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“Raw” Peanut Butter Cookies

I don’t have any New Year’s resolutions. 

I’m not sure whether that portrays me as lacking initiative or rather being happy with where I am. 

I’ve enjoyed reading and hearing about other people’s resolutions, however; check out Google Zeitgeist to read resolutions from all over the world. 

“No junk food”, “Propose to Dawn”, “Quit Facebook”, “Get into shape”, “Tell my family every day that I love them”, “Play better golf”, and heaps more. 


Good luck to those of you who have resolutions!

With today’s post, I hope to encourage those of you who have goals of eating healthier, eliminating junk food, and perhaps going vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free. 

I have a friend who is vegan; she eats some crazy food, but the photos she posts on Instagram look spectacularly delicious. 

It appears that it’s actually quite easy to achieve a healthy and balanced diet without using refined sugars, processed foods, and meats. 

She inspired me to try out a recipe I found for healthy peanut butter cookies via La Mesa that uses no sweeteners except Medjool dates and almond meal instead of flour.

This simple recipe, which results in a cookie dough-like texture, uses only 4 ingredients and can quickly be prepared in your food processor.


You’ll need:

  • almond meal (whole almonds, raw or dry-roasted, will also work)
  • pitted medjool dates
  • natural peanut butter (although you can use any type of peanut butter, or other nut butter such as almond, cashew, etc)
  • pure vanilla extract. 

The ingredients are processed in a food processor, then formed into balls. 

You could probably leave them as balls and call them “bites” instead of “cookies”, or you could flatten them with a fork for that classic peanut butter cookie look. 

And that’s it.  That’s all there is to it. 

You don’t even need to turn on your oven.

A quick note about using almond meal vs. whole nuts – almond meal will result in a smoother texture without the appearance of nut chunks. 

I used almond meal for this blog post, and you’ll see how the texture looks smooth in the photos. 

When I made these cookies again, I used a mixture of whole cashews and whole peanuts, which resulted in the appearance of small nut chunks, and also giving the cookies a bit of crunchier texture.

A word of warning on the dates… processing the dates can put a bit of strain on a food processor, so process the mixture with caution. 

If you have a strong processor, you should be fine, but if you have a cheaper brand or if it’s just not a good processor, well, you’ve been warned! 

Remember to remove the pits from the dates before processing.

As I mentioned, these cookies have a cookie dough-like texture, and I’m sure they’d be perfect to use as cookie dough truffles, or buckeyes if you formed the dough into balls and dipped them in chocolate. 

You could even add some chocolate chips to the dough, if you felt so inclined. 

I’d suggest mini ones, as the cookies themselves aren’t very large. 

They’re not the type of cookie you’d want to make large anyway as the cookie would just fall apart if it were any bigger, and the texture is very chewy.

It’s best that the cookies are formed into a smaller size.


I admit, I was a little bit scared of tasting these because I’m not real keen on dates. 

But, I love peanut butter, so I had to give it a go. 

I fell in love with these little cookies and couldn’t get enough of them. 

The taste of the peanut butter overpowers the taste of the dates, so the cookies basically tasted like raw peanut butter cookie dough. 

I was so excited and immediately proclaimed my love for them! 

This is one recipe I’ll be making again and again, and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

These particular cookies may or may not be labeled as “raw”, depending on the ingredients you use. 

If you prefer raw food, just make sure the ingredients you use are raw. 

In my case, I used store-bought almond meal and peanut butter, so I doubt I’d be able to officially call these “raw”! 

However, these cookies are perfect for vegetarians, vegans, people with a gluten/sugar-free lifestyle, and those just simply looking to eat healthier. 

Here’s to eating right in 2013!

If you loved these peanut butter cookies, visit Megan at La Mesa for more delicious healthy, and vegan-friendly recipes!

“Raw” Peanut Butter Cookies

A quick and easy recipe for healthy peanut butter cookies that is suitable for vegans, vegetarians, gluten/sugar-free and anyone looking to eat healthy.
4.60 from 10 votes
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 20 cookies
Author: Megan, from La Mesa


  • 1 cup raw or dry-roasted, whole almonds (or almond meal)
  • 1 cup pitted medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter or other nut butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  • If you’re using whole almonds, process them until they resemble a coarse meal.
  • Add the dates, peanut butter and vanilla; if you’re using already-prepared almond meal, just toss all the ingredients into the food processor together. If the nut butter isn’t salted, you may add a few pinches of salt.
  • Process the ingredients until the mixture starts to form a dough, about 2 minutes. If it doesn’t seem to come together, add another tablespoon or two of peanut butter and process again.
  • Form the dough into walnut-sized balls and place on a sheet of parchment paper. Press each ball gently with a fork to make the classic peanut butter cookie criss-cross pattern.
  • Store in the refrigerator.

44 thoughts on ““Raw” Peanut Butter Cookies”

  1. I can’t get enough peanut butter and these little raw cookies sound delicious. Although I love medjool dates, we can’t get them here so will have to substitute prunes. I’m sure the peanut butter will make up for it. : )

  2. it wouldn’t make sense to use date sugar in place of actual dates, because they add bulk to the recipe! (plus you wouldn’t have the added benefit of it’s nutrients and fibre)

    • Date sugar is simply dried pulverized while dates, however they are difficult to rehydrate, sowould still not make a good substitution.

