Spooky good cookie dough bites

Delicious and healthy and perfect for keeping the candy monster at bay.

Delicious and healthy and perfect for keeping the candy monster at bay. by Sarah Henning

At this point in my life, I’m not one to overdose on Halloween candy. Up until a few years ago, yes. Now, not so much.

Mostly because if I start eating it, I won’t stop. So I don’t start (if I can help it).

But that doesn’t mean I don’t want something sweet on the holiday. I mean, who doesn’t? This is one of the most sugar-centric holidays we have in this country, and I’m a lover of sweets. I just don’t need to eat an entire bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (though I’d love to).

My newest favorite sweet treat happen to taste a bit like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups mixed with cookie dough, but they’re much, much healthier: Peanut butter cookie dough bites.

I plan on bringing these to some of the Halloween-themed functions I will be attending, and I highly recommend making them if you’re staring down the candy stash hours (or days) before the trick-or-treaters begin to show up. Eat a few and you’ll feel much better than if you overdo it on the candy, plus you’ll get a dose of good fat, fiber and flavor.

These days I tend to make a double batch of these any time I have a moment to actually “cook” them (funny how the baby loves to eat but would rather not give me time in the kitchen).

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites (adapted from “The Oh She Glows Cookbook” by Angela Liddon)

1 1/2 cups rolled oats or oat flour

1/2 cup almond flour

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 heaping tablespoons smooth peanut butter, almond butter or sunflower butter

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon sea salt (you might want a bit more if there’s no salt in your peanut butter)

2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips

If using regular rolled oats instead of oat flour, start by grinding your oats into a fine powder using either a high-speed blender, food processor or (my favorite) a coffee grinder.

In a large bowl, combine the coconut oil, nut butter, maple syrup and vanilla, and beat with a hand mixer until smooth. Add the almond flour, oat flour and salt and beat again until combined. If the mixture seems a bit dry, add a bit more peanut butter and/or maple syrup. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Roll the dough into small balls. If the chocolate chips fall to the bottom of the bowl, press them back into the dough when rolling. Place the finished bites on a plate or pan lined with parchment paper.

Freeze the bites for five to 10 minutes or until firm. Store the bites in the freezer in a freezer bag for quick and easy snacks.

Makes about 30.

Tips: Make sure all your ingredients are room temperature (I keep my maple syrup and almond flour in the fridge) because if ingredients are too cold, the coconut oil will start to solidify, making it hard to mix. Also, if you’re using the type of nut butter that requires stirring, make sure the oil is well-incorporated before measuring it out for the recipe.

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