Tired of desserts made with empty calories? Try these chocolate pistachio brownie cookies

Clean, wholesome, delicious desserts—they're easier to make that you might think

By Karielyn Tillman
Published July 28, 2019 4:30PM (EDT)
 (Skyhorse Publishing)
(Skyhorse Publishing)

Excerpted with permission from Clean Desserts: Delicious No-Bake Vegan and Gluten-Free Cookies, Bars, Balls, and More by Karielyn Tillman. Copyright 2019 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. Also available at Barnes & Noble and your local bookstore.

Clean, wholesome, delicious desserts—they're easier to make that you might think. Tired of desserts made with highly processed ingredients and empty calories that leave you feeling guilty? Then say goodbye to boxed cake mixes, Jell-O, and Cool-Whip, and satisfy your sweet cravings with 72 no-bake desserts you’ll feel good about eating. Featuring vegan, gluten-free, and no-refined sugar recipes (that are simple and easy to make), Clean Desserts uses real food ingredients like nuts, seeds, nut butters, and dates to whip up guilt-free cookies, bars, balls, and classic candy bars, as well as no-bake cheesecakes, tarts, and ice cream!


Yields: 10 small cookies | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Inactive Time: 30 minutes


For the cookies:

  • 1 cup pistachios
  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt

For the pistachio topping:

  • ¼ cup pistachios, chopped


Prepare the pistachio topping:

1. Place the pistachios on a flat surface, like a countertop, and, using the flat side of a butter knife, crush the pistachios into tiny pieces, as small as possible. Set aside.

Prepare the cookies:

1. Prepare a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Add all ingredients for the cookies to a food processor and process until the pistachios and dates are broken down into small pieces and everything is well combined, taking care to not over process.

3. Take one spoonful of the mixture at a time, squeeze it tightly in your fist to make it compact, then gently roll it between the palms of your hands into a ball shape.

4. Flatten the ball between the palms of your hands into a round cookie shape about 2 inches in diameter.

5. Place the chopped pistachios on a flat surface, like a countertop. Take one cookie at a time and press the top of each cookie down into the chopped pistachios.

6. Gently pat the pistachios down into the cookie so they don’t fall off. Place the cookies onto the prepared cookie sheet.

7. Transfer the cookie sheet to the freezer for approximately 30 minutes, or until the cookies are firm.

8. Store in an air-tight container in the freezer or refrigerator until ready to serve, because the cookies will get soft if left out at room temperature.

Karielyn Tillman

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