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Crunchy salted cashew cookies

May 4, 2010

I found this recipe via Baking Bites and it immediately ascended to the top of my to-bake list. Cashews occupy the #2 spot on my list of favorite nuts (#3 being pecans, and #1 being, well, inappropriate), and a recent trip to Costco had netted me several pounds of them. These cookies were easy to veganize, and turned out so good on their own that I didn’t even bother sandwiching them with dulce de leche (though you should feel free to do so!). This may look like a lot of steps, but it’s really not; I’m just a nut butter fiend and went overboard taking pictures.

2 1/2 cups roasted, salted cashews
2 Tbsp peanut oil (or canola oil)
8 Tbsp (1 stick) Earth Balance, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
3 Tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp coarse sea salt (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats. Place the cashews in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Remove 1/2 cup chopped cashews and set aside. Add the peanut (or canola) oil to the remaining cashews and process for one minute, until smooth. Mmm, homemade cashew butter!

Add the Earth Balance, sugar, and brown sugar…

…and process until smooth and creamy.

Add the flaxseed, water, and vanilla…

…and pulse until thoroughly combined. Add the flours in two parts, and pulse until just barely combined. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the reserved chopped cashews.

Grease your hands with cooking spray and mix in the cashews by hand. Roll dough into about 36 balls (minus, as usual, the amount you snack on raw), placing 12 at a time on the baking sheet. Use a greased fork to press the cookies flat (like you would with peanut butter cookies; you can do a single fork mark or make a cross-hatch).

Sprinkle with coarse sea salt, if desired, and bake for 7-9 minutes (err on the side of underbaking). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely (but they’re great warm, too!).

I never even got a closeup of one of the finished cookies, but in the picture below, the ones on the top pan just came out of the oven. After the cookies cool, their oily softness turns crispy and crunchy. Very reminiscent of PB cookies in flavor, the use of cashews adds a dimension of especial (monounsaturated) fattiness. I love how salty these are, too; the salt plays perfectly off the nuttiness and brown-sugared-sweetness. This made a pretty big batch, so a few days later, I actually ground up the last several cookies with just a little more oil, pressed the mixture into a greased pie plate, and froze it. Later, I used it as a cashew-licious crust for a vanilla pudding pie. Yum!

Yield: 3 dozen cookies.
Per cookie: 126 calories, 7.7g fat (1.5g sat), 12.9g carbs, 1g fiber, 2.1g protein.

If you like this, you might also like…
Nutella-stuffed peanut butter cookies
Raw pecan pie cookies
Choc-oat banana walnut cookies

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2010 6:39 pm

    Yum, yum, yum! 🙂

  2. May 4, 2010 10:02 pm

    You just made me snort out loud with your favourite nuts comment. It was not very ladylike of me, I must admit. Amber, why can’t we live in the same country?

    P.S. These, as always, look divine, even though cashews are not my current favourite nut. Pistachios for that, I think.

  3. May 5, 2010 10:06 am

    YUM! I could seriously go for one of those right about now :> They look delicious!

  4. May 5, 2010 11:40 am

    these look so good…..i think i would have eaten them out of the food processor raw 🙂

  5. May 5, 2010 1:46 pm

    ohhhhh i love the looks of those!! I also love your take on your diet – – almost vegan. Great concept for your blog!

  6. May 7, 2010 2:59 pm

    Oh! Lovely! I made cashew cookies too today. Writing it up now!

  7. May 21, 2010 10:20 am

    Hannah—Haha! No worries; ladylike behavior tends to go out the proverbial window with me as well when nuts are involved 😛
    P.S. I totally blame you and that pistachio pastry you featured for causing me to buy a 2-lb bag of pistachios at Costco last month, eat them by the handful ever since, and polish them off just this morning.

    Fit&40—I did a lot of that myself! I almost didn’t have room for a baked cookie :]

    Beth—Thanks 😀 I’m loving your site too, and congrats on the weight loss!

  8. May 25, 2010 7:47 pm

    I feel no guilt about that. 😉 Only envy that I don’t have a Costco here to do the same!

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