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Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites are naturally sweetened, vegan, and gluten-free. These bites are the perfect cure for a sweet tooth!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites are little bites of Heaven - naturally sweetened, vegan, and gluten-free, these bites are the perfect cure for a sweet tooth! | iowagirleats.com

Hi everyone, I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

I’m feeling especially refreshed after taking an impromptu road trip to Minneapolis with the boys this weekend! Ben and I were watching a DVRd episode of Top Chef on Friday night when one of the contestants made a giant batch of homemade chicken sausage, which caused us to turn to each other and say “Butcher and the Boar!” at the exact same time. BatB is one of our favorite restaurants in Minneapolis and their smoked sausages are so good that Ben and I mail-ordered them for our anniversary dinner last year. #weirdos. Anyway, we couldn’t shake the craving and 10 minutes later a hotel room was booked for the next day!

We were on the road by 9am Saturday and arrived just in time for lunch at Brasa – a Creole-style rotisserie restaurant. I randomly found it by googling “gluten-free Minneapolis” but it ended up being the best meal we’ve had since Work and Class in Denver last fall – ie the Gumbo Fried Rice Bowl I ordered will definitely be making an appearance on the blog in the not so distant future!

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90% of the menu is gluten-free and I was legit giddy to be able to share Ben’s pulled chicken in cream and pepper gravy (top 5 best things I’ve ever eaten,) and all the sides he ordered including cheddar grits, collard greens, and smothered yams. We cannot wait to return!

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Sociable Cider Werks is five minutes away from the restaurant, so we stopped by their taproom for a drink, and to buy a few crowlers of their awesome, super dry, not too sweet ciders (they have a hopped cider that’s crazy good.) After checking into the hotel and getting Lincoln down for a late nap, we walked a couple blocks to the restaurant that inspired our trip – Butcher and the Boar!

Like I said, BatB is known for their homemade sausages and the smoked cheddarwurst smothered in caramelized onions I ordered was worth the entire trip. Totally regretting not ordering 10 of them! (FYI – the waitress at BatB told us they soak their cooked brats/sausages in beer but we went early enough that they were able to grab an un-soaked one for me and grill it up. The best, the best, the best.) Ben’s brother and his girlfriend met us there and we had way too much fun drinking wine and bourbon, which Butcher and the Boar is also known for, until it was time to get the little man home to bed.

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We came home Sunday to piles of laundry and a sink full of dishes (we seriously just up and left on Saturday!) but it was totally worth it to get away for a couple days. We needed it – especially because there’s a foot of snow coming our way later this week! Do you ever take impromptu weekend trips? SO so good for the soul!

Also good for the soul? Five ingredient (plus a pinch of salt!) naturally-sweetened CHEWY Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites + a KitchenAid Stand Mixer Giveaway!

As we all know, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and with it comes being bombarded by ALL THE SWEETS. I say enjoy a sweet treat with your sweetie on the holiday but do it more healthfully with my naturally sweetened chocolate chip cookie dough bites that not only taste like Chewy Chips Ahoy (YES,) but are naturally sweetened with dates! I’ve told you I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but I ams till going NUTS for these perfectly sweet and chewy “cookie dough” balls!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites are little bites of Heaven - naturally sweetened, vegan, and gluten-free, these bites are the perfect cure for a sweet tooth! | iowagirleats.com

Here’s the scoop: raw cashews are combined with sticky-sweet Medjool dates, vanilla extract, almond meal, and chocolate chips, then rolled into balls which not only look but taste like raw cookie dough. I mean it’s unreal, and they come together in just 10 minutes! Lincoln’s developed a taste for these “sweet meatballs” and I feel zero guilt about him occasionally eating one vs something that’s loaded with refined sugar. Healthier but still very decadent-tasting. I could not love them more.

I created these Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites as part of the Gluten-Free Sweets for Your Sweeties recipe showcase featuring desserts from 14 other fabulous gluten-free bloggers that anyone – gluten-free for not – can enjoy this Valentine’s Day. Be sure to check everyone’s recipes out at the bottom of the post.

We’re also giving away a gorgeous KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer with a glass bowl in any color you like, PLUS a stainless steel bowl to have as back up, so be sure to enter to win below then head into the kitchen to whip up a batch of these must try bites!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites are little bites of Heaven - naturally sweetened, vegan, and gluten-free, these bites are the perfect cure for a sweet tooth! | iowagirleats.com

As I mentioned, these cookie dough bites are sweetened and held together with Medjool dates. Medjool dates are super sweet and sticky, and can usually be found in the produce section of the grocery store.

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Medjool dates are occasionally sold in the bulk bins but if you’re gluten-free you’ll want to avoid those because of cross contamination issues, plus the dates can become dry and hard in the bins and they need to remain really soft to hold the bites together.

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Add 6 Medjool dates to the bowl of a food processor along with 1 cup raw unsalted cashews, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and a pinch of salt, then process until the mixture is smooth and starts to come together into a batter.

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The mixture should hold its shape when squeezed, like this!

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Dump the mixture into a big bowl then sprinkle in 1/4 cup finely ground almond meal and mix with your hands to combine. I like Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour, which is being sold at Costco right now, just FYI!

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Next add 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips and mix with your hands to combine.

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Last step is to roll the mixture into 10 balls then enjoy right away (dare you not to!) or store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Let the bites sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes after being refrigerated to regain that chewy texture that you’re going to flip for!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites are little bites of Heaven - naturally sweetened, vegan, and gluten-free, these bites are the perfect cure for a sweet tooth! | iowagirleats.com

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Description

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites are naturally sweetened, vegan, and gluten-free. These bites are the perfect cure for a sweet tooth!

Ingredients

makes 10 bites

  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 6 Medjool dates
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup finely ground almond flour
  • 1/2 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Add cashews, dates, vanilla, and salt to the bowl of a food processor then process until smooth and mixture just starts to come together into a sticky batter. Pour into a large bowl then sprinkle in almond flour and mix with your hands to combine. If mixture is too sticky, add a little more almond flour. Add chocolate chips then mix until combined. Roll into 10 balls then store in the refrigerator.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites are little bites of Heaven - naturally sweetened, vegan, and gluten-free, these bites are the perfect cure for a sweet tooth! | iowagirleats.com

I can’t wait for you to try these healthier sweet treats this Valentine’s Day, or any time of the year!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites are little bites of Heaven - naturally sweetened, vegan, and gluten-free, these bites are the perfect cure for a sweet tooth! | iowagirleats.com

As I mentioned, I’ve teamed up with 14 other gluten-free bloggers to bring you 15 Gluten-Free Sweets for Your Sweeties to enjoy this Valentine’s Day. Check these yummy recipes out!

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(Listed in the order they appear in the photo, left to right, row by row:)

 

KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway!

The ladies and I are also giving away one KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer with Glass Bowl PLUS a stainless steel bowl to have as back up. You pick the color!

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Contest opens Monday, 2/1 at 8am central time and closes Wednesday, 2/10 at 11:59pm mountain time, and is open to U.S. residents only, 18 and older. Winners will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner picked. 

GOOD LUCK!

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