No-Bake Apricot Coconut Oatmeal Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

Some people live for endless summer. I am not one of them. I start crabbing as soon as the temperature goes over 75° and I don't stop until the leaves start turning. It's the heat AND the humidity and I'm just a big pill about the whole thing. It doesn't help that our house isn't air-conditioned (which I don't like either—BIG pill), which pretty much puts the kibosh on my love of baking. The last thing you want when the temps are hovering in the 90s is the crank up the oven to 500° to bake a loaf of bread or a batch of cookies, but I do it anyway and then crab about it endlessly. I think I keep baking in the summer because I'm such a crank that if I don't woo people with treats, they'll most likely want to kill me or at least tape my mouth shut. 

Summer and cranky people are why no-bake cookies were invented. You get your cookies and you keep your cool. WIN! You'd think that, for me, no-bake would be a no-brainer, wouldn't you? And you would be wrong. Because based on my research (Google), it seems that the majority of no-bake treats contain chocolate (eh). Or nuts (HATE!) Or worse still—and I can barely say the words—peanut butter. Which I detest with the power of a thousand blazing suns. So no-bake has been a no-go for me. Til now. 

I am in love, love, love with these no-bake apricot coconut oatmeal cookies and I couldn't be happier that I stumbled on them. No chocolate, no nuts, no peanut butter. Wheeee! Instead, they're chockfull of things I love—dried apricots, oatmeal, dates, lemon. I didn't even mind the coconut (not the biggest fan). I don't know that I'd consider them to be a cookie-cookie—more like a handful of dried fruit—but they're shaped like a cookie, they look cookie-ish and Tess the Blender Girl calls them cookies, so I'm running with it. Whatever you want to call them, they're tangy, they're bright, they're chewy and satisfying, they're full of good-for-you stuff…and they're dead easy. (Oh, and they're also raw, vegan and gluten-free if you're into that sort of thing.) You do need a food processor—I can't see any way around that, but you should have one anyway, right?—and a food dehydrator does makes things a lot easier, but there's a workaround if you don't have one. From start to finish (not including the dehydrating part) if these took me 15 minutes it was a lot. Almost instant gratification, which will put a smile on the face of even the worst summertime crabby pants. 

No-Bake Cookies are the theme for this month's #CreativeCookieExchange, just in time for summer. Be sure to check out the links below for some amazing cookies!

No-Bake Apricot Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups dried apricots
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed grated fresh apple (about 2 medium apples)
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
  • 4 Tbsp raw unrefined coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp coconut nectar (or maple syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions

  1. Throw all ingredients into the bowl of food processor and pulse until the mixture is thoroughly blended and holds together. Adjust ingredients to taste, if preferred. (I added a couple of teaspoons more coconut nectar for sweetness and two lemons' worth of zest because one can never have too much lemon).
  2. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and scoop into balls, then flatten into a cookie shape.
  3. Place the cookies onto dehydrator racks lined with mesh sheets and dehydrate at 100°F for 10-15 hours (time will depend on the size of your cookies or your preference.)* The cookies will be dense and chewy. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe from The Blender Girl

Notes

*If you don't have a dehydrator, preheat your oven to 300°F, then turn off the heat, place the cookies inside, close the door and let cool. Repeat this process until the cookies reach your preferred consistency. 

I always use organic ingredients for raw foods.

Unlike nuts and peanut butter, I can deal with coconut, even though it's not a favorite. I don't particularly care for the texture so I was very happy to find Let's Do Organics finely shredded coconut. It's, well, finely shredded so it doesn't overwhelm. 

I used Wholesome's Organic Coconut Palm Syrup, which, I'm assuming is the same thing as coconut nectar. Readily available in the organic section of the regular grocery store, at least in my area.

I used a medium size cookie scoop for smaller cookies, which gave me a yield of around 30.

#CreativeCookieExchange No-Bake Cookies

Too hot to turn on your oven? The theme this month for the Creative Cookie Exchange group is No Bake Cookies! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links. You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes—be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). We all post on the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking (or this month "no baking"), check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made: