Chewy Gluten-Free Date-Filled Molasses Cookies
In my quest to provide some amazing gluten-free cookie recipes, I had a request for these date-filled molasses cookies.
I don’t traditional use molasses in my recipes, using 3/4 cup for each 1 cup of molasses in any recipe I find, knowing that it will likely never be used again.
Molasses tends to be a little more expensive than other options, but have a thicker syrup, a bolder sugary taste, and can be very nutritious.
The Differences in Types of Molasses
Molasses is essentially a product made by boiling the juice of sugarcane or sugar beets and then extracting sugar crystals through a centrifuge.
All this means is that the outer coating of the raw sugar crystals is washed (or boiled) away, leaving the crystal interior behind being the purest form of sugar, and the remaining sugar is then dissolved to make a syrup. (Wikipedia)
More stages of boiling (and extraction) may follow to produce an increasingly intense flavor. Molasses that just goes through first boil is typically called mild or “Barbados” molasses.
Syrup that goes through a second boil is sometimes called “full” because of it’s slightly fuller, more intense flavor.
Finally, syrup that is boiled a third time creates “Blackstrap” molasses by name, the most intense and bitter molasses. Many have stated that Blackstrap molasses isn’t appropriate for cooking as it is too intense, and even tastes a little burnt. (America’s Test Kitchen)
Do you like using molasses in your recipes?
Health Benefits of Molasses
As molasses is derived from a natural product like sugar cane or sugar beet, it usually retains a variety of healthy vitamins and minerals. This makes it a nutritious source of energy compared to just plain sugar.
As Blackstrap molasses is all that’s left after all of the sugar has been boiled out, it is the healthiest version of molasses there is, with the greatest amount of nutrients.
Magnesium is the nutrient found in the largest amount in molasses. It assists in keeping your immune system healthy, and it also plays a large role in the maintenance of your nerves, muscles, and bones.
Molasses also contains large amounts of nutrients such as manganese, copper, iron, potassium. Manganese is an amazing antioxidant, and copper helps you metabolize iron and also assists in extracting energy from the foods you eat.
Iron helps your red blood cells transport oxygen to all the tissues of your body, and potassium serves many functions in your body, including transmission of nerve signals, muscle contraction, regulation of blood pressure, maintenance of fluid balance and proper heart function. (LiveStrong)
By adding molasses to your daily diet by including it in smoothies, hot drinks, muffins, and other baked goods, you will certainly benefit from all of the added nutrients this product can offer in comparison to traditional sweeteners.
Let’s look at one great way to add this amazing product into your regular diet!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 (1 1/2 cups) package dates
- 2 tablespoons almond flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare several cookie sheets by lining them with aluminum foil and spraying them generously with cooking spray.
- Let’s start with your filling so it has time to cook while you’re making the cookie dough.
- In a large saucepan over low heat, add your butter and sugar and stir until they are completely melted.
- Mix in your vanilla and let cook for a minute or so.
- On the side, finely chop up your package of dates. You won’t want any huge chunks in your cookies, so you’ll want to chop them up really small.
- Add your dates and water to your cooking sugar mixture. Stir well.
- Bring your mixture to a slow boil, on medium to medium-high heat or so and cook for about 15 minutes until thick.
- You will want to stir your mixture every so often to keep it from burning to the bottom of your pan.
- In the meantime, we’ll begin making the cookie dough.
- In a large bowl, cream your butter and brown sugar until it’s as chunk free and lightly colored as you can get it. Pull out your hand mixer for this. It’s about to get thick.
- Add in your egg and blend well.
- If you mix your warm water and molasses in a small bowl on the side before adding in to your mixture, it will make it a lot easier to mix.
- Finally add your vanilla and mix in well.
- In a medium bowl on the side, mix your flour, baking soda, xanthan gum (if your flour doesn’t already contain it), and all of your spices.
- Slowly add your dry flour mixture, into your wet molasses mixture one half cup at a time, blending well in between half cups.
- You will be trying to achieve a nice thick dough for your cookies.
- Cover with a damp towel and pop it into the refrigerator for at least 15-20 minutes before cooking.
- When your filling mixture is thick, turn off the heat on the stove, and add your 2 tablespoons of almond flour.
- Set aside on the counter to cool before using for filling.
- When your dough has chilled, you will want to spoon out 1 tablespoon to 1 tablespoon and a half of dough into your hand.
- Roll it into a ball. Press two fingers into the middle of your dough ball to create a spot for your date filling in the middle of your cookie.
- Spoon about a teaspoon or two of your date mixture in the center of your dough ball and pinch the edges together to seal it in.
- Repeat this process for all of your cookie dough and date filling.
- Place your filled dough balls gently onto your prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for about 15 minutes. If you wish, sprinkle your cookies with a little bit of white or brown sugar before baking for a treat.
- Yummy! Yummy!
|Serving size: 1 cookie|
|Calories from Fat||36|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 4 g||6%|
|Carbohydrates 22 g||7%|
|Fiber 1 g||4%|
|Protein 2 g||4%|
|Cholesterol 10 mg||3%|
|Sodium 91 mg||4%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
You may see some of your date filling liquid coming out of the sides of your cookies and that's perfectly okay.
Because the filling is pretty chunky, most of it will stay in your cookies and make them moist and chewy.
If you'd prefer, once your cookies come out of the oven, sprinkle them with white or brown sugar, sprinkle them with nuts and lightly dust them with powdered sugar, or even sprinkle them with oatmeal.
There's no wrong way to enjoy them.
These delicious, fluffy cookies will both delight and surprise all of your guests when they break open your cookies and find a juicy date filled surprise inside.
And what's even better, these juicy delights are gluten-free and good for you!
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© 2013 Victoria Van Ness