  3. Yum! I love doing things like this!

    I also make similar raw cookies by using different nuts (try walnuts, pecans, pistachios, etc or even seeds like pepitas) and nut butters and different dried fruits (raisins, prunes and apricots work best – but you can also combine them with drier fruits like dried apples!)

    • Hi Allie, I think they would last outside of the refrigerator for a while, as long as it isn’t a warm day. There’s no milk, eggs, butter, etc. so it should be fine. I’m sure the cookies would be eaten up quickly anyway!

  4. […] Here’s a recipe we love with only four ingredients and no baking: Sweetest Kitchen’s Raw Peanut Butter Cookies. […]

  5. I was wondering if there was any nut substitution for the almonds? I have Pecans… lol.
    Thank you! These look DELICIOUS!

  6. What a fantastic idea! I love that there’s no added sugar (the sweetness is from dates and vanilla). can’t wait to try it, i bet they’d be good with a little cocoa powder too.

  7. I just made almond milk for the first time yesterday and was looking for something to do with my almond meal. I can’t wait to make these cookies. I’m kind of curious what would happen if you baked them a little bit. I might experiment with a few and report back.

    • So the baking didn’t work, haha. But I ended up making the cookies into little ball shapes and then took it a step further by dipping them in chocolate. They were like buckeye candies. I brought them to a baby shower and everyone loved them. Thanks for the great almond meal recipe!

    • Hi Amy, medjool dates are usually with the fresh produce. If you can’t find them, I might suggest using dried dates and soaking them in water overnight to make them softer. I definitely would not suggest using honey, as this would ruin the consistency of the cookies, although raisins could possibly work.

  8. 1 star
    I made this recipe as written soaking the dates. The end result is cookie dough. It is not even possible to make a cross hatch pattern with a fork because the dough just sticks to the fork.

  9. […] Raw Peanut Butter Cookies: These cookies take less than 10 minutes to throw together so they can satisfy a cookie craving […]

  10. these sound great. do they need to sit in the fridge for awhile or can I eat them right away? also, do I have to use parchment paper? is there an alternative?



    • Hi Robert, you can definitely eat them straight away. You can use baking paper, or waxed paper, or aluminum foil. Or even just a plate! Hope you like them if you make them! 🙂

  11. These are so good. I am on WW and I was wondering if you know the nutritional values of these cookies. calories, fat, protein, carbs, fiber??

  12. 5 stars
    These were really yummy! My boyfriend and I loved them. I think they are even better than regular sugary peanut butter cookies! They were a lot darker than in your photo though – not sure why.

  13. 5 stars
    These are SOOOOO good, I’ve eaten three just while typing this comment! Dates are a wonderful whole food way to create a wholesome treat, they blend/process easier if they are soaked for half an hour and squeezed dry and/or cut into small chunks prior to blending/processing.

  14. Brilliant! Thanks so very much for the recipe. I just finished making them. They are healthy, easy, oh so cute, and delicious!

  15. 5 stars
    These are perfect! They taste amazing and satisfy my sweet craving! Taste just like my butter and flour filled peanut butter cookies! I am telling everyone about these!

  16. I like these because they were simple and indeed tasted like peanut butter cookie, with a fudge consistency. They should harden up at least a little more in the fridge. I wondered if I could get the crumbly baked consistency in a dehydrater.

  17. […] what those look like…they were super yummy though!).  The cookie recipe can be found here:  https://sweetestkitchen.com/2013/01/raw-peanut-butter-cookies/.  So yummy!  The kids love these too and you won’t feel guilty about giving them this […]

  18. I’ve made these many times. Love them. How long will they keep if stored in the fridge? Usually they are gone in a few days but I’ve been sick and have some left (made them about 12 days ago). Are they still ok?
    Thank you,

  19. […] Raw Peanut Butter Cookies by Sweetest Kitchen: Make these tasty cookies in just 5 […]

  20. Unfortunately, these did not turn out for me…and I tried the recipe two times. Expensive little experiment I wished I hadn’t tried. Not sure what went wrong. Too dry so added peanut butter and more peanut butter. Still too dry. “Cookies” just fell apart. Soaked the dates next attempt and squeezed out. This batch was way too moist and oily. So then I combined the too batches in hopes they would balance each other out. Result was too crumbly. At this point, I didn’t want to waste more peanut butter. The flavor is good but no where near traditional peanut butter cookie dough. Similar to a Larabar in flavor but not in consistency since these fell apart. I LOVE Larabars so will just stick to those.

    • Hi Cindy, I’m sorry to hear they didn’t work for you. I’m not sure what could have went wrong – the only thing I can think of to ask is if you used fresh dates or dried dates? I have always used fresh medjool dates and have never experienced a problem. If you’ve been using dried dates, maybe give fresh ones a go??

  21. 5 stars
    I’m 38 weeks pregnant and have been trying to incorporate more dates into my diet. These cookies were delicious, even my husband liked them. Thank you!

  22. These were lovely, but didn’t keep their shape. So I thought of a coating and ground up some coconut ‘candy’ from a Hawaiin gift. I rolled them into 1 inch balls and coated them in the sweet coconut/chocolate dust. They are wonderful !

  23. […] No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies. Seriously you guys. Try these. I make a batch every week to keep handy in the fridge. […]


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