Vanilla Almond Sugar Cookies: Another Creative Use for Almond Milk Pulp!

by Gena on February 27, 2012


Happy Monday, all! So happy you liked the sunflower seed butter recipe. A few of you have already tried it and given it positive reviews, so thanks for checking back to tell me how it went.

As you may have gathered from my incessant re-purposing of vegetable juice pulp in crackers and breads, or my recent use of cashew pulp in raw beet balls, I’m a big fan of reusing and recycling the byproducts of my recipes. Making homemade juice and nut milk is tremendously rewarding, but it does leave one with a heap of food–either juice pulp or almond pulp–that might easily go to waste. To me, raw foodism is all about creativity and innovation, and so I savor the chance to put these seemingly expendable ingredients to good use. Today’s recipe is a perfect example of how a recipe castoff can be delightfully reborn.

A few weeks ago, I shared my recipe for homemade vanilla cashew milk:


which is a lot like my homemade almond milk (a CR classic!). This week, I made the usual almond milk recipe, and as usual, I found myself wondering what to do with the pulp. It was then that I remembered what I had stolen from my Mom over the holidays:


A good, old-fashioned sugar cookie press. Amazing! If you’ve never seen one of these before, they’re little presses that push dough out through various stencil-like disks, to create perfectly even and artful looking cookies. Why my mother owns this, I don’t know: I cannot remember a single time in my childhood when I witnessed my mother baking a cookie. She is the least baking-oriented woman I know, which is part of why it’s so fun for me to bake for her. But in any case, this cookie press is from some secret past life of hers in which sugar cookies were a regular project.

I didn’t make sugar cookies with this press, of course. I made vanilla cookies—light and sweet and delicious—using leftover almond pulp, soaked dates, fresh vanilla bean, and a little bit of coconut flour. And although they were not quite as buttery-sweet as the sugar cookies we all have known and loved at some point in our lives, they were pretty darn tasty, and all with minimally processed, organic, and mostly raw ingredients.


Vanilla Almond Sugar Cookies (mostly raw, vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Makes 18-22 cookies

1 1/4 cups almond milk pulp
6-8 soaked and pitted medjool dates (adjust to suit your own sweetness preference; 6 was fine for me)
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp almond or coconut flour
1 vanilla bean, scraped, or 1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract
Dash sea salt

1) Mix all ingredients together in a food processor until the “dough” is the same texture and consistency of sugar cookie dough. You may need to add a little more flour, but start with the given amount.

2) Work dough into the cookie press canister, select a cookie shape, and seal the press. Onto a Teflex-lined dehydrator sheet, press as many cookies as the dough will make; I had about 20.

3) Dehydrate the cookies at 115 degrees for 8 hours, flipping once through (if you dehydrate these overnight and don’t flip, it’s also fine).

Oven option: Preheat oven to 350 degrees before you get started. Bake cookies for 18 minutes, or until golden brown, and allow to cool before digging in!

Take a moment to observe how sweet they are:




And make a point of enjoying them with a delicious glass of cold almond milk:


…so that you can pay homage to both the cookies, and the almond milk that gave them to you in the first place.

No cookie press? No problem. Simply shape the cookies by hand, or you can even try a rolling pin and cookie cutters. Even if you simply drop this by the tablespoon onto a sheet and flatten them, they’ll still be a tasty, healthy, and unique dessert.

I love when random leftovers turn into something special. Hope you all enjoy these treats as much as I have!


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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

bitt February 27, 2012 at 7:49 pm

These look so good! I love the look the cookie press gives it, more like a baked cookie. I am curious if you baked or dehydrated these, or both, since you gave directions for each.

I often dehydrate the nut pulp right away because it doesn’t last too long in the fridge moist like that, but moistens back right away after dehydrated with some liquid. Hope this tip helps someone out there.


Gena February 27, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Dehydrated! I baked two as a tester for the non-dehydrator folks :)

Great tip.


Ksenia February 27, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Forgive me for a potentially stupid question, but do you dehydrate almond pulp before using it or can it be used wet?


Gena February 27, 2012 at 8:17 pm

You use it wet. Not a dumb question :)


j3nn February 27, 2012 at 8:16 pm

What a coinky dinky! I planned to make chocolate chip dehydrator cookies with almond meal. :) These look yummy!! I bet a drop or two of almond extract would enhance the flavor even further.


Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga February 27, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Your cookies look gorgeous. GReat use for the pulp.

But I tell you, the good, old-fashioned sugar cookie press…I would buy that from you in a heartbeat. I want that!!! It’s old, it’s functional, it has kitsch-ey flair, I totally love that. I am going to google and ebay and etsy and see if I can find one :)

Your milk looks great. I made horchata recently, to be blogged, soon. Your milk is so creamy which is how I like it!


Lauren February 27, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Okay, I’m making these when I make my weekly almond milk on Wed! Can’t wait!


Hannah February 27, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Awww these are so darn cute! They look like cookies you would find at a bakery – a raw, vegan one, of course ;-) I appreciate raw food for the innovation, too – it’s amazing when you discover how many ways you can use ingredients. It’s sustainable, too.


April February 27, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Wow, I totally want a cookie press now! Those cookies are beautiful! Thanks for the inspiration!


Valerie @ City|Life|Eats February 27, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Beautiful cookies. Love the photos too :)


Alexa February 27, 2012 at 9:57 pm

could you use almond meal to sub for almond milk pulp?


Lea February 27, 2012 at 10:59 pm

I have so many great memories of those cookies presses. My mom makes the most delicious spritz cookies with them every year at Christmas. But as delicious as those cookies are, it’s nice to see something healthy made with them!

Reply February 27, 2012 at 11:03 pm

These look so yum! Thanks for sharing!


