Healthier “Cookie Dough” Parfaits

Healthier "Cookie Dough" Parfaits | cookiemonstercooking.com

I call this the “trying to cut back on processed sugar but still need something sweet” dessert.  I’ve actually been really good about cutting back on desserts.   A cup of hot tea at night usually does the trick.  But sometimes.  Sometimes I need something dessert-like.  And I wanted something slightly better for me that I could turn to when these crazy cravings kick in.

Now don’t you worry.  The lots of butter cupcake recipes and decadent desserts aren’t going anywhere, I’m just trying to save them for special occasions, holidays – you catch what I’m throwing down, right?

Plus, you can have fun tricking your husband with these little parfaits.  Mine is a big fan of whipped cream but I’ve been loving making it with coconut milk these days.  Which is what I used in this recipe and happened to leave that fact out when he got all excited after seeing them in the fridge.

Healthier "Cookie Dough" Parfaits | cookiemonstercooking.com

And guess what?  He didn’t even notice that something was different until I mentioned it.  Tricky business I tell you.

Now I’m not going to lie and say that the cookie dough portion of this tastes exactly like real cookie dough.  But honestly, it’s pretty darn good and you can get your sweet fix without feeling so heavy or weighed down afterwards.  Winning right there.

And with summer heat already starting to show up in small bursts, it’s also pretty nice to not have to turn on the oven to make these.  Because let’s be honest, I cannot handle the heat – I get cranky and whiny and just want to sit inside and turn up the AC and hibernate until the fall weather returns.

Healthier "Cookie Dough" Parfaits | cookiemonstercooking.com

But since that’s not happening for some time, I’ll drown my sorrows in some jazzy little parfaits.  And maybe make a few trips to the community pool – that part I do like.

Healthier “Cookie Dough” Parfaits
 
Yield: about 4 servings, depending on the size of your jars
Ingredients
For the cookie dough:
  • ½ cup raw walnuts halves
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 5 large medjool dates*
  • ¼ cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
For the whipped cream:
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For topping:
  • coconut flakes, lightly toasted
  • chopped dark chocolate
Instructions
  1. To make the cookie dough - add the walnuts and cashews to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are finely chopped (but don’t go so far that they start to turn into a paste). Add in the dates, chocolate, vanilla extract and salt. Continue to pulse until the dates are finely chopped and the mixture starts to come together in clumps. Set aside.
  2. To make the whipped cream - place a medium mixing bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes to chill. Take the can of chilled coconut milk and turn it upside down. Open the can and pour out the liquid (you don’t need it for this recipe but you can use it in smoothies, etc.). Scoop the hardened coconut cream into the chilled mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, whip the cream until fluffy and smooth. Add in the honey and vanilla extract and beat again until incorporated. Taste and add additional honey if needed.
  3. To assemble - take some of the cookie dough mixture and sort of crumble it into the bottom of a small jar or glass. Spoon on some of the whipped cream and then sprinkle with some of the coconut flakes and chopped dark chocolate. Repeat this process one more time. Serve immediately or you can keep in the refrigerator until ready to eat (the whipped cream will harden / become more mousse-like a bit but it’s still delicious!).
Notes
*For the dates – rip them in half and remove the pit before adding to the food processor. You should have about a heaping ½ cup. You won’t need to remove the pit if you buy ones that already have them removed.

Do NOT skip the step of chilling the coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight (or even longer). Angela from Oh She Glows has some great tips for making coconut whipped cream so see her post for some helpful information.

I usually toast my coconut flakes in a skillet on the stove. I set a small skillet over medium heat, add the coconut flakes and stir frequently until lightly toasted. Watch it closely - it can burn easily if you step away from the pan!

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking. Coconut milk whipped cream method from Oh She Glows.