Raw Dark Chocolate and Cherry Cookies

by Gena on May 20, 2012


As usual, thanks for the feedback on Friday. I mentioned that I’d be spending the next two weeks resting and spending a little time in the kitchen (OK, a lot of time), and these scrumptious raw dark chocolate and cherry cookies are one of the fruits of my labor!

These cookies are inspired by one of my favorite One Lucky Duck cookies: the dark chocolate cherry macadamia cookies. These cookies, like all of Sarma’s cookies, are delicious, and shockingly authentic. The texture is quite a bit like the “real thing,” but I think the taste has even more depth.


The secret to Sarma’s cookies, I suspect, is a mixture of almond flour and oat flour. My version features these same ingredients: I used almond meal from Bob’s Red Mill (a favorite baking ingredient for me) and I ground raw oat groats in my coffee grinder (which I use only for grains and seeds) for the flour. You could, of course, grind regular rolled oats, or you could use store bought oat flour. Because I didn’t have maple powder (which is in Sarma’s ingredient list), I used dates, but in order to make the cookies work, I needed to use more almond meal than oat flour. I like the slightly drier (less chewy) texture that the oats created, but you could use all almond flour if oats don’t agree with you (Bitt!)

If you like dark chocolate, and you like dried cherries—and how on earth can you not?—you’ll love the taste of these treats. I was super decadent and used 1/4 cup chopped raw dark chocolate (Fine & Raw), but vegan dark chocolate chips will be just fine, too.


Raw, Vegan Dark Chocolate Cherry Cookies (raw, vegan, gluten free if you use GF oats, soy free)

Makes about 8 large cookies; recipe can be easily doubled

1 cup almond meal (you can use store bought, like the Bob’s Red Mill brand, or you can grind almonds finely in a food processor)
1/3 cup oat flour (I ground raw oat groats in my coffee grinder, but you can use store bought, too)
3 tbsp raw cacao powder
12 large, pitted medjool dates
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup chopped raw dark chocolate, or vegan dark chocolate chips

1. In a food processor, process almond meal, oat flour, and cacao to combine.

2. Add dates, and process until the mixture is thick and sticks together easily when you clasp a little in your hand (look for similar texture to when you make homemade raw energy balls or Larabars). If the mixture is too dry, add an extra date, a drizzle of agave, or a tablespoon of almond butter!

3. Add cherries and chocolate. Pulse to break down the cherries and chocolate into small pieces and mix them evenly throughout.

4. Place "dough" onto a sheet of saran wrap that has been laid onto a flat surface. Cover with another saran sheet, and use a rolling pin to flatten the mixture to just over 1/4 inch thick. Refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight.


5. Cut dough into desired shapes with a cookie cutter, and enjoy!

These make for good snacking, as well as good dessert.


I thought hearts would be appropriate here, because nutritious raw and vegan desserts are heartwarming indeed.

Hope you get a chance to test these cookies for yourself. Of course, you can use any dried fruit you like (raisins, gojis, cranberries), and you can use walnuts or hazelnuts as the base, too.

I’m in the middle of getting ready to go to the filming of the finale of The Celebrity Apprentice, and the afterparty. Not a typical Gena Sunday—it’s usually a big deal when I get to watch Mad Men—but a friend of mine had a plus one. So off I uncharacteristically go, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow!


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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Victoria (District Chocoholic) May 20, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Almond chocolate cookies…sounds like brunsli. Our pal Valerie will approve.


Stefania of Revitalize with Stefania May 20, 2012 at 7:50 pm

These are right up my alley. I typically make raw vegan brownie balls like this, but never with dried cherries. I need to try your recipe, and I love the idea of using a cookie cutter!


Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See May 20, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Chocolate without heating up the oven? Sounds like a good plan to me :) Do you think I could sub walnut meal for the almond meal?


Sarah May 20, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Swoon, cherries and dark chocolate, that’s my favorite combination:)


Ela May 20, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Have a great night out! Chocolate and cherry are such a wonderful combination. For those of us who don’t do well with oats, I wonder whether one could use quinoa, ground to a flour, instead? I think it might work.


Robyn Okrant May 20, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Nice recipe! I’m wondering…think these could be dehydrated into a crisp version? My experiments usual fail in the dehydrator, so I thought I’d ask your expert advice first. Thanks, ma’am!

And have fun at the finale! I’m sure it’ll be wild to see in person. I’ve never seen the show but I would even for to a live finale event!


Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy May 20, 2012 at 9:50 pm

chocolate, almonds and cherries —- what’s not to love?!? YUMM!! Thanks for the recipe! Great photos!


Spencer May 20, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Looks absolutely beautiful! I reckon I could polish off a whole plateful of those in 5 minutes!


Heather May 20, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Mmm chocolate and cherry were made for each other! Looks great Gena. Pretty red nails too! :)


Ali May 20, 2012 at 11:46 pm

Girl! I hope you have so much fun at the show and the party! Cool! These cookies look lovely. Also, are you still accepting entries for Green Recovery?


Averie @ Averie Cooks May 20, 2012 at 11:53 pm

Fabulous looking cookies and after our email, I was wondering what you were going to come up with…now I know. AWESOME! I want to taste-test…..lots of them :)


daphna May 21, 2012 at 1:34 am

I love your nailpolish! :)


Ilana May 21, 2012 at 6:43 am

the synchronicity is striking, I just made “Larabars” with the same ingredients. y.u.m.


Hannah May 21, 2012 at 6:46 am

I am duty bound to make these. Why I haven’t made a chocolate cherry version of my no-bake/raw balls when I’ve made date nut cherry and date nut chocolate, I’ll never know. Or maybe I do know. My psychic soul knew to wait for your spectacular version. Now, to track down some raw chocolate here in Canberra!


alyce May 21, 2012 at 7:07 am

too funny! i hope you had fun at the taping. did you meet the donald? did you figure out his hair?


Kathleen May 21, 2012 at 7:58 am

Mouth is drooling. Are you bringing me one of these on Friday? Haha! Just kidding. I’m definitely putting the recipe on my summer unbaking list.


Sarah May 21, 2012 at 8:02 am

These look great. I’m excited to try them because it’s really hard to find a yummy dessert without added sugar. And what’s better than dark chocolate and cherries? Thanks, Gena!


Lauren May 21, 2012 at 8:04 am

I recently had the One Lucky Duck version of these. Must make your recipe! They look delicious!!


Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles May 21, 2012 at 8:52 am

How decadent! I bet made a bit drier these would be great crumbled up as breakfast cereal with almond milk on top!


luv what you do May 21, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Those look mouth watering!
I just bought some almond meal and now I have something else to do with it!


jill May 21, 2012 at 7:19 pm

These look simple and so delicious! I also love your crocheted runner or cloth in the background, it’s a really unusual pattern. I’m a big fan of vintage thread patterns and I’ve never seen anything like it before.


Jocelyn Steiber May 21, 2012 at 7:43 pm

I love the heart shapes


Anastasia @Healthy Mama Info May 28, 2012 at 8:14 am

These look so amazing, I want to bite my computer! What a smart idea to make them into little hearts, too!


Anne-Michelle July 31, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Today is the second time I’ve made these in a week! My kids love them, and so does our babysitter. A great little snack for them!


Gena December 11, 2012 at 9:08 pm

I’m so glad your kids like them!


nouna January 15, 2013 at 6:27 pm

I am in love with your recipes :)

If I ground almonds it won’t be the same as almond meal, it wil be fatter, is that ok?


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