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Sunny cashew-apricot energy cookies (raw)

August 15, 2011

Matt and I spent the weekend before last at Kanrocksas, the KC area’s new (and very poorly-named, if you ask me) answer to Lollapalooza. We rocked out to the likes of Muse, A Perfect Circle, and Primus while sweating our asses off in the near 100-degree heat. We were also surrounded by fair food, from corn dogs and greasy pizza to funnel cakes and fried cheesecake bites. Luckily for us, I’d brought provisions, in the form of these raw “energy cookies.” I threw them together at the last minute with what I had on hand, but they were so tasty, I decided to briefly break from travel posting to share them with you.

Sunny Cashew-Apricot Energy Cookies (raw)

1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons vegan protein powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely ground and the dates are well-incorporated.

Press the mixture into a wax-paper-lined 8- or 9-inch square pan and freeze for at least one hour. When frozen, cut into 12 squares. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Yield: 12 bars.
Per bar: 112 calories, 4.5g fat (.5g sat), 16.7g carbs, 2g fiber, 3.3g protein

I was surprised at how much I liked these. Apricots aren’t even one of my favorite dried fruits, yet the synergy between the dates, cashews, sunflower seeds, and apricots created something magical.

I call these “cookies” because I don’t feel they’re sturdy enough to be a “bar,” but that’s another thing I like about them! They’re tender and chewy, even straight out of the freezer, with the perfect amount of sunny, fruity sweetness. Let me know if you try them, and how you like them!

UPDATE, 8/18: I want to give a big ‘thank you’ to Erik at for featuring these cookies on his blog the other day! (You do already have Erik’s 99-cent Ultimate Vegan Guide e-book…right? If not, GET IT! You don’t even need a Kindle to read it.)

3 years ago…
Dumplings & peach cakes at Po’s
2 years ago…
July leftovers
1 year ago…
Chocolate chip banana muffins
FΓΌD: KC’s newest vegan eatery
Adventure at the Berry Patch

80 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2011 1:25 pm

    YUM! I have been craving dried apricots. I read they are high in iron so I need to get some that have no sulphur or other crap. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 1, 2011 5:05 pm

      Good to know about the iron in apricots! My mom always used to tell me raisins are high in iron too.

  2. August 15, 2011 1:29 pm

    these cookies are so pretty- i love their golden color. i really want to make them πŸ˜‰

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 1, 2011 5:05 pm

      Thank you! Let me know if you do πŸ˜€

  3. August 15, 2011 1:34 pm

    Ooooh tasty. I love that this use sunflower seeds too. So cheap!

  4. August 15, 2011 1:38 pm

    What a great, healthy treat! I rarely think to use dried apricots these days, but I do love them. I’ll have to try this, and soon.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 1, 2011 5:06 pm

      Agreed, they often lie forgotten in my pantry. Never again!

  5. August 15, 2011 1:53 pm

    These sound great! I love dried apricots. πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 1, 2011 5:07 pm

      I think I have a new appreciation for them, myself!

  6. August 15, 2011 2:32 pm

    Cute name! I like the inclusion of the apricots, sunflower seeds & vegan protein powder, especially πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 1, 2011 5:07 pm

      I couldn’t resist sneaking a little protein in there!

  7. August 15, 2011 2:37 pm

    Oh these look delicious!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 1, 2011 5:07 pm


  8. Cara permalink
    August 15, 2011 2:37 pm

    These look yummy – I’ve copied the recipe!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 1, 2011 5:08 pm

      Let me know how you like them!

  9. Gurl Gone Raw permalink
    August 15, 2011 2:38 pm

    I am going to have to make these!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 1, 2011 5:08 pm

      I’d love to hear what you think of them πŸ™‚

  10. August 15, 2011 3:51 pm

    These look so great. With “Sunny” in the title, I expected some citrus…how do you think they’d be with added orange juice or zest? I’ll have to try to make them and find out!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 15, 2011 4:19 pm

      I was thinking “sunny” because of a) the golden apricots, and b) the sunflower seeds, but I love the idea of adding a little citrus zest! A teaspoon or so of lemon or orange zest (or something even gutsier, like grapefruit!) could add a real pop to the flavor of these. Let me know if you try making them that way!

  11. Colby permalink
    August 15, 2011 4:24 pm

    I will be making these Friday night! Thanks for the recepie!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 15, 2011 4:59 pm

      SWEET! Let me know how they turn out! πŸ˜€

  12. August 15, 2011 4:51 pm

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmm you know what would be sooo good? Orange zest! I don’t know why but I totally think apricot and orange go together well!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 15, 2011 4:57 pm

      I think a little citrus zest would be a great addition! I’m anti-orange, personally (don’t know why, but I’ve always hated that flavor) but like I told foodfeud above, I bet lemon or even grapefruit zest would be awesome!

