What’s Inside: These Soft-Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies are a delicious and nutritious way to satisfy your sweet tooth while staying allergen-friendly and simple. They’re Paleo, AIP-friendly (so, nut-free and egg-free), sweetened with dates, and they take less than 30 minutes to make!
Easy (and Healthy) Chocolate Chip Cookies
The hardest part about embracing a new dietary lifestyle like AIP or Paleo is breaking up some of your favorite foods. For me and many of my nutritional therapy clients, that includes desserts like warm, soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies. So, I knew I had to create a gut-friendly, healthy chocolate chip cookie recipe that would satisfy this craving whenever it strikes.
I’m proud to say that this Soft-Baked Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe does just that! With nutritious ingredients like tigernut flour and Medjool dates, these refined sugar-free cookies taste as good as they’ll make you feel. So, what are you waiting for? Get to baking (it won’t take long)!
Just getting started on AIP (or need a refresh)?
Here's an easy 1-week meal plan using some of my most popular AIP recipes to make it stress-free and delicious.
But How Can You Omit Sugar in Cookies?
Well, technically you don’t! You just find the best quality sweeteners that agree with your body, ideally in a whole food form so you can benefit from the fiber that comes along with it. You can achieve the necessary sweetness without any artificial sweeteners or refined sugar in this recipe primarily by using Medjool dates.
In addition to being a low-glycemic natural sweetener, dates also aid in creating a soft, chewy cookie, which was exactly what I craved in this chocolate chip cookie recipe.
The date purée or paste also acts as a binding agent in place of eggs, keeping these chocolate chip cookies AIP- and vegan-friendly!
Dates contain sucrose and fructose, same as most fruits... but when we use a sweetener in its whole food form (like dates, fruit, raw honey, or maple syrup), we are also getting other nutrients from it. In the case of dates and whole fruit, we'll get fiber with it too, which can help our body make better use of the sweetener vs. refined sugar that's just the sugar and nothing else. Adding fat (like the oil) helps to prevent sugars from spiking your blood sugar excessively.
Medjool Dates: These serve as the sweetener for my Paleo chocolate chip cookies. They also are what make these soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies and serve as a binding agent for the dough.
Hot Water: This is what you’ll soak the dried dates in to soften them up. The water and the dates will be blended with the other wet ingredients to create the batter.
Olive Oil: These AIP cookies need some fat, so that’s why we’re using extra-virgin olive oil. It both holds the cookies together and helps them stay soft while getting golden brown. You won’t necessarily taste it, so if you have to swap it with coconut oil, that works too.
Vanilla Extract: Opt for the alcohol-free variety, or just omit entirely to make these chocolate chip cookies AIP-friendly.
Tigernut Flour: This Paleo flour is perfect for baking, is nut-free yet has a sweet nutty flavor. Tigernuts are actually a tuber or root vegetable! So, yeah… these cookies are kinda like eating vegetables.
Baking Soda: This helps the cookies rise and also helps to bind the ingredients together.
Chocolate Chips: You can also use dark chocolate chunks, or to make them AIP-compliant, go with homemade carob chips or raisins.
Flakey Sea Salt: This is an optional garnish, but I highly recommend using it because it instantly elevates the rich chocolate flavor and sweetness from the dates.
If you’re gluten-free, then you know that there are a ton of flour alternatives out there (I.e., almond flour, arrowroot flour, cassava flour, and so many more). But have you ever tried tigernut flour? If not, this healthy chocolate chip cookie recipe is a great way to experiment!
A tigernut isn’t actually a tree nut at all, like the name implies. It’s a small root vegetable that’s naturally gluten-free, making it also AIP- and Paleo-friendly. It’s a safe flour alternative option for anyone with nut allergies who still want to enjoy baked goods.
Tigernut flour is one of my favorite gluten-free flours to cook with, and I’ve made several recipes with it including:
Prep Your Baking Station: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Rehydrate Your Dates: Prepare the Medjool date paste by soaking the pitted dates in the hot (boiling) water for 15 minutes.