Ali February 27, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Girl! Those are so adorable! I have a cookie press too. I used it maybe twice. But I have never used it for raw cookies, I think you may have sparked a plan!


Caroline February 27, 2012 at 11:38 pm

you are SO SMART.


daphna February 28, 2012 at 1:05 am

OMG, those cookies are gorgeous! Great idea!


jenny February 28, 2012 at 1:18 am

you need a “pin it” (pinterest) button. I pinned it anyway, but to remind people sometimes :D


Ela February 28, 2012 at 1:59 am

These are so beautiful and adorable! I have a similar theme on my mind about using all parts of something.


Hannah February 28, 2012 at 3:18 am

My brain completely can’t figure out how the cookie press works, but no matter! The ingredients, I know, will create something delicious in whatever shape the cookie turns out to be :)


Gena February 28, 2012 at 9:19 am

It’s not that complicated, I assure you. If I can do it….


Ricki February 28, 2012 at 8:16 am

Let me try again. . . I have to comment because I LOVE cookie presses and have wanted one since I was a kid! Ironically, my mom (who was a consummate baker) didn’t have one. I even asked for one for Christmad one year but my hubby couldn’t find one. These cookies are beautiful! What a great way to use the almond pulp. And so pretty! :)


barefoot and frolicking February 28, 2012 at 8:30 am

These are beautiful! ;) Gorgeous raw food artistry!


Johanna February 28, 2012 at 8:42 am

WOW. Wow, that’s so easy and so darn cute it makes me wanna go and get a cookie press at once! Fun thing – I just made almond milk this morning and sighed inside my head: “And what should I do with the pulp..?” But here I apparently have the answer. Thanks Gena! :)


Gena February 28, 2012 at 9:18 am

So glad!


the delicate place February 28, 2012 at 11:23 am

this is genius. that is all. p.s the cookie press is adorable!


Shira February 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm

These look wonderful! So funny – I just posted last night about ‘leftover almond pulp’ chocolate ice cream! I think it would go wonderfully with these gorgeous looking cookies – WOW! I don’t bake often, but these just look too simply amazing!


Nada (One Arab Vegan) February 28, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Those cookies look gorgeous! Would never have guessed they weren’t baked.


Melissa from the Blue House February 28, 2012 at 3:53 pm

These look DELICIOUS, and as good an excuse as any to break out the cookie press I haven’t used in years!


Pure2raw twins February 28, 2012 at 6:49 pm

amazing!!! love the cookie press idea, too cute! and love finding new ways to use nut pulps!!! and you make it look so easy too ;)


Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles February 28, 2012 at 7:16 pm

I JUST got rid of pulp for lack of freezer space. I’ll have to run out of almond milk fast!


Delaney February 29, 2012 at 8:53 am

Beautiful cookies and photographs.


Dawn Newton February 29, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Um, how do this qualify as ‘raw’ if you are baking them at 350 degrees; I thought raw foods couldn’t be heated to a certain degree? They do look yummy however. Thus, my 2nd question is there a certain ‘rule’ for heat/cooking ‘raw’?

Thanks for you blog it is very helpful for us newbies.

Dawn Newton


Hillary February 29, 2012 at 8:46 pm

I had some almond pulp just begging for a recipe! I whipped these up this evening and they are lovely. The smell reminds me of old fashioned vanilla wafers. Of course I don’t own a cookie press, so mine aren’t as adorable as yours, but tasty none the less. Thanks as always for the inspiration!


Nathalie March 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Hey Gena, I made these today (formed by hand, and baked since I don’t have a dehydrator). I accidentally only used 1/4 cup of flour (oat flour to be specific, because I don’t have coconut or almond flour), so that could be the reason, but by 22 minutes, the cookies were almost burnt. I’m sure I’ll make them again, but with a 20 minute baking time instead. Thanks so much for the recipe though, it’s so hard to find ways to use up almond pulp and it feels like such a waste to throw it away, even if it’s going in the green bin.


Gena March 4, 2012 at 10:47 am

I just changed the baking time, but I suspect it may have had to do with the flour. In any case, sorry it wasn’t a winner!!


Buy Vanilla March 6, 2012 at 10:48 am


I stumbled across this post on Google – this recipe is absolutely fantastic! I can’t wait to read more.

All the best, Alex.


Ann-Marie March 9, 2012 at 8:32 am

I made the cookies but they didn’t turn out that nice. Too dry, I’m afraid. Noticed when I was kneading the dough and putting them on the baking sheet (I used aluminum foil, greased instead). Tried adding some water from the dates. But I’m afraid that didn’t help. I wonder if my almond pulp was too dry to begin with.


celia March 13, 2012 at 8:00 am

Gena, these cookies look to-die-for! I thouth they were baked cookies from the firsts look at them, they’re lovely!


Heather July 8, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I am so excited! I grew up making cut out cookies with my grandma for every holiday. Now that our home is gluten & dairy free, I have been at a loss as to how I am to carry on this tradition. I love that the ingredients are simple (as opposed to the crazy {expensive} GF flours I have put off buying) & the recipe is easy! My kind of treat! I am sooo looking forward to trying these with cookie cutters! I pinned to my holiday food board for future reference! :)


LYNN August 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I received this recipe and this website from one of the Whole Foods in New York. My results were not the best. I was hoping for a crispy cookie which they weren’t. I used the almond pulp and formed them into flat cookies by hand and baked in 350 oven. I began checking them from 10 minutes on. I took several out at different intervals to know the best oven time. Some I left in 20 minutes.They actually tasted the best before I cooked them but I wanted a cookie result. Anyone else have any luck with this recipe coming out like a real cookie? They tasted ok. I eat a plant based diet with no added oils, dairy or animal products so I was looking forward to this recipe. My almond milk was great however.


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