Orange Cranberry Hazelnut Cookies

I was flipping through the December issue of Alive Magazine recently, checking out all of the recipes (the section I flip to first). They had a feature on baking with dates which caught my eye. Probably because I have a tub of medjool dates in the back of my fridge that often gets forgotten for weeks at a time. They had all sorts of tasty treats – cupcakes, cheesecake bars, chocolate loaf, and cookies. For some reason it was the recipe for Oatmeal Date Cookies that caught my eye. I can’t tell you why – they weren’t anything special to look at. In fact, they sounded pretty plain Jane. Perhaps I was just in the mood for a good hearty cookie. Anyways, the baking bug bit, and I soon found myself in the kitchen.

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Per usual, I didn’t exactly have all of the necessary ingredients for the exact recipe. Plus I wasn’t completely jazzed with all of the ingredients – I wanted to put my own spin on them. I switched up the add ins, amped up the orange flavour, and replaced a few things simply based on what I had in the kitchen.

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Fortunately, my recipe tweaks were a success. Cranberry and orange are a great flavour combination, and the dates kept these cookies moist and chewy. They still weren’t all that pretty to look at, but I shared them with coworkers, and everyone thought they were awesome. I even made them completely whole grain – I couldn’t really understand why the recipe called for a small amount of white flour anyways, as I don’t think it would have changed the structure of the cookies. Honestly, if you don’t tell people they only use whole wheat flour, they won’t know. I find that with a lot of baked goods 😉

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They may not be the prettiest cookie to add to your holiday baking tray, but the cranberry orange flavour combination is fitting for the season. And I’m sure Santa would enjoy a hearty, healthier treat anyways 😉

 

Orange Cranberry Hazelnut Cookies

adapted from Oatmeal Date Cookies from Alive Magazine (December 2013)

makes approximately 24 cookies

The festive flavours of cranberry and orange come together in these hearty, whole grain oatmeal cookies. Pureed dates replace much of the sugar, and add extra fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Why not surprise Santa with a plate of these healthier treats this year?

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  • 1/2 cup dates, pitted and chopped (approximately 6 – 7 medjool dates)
  • juice of 1 large navel orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • zest of 1 orange, finely chopped

 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Celsius. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Simmer dates with orange juice until very tender. Stir in vanilla. Pureé into a smooth paste.

3. Using a mixer, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg, then add date pureé.

4. In a large bowl, stir together flour, flax seed, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Beat into butter mixture, then stir in oats, cranberries, hazelnuts, and orange zest.

5. Drop large tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet, flattening slightly. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, until set and golden brown.

 

Notes: Substitute any nuts you like for the hazelnuts.

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What’s on your baking list this holiday season?

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Categories: Baking, Recipe, Snack, Vegetarian, Whole Grain

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One Comment on “Orange Cranberry Hazelnut Cookies”

  1. December 21, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    Yum! Perfect festive flavours too, I bet these are lovely with a cup of tea or coffee.

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