I have a very special little girl in my life who has a very severe dairy allergy. When she was young and her mom and dad started introducing foods and discovered her reactions - they didn't quite know 100% what her allergen was, so she had to stay away from all the top 8. Let me tell you, it made for a very interesting tasting (and my friends will also attest to a very pricey...) first birthday "smash" cake! Since she's gotten older her allergy has been narrowed down to dairy. And when I say allergy, I don't mean this beauty is lactose intolerant - This is a severe allergy, we're talking my girl breaks out into hives and has to carry an epipen if she comes in contact... scary stuff. Thankfully she's such a smartie, as most children, and she's always had a level understanding of what she can and can't have and knows how to communicate her allergy - which makes her mom and dad breathe just a little easier. (You can never be 100% in the clear, but you have to educate, right?) Currently, I also have someone else in my life who has an allergy to dairy - this person doesn't require an epipen, but breaks out with severely inflamed skin irritations as a result of ingesting dairy as well as tree nuts and peanuts.
So because of these special people, it's top of mind for me to come up with fun and alternative recipes that are dairy free and healthy. I found inspiration for this no bake cookie after visiting my uncle at work. As I've mentioned in another post, if you follow along - cooking and baking runs in my family, we have a strong history of chefs, bakers, and home cooks. And some of us are currently working in the restaurant industry - my uncle being no exception! He works as a baker under his own son as a matter of fact - my cousin is the Executive Chef for a fantastic upscale casual dining on the water here in northern New Jersey. My family and I went to visit for lunch not long ago and my uncle came out with these new cookies he put on the dessert menu - one being a no bake cookie. He and I got to talking about the ingredients, how he was making them and then how with some simple tweaks they could easily have an addition to their dessert menu that was Top 8 Allergen Free!
When I got home that day, I was so excited I started playing around with making them right then, haha. My uncle and I hadn't discussed ratios, but we talked about the ingredients that went into them. So, I made my first attempt that day... and let's say they were, "just okay"- my taste testers let me know that the flavor was there, but they were a little too gummy. I've since worked on the recipe and I'm certain now that I've got a winner!
Here's how I made them:
1 1/2 Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (Gluten Free Bob's Red Mill Organic)
1/4 Cup Raw Sunflower Seeds, finely ground (can be heaping)
1/4 Cup Ground Flax Seed
1/4 Cup Organic Sunbutter
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Cup Coconut Sugar, Unrefined
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil, Unrefined
1/4 Cup Coconut Milk, Unsweetened
2 Tbsp Dark Cocoa Powder (can be heaping)
Combine Oats, Sunflower Seed Flour, Flax, and Cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix and set aside.
Combine Coconut sugar, Coconut Oil, Coconut Milk and Cocoa Powder in a medium sauce pan. Heat on medium high heat, stirring with a whisk, until the mixture begins to boil. Allow to boil for two minutes - whisk intermittently.
After the coconut sugar and cocoa has boiled for two minutes, remove from heat and immediately add to Oats mixture, combine with Sunbutter and vanilla and stir well. Mixture should come together and form a loose ball. Allow to set for 5 minutes.
Line a metal baking sheet with parchment paper. After 5 minutes, scoop your cookies into 1.5in balls (#40 scoop) and form into a traditional cookie shape. Place into the refrigerator for 30mins to an hour to set.
The recipe should make 18 cookies. They can be stored in an airtight container at room temp or in the refrigerator once set. I recommend keeping them in the fridge to get the most out of them!
Try it out and let me know how yours come out!