Combine Your Wet Ingredients: After your dates have plumped up, pour all of this mixture (including the water) into a food processor or high-speed blender. Add the vanilla and olive oil, and blend into a fine paste. Set aside.
Prepare the Dry Ingredients: To a large mixing bowl, add sifted flour (you may push flour through a fine mesh strainer in a separate bowl and then measure out the 1 1/2 cups or use a flour sifter). Next, add the baking soda, and mix to incorporate.
Make the Cookie Dough: Add the date paste to the bowl with the dry ingredients, and mix everything together using a spatula or large spoon until your cookie dough forms. Fold in your chocolate chips (or AIP subs like carob chips or raisins).
Bake the Cookies: Scoop out a heaping tablespoon of cookie dough and drop onto the lined baking sheet. Press down wit the back of the spoon or your hand to form a round, flat cookie. Bake these cookies for 10-12 minutes until golden on the edges and optionally sprinkle flakey sea salt on top of each cookie while they’re still warm.
Serve: Let cookies rest on a rack for 10 minutes before digging in. Store in an airtight container or cookie jar to keep them soft. Enjoy!
I love serving these Paleo chocolate chip cookies as a snack or dessert with some of my favorite beverages (especially caffeine-free ones), including:
Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to six days on the counter. (But trust me, they won’t last that long!)
These Paleo chocolate chip cookies can also be frozen raw as dough or as fully cooked cookies.
To Store as Raw Dough: Place the prepared snickerdoodle dough on a sheet of wax paper and form into a long roll. Wrap in the wax paper, twisted at the ends to seal it, and place the log in a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze for up to three months.
Baking Frozen Raw Dough: They may need to bake a little longer (an extra minute or two) than they would if using fresh dough, so keep an eye on them in the oven.
To Store as Baked Cookies: Place any leftover baked cookies in a freezer-safe container or bag in the freezer for up to six months. I like to place small pieces of parchment paper in between in case you want to easily detach them one at a time.
Reheating Frozen Baked Cookies: You can reheat in the oven at 275f degrees for 10-15 minutes for the best result.
Tips and Variations
I highly recommend sifting Tigernut flour before measuring it in cups. I like to do this in a large mixing bowl using a fine-mesh sieve or flour sifter. It’s worth the extra few minutes to kick the clumps out and ensure it bakes well (also it saves you on waste and you end up stretching the flour that way).
Add some cinnamon! Cinnamon is a wonderful blood sugar stabilizer. If possible, it’s best to use ceylon cinnamon, as it’s also safe on the elimination phase of AIP, but regular cinnamon is fine, too. Nutmeg or cardamom are a great (non-AIP) option, too.
If you don’t have a tree nut allergy, consider adding some chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts.
More Dessert Recipes To Ty
If you enjoyed these Paleo chocolate-chip cookies, then you’ll love some of my favorite healthy dessert recipes, including:
Soft-Baked Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies (AIP-friendly)
4.61 from 63 votes
These Soft-Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies are a delicious and nutritious way to satisfy your sweet tooth while staying allergen-friendly and simple. They're Paleo, AIP-friendly (so, nut-free and egg-free), sweetened with dates, and fast to make.
Preheat your oven to 350 F degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Make the date paste by soaking the Medjool pitted dates in hot water for 15 minutes and then pour it all (including the water) into a food processor or high-speed blender, add the vanilla, and olive oil as well to blend into a paste. Set aside.
To a large mixing bowl, add sifted flour (you may push flour through a fine mesh strainer in a separate bowl and then measure out the 1 1/2 cups or use a flour sifter). Add the baking soda and mix.
Next, add date paste to the bowl. Mix all together using a spatula or large spoon until your cookie dough forms. Then, fold in your chocolate chips (or AIP subs like carob chips or raisins).
Scoop out a heaping tablespoon of cookie dough and drop onto the lined baking sheet. Press down wit the back of the spoon or your hand to form a round, flat cookie (they will not expand much on their own, so you’ll need to shape them).
Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes until golden on the edges and optionally sprinkle flakey sea salt on top of each cookie while they’re still warm.
Let cookies rest on a rack for 10 minutes before digging in. Store in an airtight container or cookie jar to keep them soft.