What can I say about these impossible coconut cherry cookies? They’re vegan. They’re Lenten. They are gluten-free and dairy-free. They don’t contain soy or corn. And they don’t contain sweeteners. No sugar or honey. No maple syrup, agave, stevia, or artificial sweeteners. Nothing.

And they are delicious!

They shouldn’t be possible. I mean, seriously, how can you have cookies without butter, sugar, flour, and eggs?

But I can’t have butter, sugar, or flour on my anti-inflammatory diet. And I love cookies. So I kept hoping I could find, or come up with, a recipe for something cookie-like enough to satisfy my longing to have a cookie or two with a cup of tea.

Then a friend sent me a recipe for banana nut cookies that were really pretty good. I started experimenting from that recipe, and found my way to sweet, dense, chewy cookies that I called Sunshine Cookies.

But when I went to make them during Christmas, I realized that I was out of dried apricots! I had two choices: go to the grocery AGAIN, and get dried apricots. Or change the recipe.

So I changed the recipe. And I think I like this version even better!

Impossible Coconut Cherry Cookies

Ingredients

3 large, very ripe bananas (if the bananas are on the small side, use 4)
4 or 5 pitted Medjool dates
¾ cup raw cashews
¾ tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla powder
Finely grated zest of an orange
1/8 tsp orange extract
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup dried tart cherries, chopped
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut
2 Tbsp chia seeds
3 Tbsp chopped pecans

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two insulated baking sheets with parchment paper.

Put the ripe bananas, dates, cashews, nutmeg, vanilla, orange zest, orange extract, soda, and salt into a food processor. Or use a Vitamix if you have one. Process or blend until the mixture is smooth.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, dried cherries, chia seeds, and pecans. Pour the banana mixture into the oat mixture and stir until well combined.

Use a 1 Tbsp cookie scoop to form balls of cookie dough on the baking sheet. If you don’t have a cookie scoop, use a measuring spoon to measure 1 Tbsp of dough at a time, and shape the dough into balls with your hands. You can place the cookies fairly close together, since they won’t rise or spread.

Using a fork, flatten the balls into rounds.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges just begin to brown.

Cool on a rack.

These impossible coconut cherry cookies are best warm, either fresh from the oven or warmed slightly in the microwave.

Read More

Recipes for Pascha and St. Nicholas Day: Whether you want simple or fancy, healthy or decadent, I’ve got cookie recipes that you’ll love.

17 ways to use Catherine’s Pascha: Extend the book and with joy-filled activities, including cooking, crafts, academics, and more.

Have a St. Nicholas party in July!: You don’t have to wait until December. You can celebrate the Nativity of St. Nicholas with a party in July!

Charlotte Riggle, author of Catherine's Pascha and The Saint Nicholas Day Snow
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