  13. a head doing the stomachs bidding permalink
    August 15, 2011 4:56 pm

    yummy! My stomach thanks you for posting this.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 15, 2011 4:58 pm

      Haha, best commenter-name ever! πŸ™‚ And your stomach is quite welcome!

  14. August 15, 2011 5:10 pm

    yum! these look really good and I have some dates leftover from making lara bars and raw pie, so I might have to give these a try!!

    i agree Kanrocksas was a silly name for it, i wanted to go because I am a huge muse fan but knowing it was in august and I hate heat, i skipped!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 1, 2011 5:08 pm

      Muse was probably my #1 reason for going, and boy did they ever make it worth it. ❀

  15. August 15, 2011 6:10 pm

    Wow–these look amazing. I love apricots…and cashews πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing it!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 1, 2011 5:09 pm

      Me too! And thanks πŸ˜€

  16. August 15, 2011 6:12 pm

    Oh and i totally need new recipes to make protein bars for my new workout routine!!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 1, 2011 5:09 pm

      You could probably even double the protein in these without affecting the taste too much!

  17. August 15, 2011 6:50 pm

    Yum! Those look reallyreallyreally good. I am loving raw snackbars right now!


    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 1, 2011 5:10 pm

      I’m a fiend for snack bars too…actually, I’m just a fiend for snacks πŸ˜‰

  18. August 15, 2011 9:40 pm

    They look absolutely divine Amber, well done you gorgeous clever cook! LOl! xox

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 1, 2011 5:10 pm

      Aw, thank you Priscilla!

  19. August 15, 2011 10:08 pm

    you just created the newest flavor for laraBar!!! Maybe submit it to them!! They sound delish!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 1, 2011 5:10 pm

      Hehe, not a bad idea!

  20. August 16, 2011 6:07 am

    Oh golly! I’ve been making fruit-nut raw snacks like a madwoman for months now, but how have I never thought to throw in my Sunwarrior? Thanks love, you’re a clever lady indeed!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 1, 2011 5:11 pm

      Do it do it!

  21. August 16, 2011 10:47 am

    These look so good! perfect for on-the-go snacking πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 1, 2011 5:11 pm


  22. Samantha permalink
    August 16, 2011 11:01 am

    I love Muse! My boyfriend, Brother, and I went to see them when they played in Nashville last year.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 16, 2011 8:33 pm

      Until the show last weekend, Muse was one of only two out my top 25 or so favorite bands that I’d yet to see live. They worth SO worth the wait. You couldn’t pick my jaw up off the ground. I ❀ Matt Bellamy, he is just simply one of a kind.

  23. August 16, 2011 3:08 pm

    I love the colour of these cookies! They sound tasty πŸ™‚ I really like apricots, but I forget about them all the time :S Need to change that πŸ˜‰

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 17, 2011 6:36 pm

      I’m a fan of the sunny hue, too! I forget about apricots a lot of the time, too – I can tell you, this recipe will fix that for you!

  24. Rachel permalink
    August 16, 2011 8:31 pm

    Yum! These are really good! Tried them tonight for my apricot loving hubby. :-). They were a hit! (I had no doubts anyway. πŸ™‚ )

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 16, 2011 8:32 pm

      Rachel, that’s awesome! Thanks so much for letting me know you tried them and loved them! πŸ˜€

  25. August 16, 2011 10:51 pm

    Yum. I love any blog post that uses the term synergy.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 17, 2011 6:35 pm

      High-five for vocab! πŸ˜› I love that word too.

  26. Melissa permalink
    August 18, 2011 12:27 pm

    I made these the other day!! BIG hit @ my house!!! YUMMO!! thanx!!! πŸ™‚

  27. Jillian permalink
    August 18, 2011 12:27 pm

    I just made these this morning! Delicious and perfect before my workout!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 1, 2011 5:11 pm

      YAY! So happy to hear it, Jillian!

  28. Clara permalink
    August 18, 2011 12:29 pm

    No wonder featured them! They look sooooo yummy! πŸ˜€

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 1, 2011 5:11 pm

      Aw, thanks Clara!

  29. August 18, 2011 10:20 pm

    Your apricot energy squares look delicious! I have quite a penchant for dried apricots, so this looks especially yummy. πŸ™‚

    I wanted to go to Kanrocksas (which does have a crappy name, lol), but I have a pretty straight job for now. I used to go to Schwag before it got cancelled, but I can’t wait to get on the music festival circuit again. Wakarusa in 2012 for sure!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 1, 2011 5:12 pm

      Would you believe I’ve never been to Wakarusa?

