetener. Any ideas?

    • says

      Did you put any flax in the batter? Flax and sunflower seeds have this weird reaction when they are ground together that makes them turn green. Maybe the sunflower seeds react with other things too! I’m no chemist so I can’t explain it, but I know from experience! I make a raw vegan cracker that has flaxseed and sunflower seeds in them and they turnout greenish in color if I accidentally grind the sunflower seeds into the dough instead of chopping them and folding them in. So weird.

    • says

      Ha just looked it up and apparently it’s the baking soda and sunbittern (I just always assume it was the flax because my crackers didn’t turn green when I left it out!)

      “Now, about that green thing. All plants contain chlorogenic acid, mostly in the stems and leaves, but sunflowers also have it in the seeds. A spokeswoman for Red River Commodities says that SunButter does indeed turn cookies and other baked products green as they cool. The solution, she says, is to reduce the amount of baking soda or baking powder in your recipe by almost half, which balances the acidity of the ingredients and keeps them from changing color. Whether your cookies will rise adequately with half the leaven is a good question, but she says some people who have gotten in touch with the company say they don’t notice any difference. Adding a bit of lemon juice to your dough or batter can also help maintain expected colors.”

      • Monika henry says

        Ha! Thanks so much for that info. I guess since these cookies don’t rise, reducing the baking soda won’t matter much.

    • Laura says

      When I make a coconut cake with shredded coconut instead of the coconut flour, I get a green gel at the bottom almost every time!

  27. Tracy P says

    I made these today with out shredded coconut and substituted raisins for dried cherries. They turned out great!

  28. Stephanie says

    I was thinking of taking these to a bake sale. You mention eating them immediately or storing in the freezer. Is there a safety concern? I was planning on making them today. I could then store in the fridge, but they will then be out most of the day tomorrow on a table. What are your thoughts? Thanks so much!

  29. LaurenP says

    This is a total keeper recipe! Lately I’ve been craving granola bars, but am trying to reduce sugars in my diet and avoid processed foods, so these cookies were a great find! I made, substituting where I didn’t have something on hand (wheat bran for coconut flour, using even mixture of peanut and almond butters) and personal preferences (chia seed sub for egg because I eat a TON of eggs already). I didn’t really expect these to have much sweetness, but they were pleasantly so. Often I’ll sub out shredded coconut (I never have it) but happened to have some this time and REALLY thought they made the cookie something special. My substitutions resulted in a gummy texture (someone above who used flax seed sub also mentioned a moister result), though, so next time I might use real flour of some sort and maybe an egg.

    • LaurenP says

      And I just realized that my gummyness probably had a lot to do with too much moisture – in substituting for the coconut flour, I didn’t compensate for the loss of its super absorbency.

  30. Tamara Mannelly says

    These are absolutely amazing! What a nice ‘treat’. They’d be great for a quick breakfast, especially with some yogurt. Stash some in the freezer and you are good to go! Thanks for this awesome recipe!

  31. Jeanette says

    Just made these, delicious!!….I’m always looking for more travel friendly kid snacks. Thank you!

  32. says

    I didn’t see this question in any of the comments…could you substitute almond flour for the coconut flour? My daughter made these exactly like your recipe and they are just amazing! I could eat the entire batch all by myself! I have almond flour but will get coconut flour if I can.

  33. Tanya says

    Thank you for this recipe, we’re really enjoying it.

    I didn’t find them that filling at first, but reducing the applesauce some and adding in coconut oil to replace the volume fixed my problem. And they’re still sweet enough, even with less applesauce.

  34. Gabi says

    Good cookies! And soooo filling! I had one and a half and I’m full! :) I had to make a few changes as I didn’t have all the listed ingredients but they came out moist and yummy. I might just add a few dates or perhaps a tablespoon of maple syrup next time, to sweeten them a little more but overall, they’re great! Thanks for the recipe!

  35. Cynthia says

    These have been such a huge hit that I promised a few friends I would make them a batch. Anyone have experience with doubling or tripling the recipe? How about making them into bars instead of cookies to reduce time getting these sticky wonders in cookie form?
    Thanks a lot.

  36. Lori says

    My LO and I made these this morning and they turned out great. I made a few changes to accommodate the ingredients I had. I used half a banana and a scoop of coconut oil for applesauce and added some dried plums with the dates to make it a bit sweeter (so daddy will eat some too :) ) and we used yellow raisins and dried blueberries for the dried fruit and omitted the nuts altogether just because I didn’t feel like chopping them up and only had whole nuts and now the baby can have them too. I got at least a dozen and a half regular sized cookies

  37. amanda says

    great recipe! I made these into bars and they came out perfect (baked for about 25-30 minutes, or just until lightly browned along edge). I did not have applesauce, so I just used a large ripe banana in its place. These would be great to pack for a trip, or even served like ‘baked oatmeal’ with some milk poured on top. Thanks!

  38. says

    My son LOVED these cookies and I felt good feeding him them because of the ingredients! I made a few substitutions..I used peanut butter instead of almond butter (because I had a ton it leftover from another recipe) and then I omitted the nuts (he can’t have nuts yet) and used blueberry & pomegranite craisens for the dried fruit. Worked out really well! :)

  39. Rachel R says

    So, I’ve made these twice with different substitutions, and they turned out great both times. It’s a very forgiving recipe, and since I rarely, if ever, follow a recipe exactly to a tee, that’s a great thing!

    First time, I used sunbutter instead of almond butter and apple butter instead of applesauce. So, stronger apple flavor for sure, but delicious. I made 1 tbsp size balls, cooked them as balls (didn’t flatten them), and then froze them (It was 120 degrees here today, so, anything cold is good). The result was a chewy, surprisingly not rock hard, cold treat – my toddler especially loved it as a teething cookie. Since I can keep them in the freezer, I can just give my son one or two a day without worrying about them going bad.

    Second time, I used coconut butter instead of almond butter and regular applesuace. It has a milder, more traditional cookie type flavor and texture – very moist. I also cooked them in 1 tbsp size balls again – about bite size really.

    For the add-ins, I used raisins, pecans, walnuts, and just a few enjoy life chocolate chips – what I had on hand.

    I did have to cook these quite a bit longer both times than the recipe called for, but I was using a pizza stone so that probably made a difference.

    Definitely a keeper for my toddler friendly on-the-go snack repertoire.

  40. says

    These are delicious! So mild but so flavorful and the texture is great! My husband just made a batch and like you wrote we can envision lots of additional flavors.

  41. Wendy says

    I’m not sure if someone already asked, but do these need to be refrigerated? I know you mentioned that they could be frozen for storage, but will they go bad if you keep them in a container on the counter for a few days? I’m looking for a substitution for granola bars that I can take with me (in the car, etc).
    Thanks so much for a great-sounding recipe!
    God bless,
    Wendy

  42. Kit says

    I just made these for the second time but this time they turned out green and I have no idea why, but wondering they are safe to give to my toddler this time around being they are green! So weird! I used sunflower seed butter instead of almond butter…would that make a difference? Thanks! I had one and they are still delicious as ever…hope I don’t get sick:)

    • Bob says

      Mine turn green too. And I too used some Sunbutter because I didn’t have enough almond butter. Some reaction causes it. I’m guessing they are fine to eat.

  43. Carol Adler says

    Great! I didn’t have dates, so I substituted prunes and added a few chocolate chips. Yummy! I’d love to see some more variations. Thanks!

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