Award-winning food photographer, stylist and recipe developer Jerrelle Guy is founder of the popular food blog Chocolate for Basil. Her new collection of recipes, Black Girl Baking, is a wonderful, heartfelt journey through her relationship with food and cooking, and a worthy addition to your culinary library. This vegan cashew cookie dough will make you wonder why cashews aren’t invited to dessert more often.
For the holidays, I’ve made it an unfailing tradition to bake my big brother a batch of macadamia nut cookies served with an extra side of cookie dough. First, I toast the nuts lightly on a sheet pan to bring out the oils, because there’s nothing like the smell it makes as it browns. That coupled with the nutty scent of the browned butter creates a rich caramel smell that I’ve started to associate with him being back home. You can barely taste the cashews here, but it’s a nice trick to make the no-bake cookie dough creamy and scoopable.
Note: This dough can also be frozen, just allow it to sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften before scooping.
Optional Add-Ins: Toasted pecans, toasted walnuts, toasted sliced almonds, chocolate chips, sprinkles, 1 cup of rolled oats, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter powder, ¼ cup of sifted cocoa powder, shredded coconut.
- 1 cup raw macadamia nuts
- 1/2 cup butter, dairy-free if desired
- 2 cups cashews, soaked or boiled to soften
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups oat flour
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (optional)
- Gluten-free ice cream cones, for serving (optional)
For the cookie dough
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Spread the macadamia nuts on a half sheet pan. Bake the nuts for 8 to 10 minutes, or until you begin to smell them and their color turns golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook, swirling the pan often, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until it starts to turn golden brown. Once it reaches a certain temperature it will darken quickly, so be sure to watch it — you don’t want it to burn. The boiling butter will sound like a water faucet running, and it’ll smell rich like caramel. Remove it from the heat and pour the butter into a separate dish to cool completely, leaving behind any burnt bits at the bottom of the pan.
Drain the soaked cashews, add them to a food processor or blender along with the cooled brown butter and pulse until a smooth paste is formed (this may take a few minutes).
Add the cashew butter paste to a large mixing bowl or stand mixer along with the brown sugar, vanilla and salt, and beat until combined. Add the flour and continue to mix until incorporated. Fold in the toasted macadamia nuts and the white chocolate chips, if using. Transfer the mixture to a container and refrigerate until chilled and ready to serve. Scoop into ice cream cones, if you like, and top with any of your other favorite toppings.