  30. August 20, 2011 7:34 pm

    These are fantastic! Had to make a second batch as we have been using them as energy bars after karate and kickboxing classes for my husband and I. They sure do taste something similar to a larabar, but better. Plus, I didn’t freeze them at all. Just rolled them into a ball and put them in the fridge and are fantastic that way. We call them energy balls. Thanks again for the fantastic recipe!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 22, 2011 9:47 am

      Karate AND kickboxing? Clearly you guys are both badasses πŸ˜› I love the “energy ball” variation – nice and poppable! I’m so very happy you like them. πŸ˜€

  31. Bethany permalink
    August 21, 2011 9:26 pm

    they look AMAZING!!! going to pick up the ingredients tomorrow.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 22, 2011 9:48 am

      Great!! let me know what you think of them πŸ™‚

  32. August 22, 2011 9:38 am

    Finally got some dried apricots and made these yesterday! Very good. The only problem was they were a bit crumbly, after taking them out of the freezer. Maybe I should’ve added just a tsp of water or something to help keep them together more…?? Anyway, I cut them and put them back in the freezer. I’ll have one in a bit, before my workout today πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 22, 2011 9:46 am

      Glad you made them, Tanya! They can end up crumbly if you don’t take care to pack them down into the pan REALLY well. It helps me if I lay an additional piece of wax paper over them and then use a flat-bottomed jar or cup to press down really hard. However, since you’ve already cut them, we may have to get creative here…I’m thinking you could melt a little coconut oil, then gently brush a thin layer across all sides of the cookies, then re-freeze. That just might “seal” them together a little better!
      Hope that helps πŸ™‚

  33. Harmien permalink
    August 28, 2011 5:26 am

    Just made a batch for boyfriend and his running buddies. They cleared the plate!
    I helped… *grin*… Delicious!! Thank you!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 1, 2011 5:12 pm

      Woohoo! I’m so happy to hear everyone liked them!

  34. September 2, 2011 1:17 pm

    I made these but used figs instead of dates, because I have a habit of shopping without a list and got confused, and the figs were calling to me. Delicious. Even my husband liked them and he was skeptical and said they are just as good as the cliff bars he buys. I am going to make a lot more and try adding in different things. A batch with chocolate chips….because sometimes a girl just needs chocolate. πŸ˜‰

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 2, 2011 1:20 pm

      Ooh, FIGS! What a great idea! I may have to try that now.
      Let me know how your future batches turn out! πŸ˜€

  35. Marianthi permalink
    January 31, 2012 5:51 pm

    The first time I made these I added Maca powder which really overpowered them, so I made them again yesterday and added some cranberries and a dash of coconut oil, and now they are divine! Thanks Amber, can’t wait to buy your book! You have inspired me to try new things and experiment on my own!

    • January 31, 2012 6:04 pm

      Interesting about the maca – that SOUNDS like it would be a good addition, but I guess it just goes to show you, you never know till you try. But I bet they were GREAT with cranberries! So happy you liked them and thank you so much for your support of my book. πŸ™‚

  36. Jeannine permalink
    July 10, 2012 11:42 am

    I wonder if another dried fruit would work with this recipe? Apricots are on my foods to avoid list .. sigh. (from a food intolerance test)

    • July 10, 2012 11:44 am

      Certainly! Try any dried fruit you like – golden raisins would be great. Also check out the Build-Your-Own-Energy Bars recipe on page 188 of my book Practically Raw – I provide tons of fruit/nut combo options!

      • Jeannine permalink
        July 10, 2012 11:49 am

        Thank you! Also I’m curious if you will be working on a vegan cookbook for people with auto-immune diseases? Now that you’re part of the club (nice club huh? got roped in without signing up!). Seems like gluten-free is as big thing for all auto-immune problems, and also other health issues such as autism. I’m also finding it tough to avoid soy.. yep, the latest thing added to the list of ‘do not eat’ for me. Sigh.

      • July 10, 2012 1:24 pm

        Haha! Well, basically…I already did πŸ™‚ All the recipes in Practically Raw, in addition to being vegan, are gluten-free and soy-free! My next cookbook(s) will be the same way. πŸ˜€

  37. November 23, 2012 5:53 pm

    Thank you these were good, I can’t say I followed the recipe 100%. I doubled the apricots, used pepitas(pumpkin seed) instead of sunflower seeds, no protein as mine is vanilla flavoured, but 2 T of ground chia seed.

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