If you take the baked route, these cookies are almost instant gratification for a sweet chocolate craving. Either baked or raw, you don’t have to wrestle with a lot of guilt when eating these sugar-free, oil-free, and grain-free treats.
Add the walnuts and dates to the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times just to break them into smaller chunks. Add the applesauce, almond butter, vanilla extract and salt and process until mostly smooth – but to the point where you can still see small pieces of walnuts.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flaxseed meal and the coconut flakes – and the baking soda only if you are baking the cookies. Scrape the walnut-date mixture into the flaxseed meal. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line a baking sheet with Gefen Parchment Paper or a silicone mat, and using a 1/4-cup measure, scoop up some dough, pat it down into the measuring cup and then tap the cup on the palm of your hand so that the dough falls out. Place it on the parchment paper, flatten and neaten up the edges. The cookies should be about one and a half to two inches in diameter. Continue with the remaining dough. Bake for 10 minutes and then carefully flip the cookies over and bake for an additional five minutes. The cookies should be firm but still feel soft.
Let them cook on the pain for a few minutes before placing them on a cooling rack. Serve in an air-tight container.
Line a dehydator tray with a non-stick sheet. Use a 1/4-cup measure to scoop some of the dough, then pat it down into the measuring cup and tap the cup on the palm of your hand so that the dough falls out.
Place it on the non-stick sheet, flatten and neaten up the edges. The cookies should be about one and a half to two inches in diameter. Continue with the remaining dough.
Dehydrate the cookies at 115 degrees for seven to eight hours or until firm yet still soft.
About three hours into dehydrating, gently place the cookies onto a mesh sheet to speed up the drying process. Eat warm out of the dehydrator and store leftovers in an air-tight container.