I made no-bake raisin cookies for snack day at Darrol's school. They were a hit! This recipe has only three ingredients and comes together in a flash.
Once a month, we provide snack for Darrol's preschool. It's a small school - only 30 kids - and I love that they do communal snack every day! The food rules at his school are really strict, which I totally love. Processed foods are out. Refined sugars are out. They just want you to bring whole fruits and veggies or whole-food prepared snacks.
For our very first snack day, I wanted to make something special, and these no-bake raisin cookies with cashews and coconut felt just right. They're a lower-budget spin on these raw truffles, which use dates as the base.
Buying the four cups of dates to make 30 generous servings was just not in our budget, though. But four cups of raisins was totally doable. Next time I make these, I'm going to try using peanuts instead of cashews for even more budget-friendly power!
Nut Allergy Variations
Darrol's school doesn't have any restrictions about nuts, but if you are making these for kids with allergies, I'd recommend pumpkin seeds instead of cashews or peanuts.
Some schools that don't allow nuts also don't allow coconut. If that's your situation, you can use cocoa powder instead of coconut for both mixing into the dough and for dusting the cookies. In fact, you can do this even if you're not making these for kids with allergies, because chocolate is delicious.
To feed 30 kids, I multiplied this recipe by four. That made 32 cookies, which was about one per kid, plus a couple of extras.
No-Bake Raisin Cookies
Yield: 8 cookies
You can make these a day ahead. In fact, I like them better chilled overnight. Perfect for school snack or for serving to company!
- 1 cup cashews - I used dry roasted and lightly salted, but raw or unsalted would also work fine. (See above for variations, if cashews aren't your thing!)
- ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes (You may need a little bit more, if your dough isn't thickening - see instructions below!)
- 1 cup raisins
- 3 tablespoons water, divided
- about ½ cup additional coconut flakes, for dusting
- Blend the cashews up in your blender or food processor, until you get a flour-like consistency. Some chunks are OK. You’re going for flour, not butter, so it’s better to slightly under-blend than to over-blend. Transfer to a bowl with the coconut, and use a whisk or fork to incorporate these together.
- Throw the raisins in the blender with 2 tablespoons of the water, and blend. You don’t need to get these totally blended into a paste, but you can if you want to. It really depends on whether you like chunks of raisin in your cookies. I vote for chunks, but it’s all about your preference!
- Add the raisin puree to the bowl with the cashew/coconut mixture, and use your fork to mix things up until they get crumbly. At this point, it’s time to dig in with your hands. Knead everything until you get a nice ball of dough that’s slightly sticky. If the dough isn’t coming together, add that last tablespoon of water, one teaspoon at a time until the dough forms a ball. If your raisins were particularly dry, you might even need a bit more water, but the 3 tablespoons worked perfectly in my trials.
- The dough will be pretty sticky, but at this point you should be able to form it into balls. If it's too sticky to work with, add extra coconut, tablespoon by tablespoon, to reach a sticky-but-moldable consistency.
- Divide the dough into 8 balls that are around the same size, flatten them into a fat cookie shape, and coat them in the extra coconut. You can serve these up right away, or chill in the fridge until you’re ready to serve!