Nutcracker Cookies

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on December 22, 2011


Some of you might remember that my Grandpa was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma right around this time last year. He had a rocky start to 2011, but his strength carried him through some very tough times and he enjoyed a happy and stable summer and fall season.

He has unfortunately encountered another set back with his health over the past week. He battled a blood infection which landed him back in the hospital. He overcame it with antibiotics, only to find himself with yet another mysterious blood infection, fighting for his life, as of yesterday. It’s been a shock to our family as the doctor said he was in remission just before this all happened.

All this has made me realize that every day we wake up in good health is a day to celebrate. Forget about being down on yourself for the number on the scale, the guilt over yesterday’s indulgences, and whether you think you look “perfect” in your holiday dress.

If you wake up healthy, it’s already a great day.

and my Grandpa would argue, even if you wake up unhealthy it can still be a great day.


This past summer, Grandpa was the best I had seen him since his diagnosis last December. He was vibrant, active, and loving life. Despite his cancer, he carried on life as usual working up at the cottage, visiting with family, and doing renos all summer long.

He’s taught me so much in my life, most importantly, with the right attitude and faith, anything is possible. He is a true role model in my life.


Did I mention he already beat cancer once in his life? He’s one tough cookie!


I actually made these cookies before I found out the news, but in a way, they oddly remind me of my Grandpa. They are both tough cookies.

And of course, I mean that in the best way possible. :)



Nutcracker Cookies

I wanted to come up with my own vegan Christmas cookie this year. After a lot of brainstorming, I envisioned a hearty, nutty cookie with a crisp, toffee-like exterior and a chewy, doughy middle. After several trials, that’s just what they are. Don’t let their homely appearance fool you either, these are one of our favourite cookies to come out of the oven. Toasting the nuts beforehand results in an incredibly flavourful cookie, so don’t skip it. The most important tip I can give you is not to undercook them. You’ll want a golden brown bottom, almost toffee-like in appearance, for the middle to be cooked enough. You’ll see what I mean below.

Yield: 14 cookies


  • 1 cup mixed raw nuts (I used 1/4 cup almonds, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1/4 cup walnuts)
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance*, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed organic brown sugar (105 grams)
  • 1 tbsp almond milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • scant 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup packed pitted dates (60 g), chopped
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour*
  • 1/4 cup ground flax

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Chop nuts and toast in the oven for 12 minutes, watching closely after 10.

2. Meanwhile, melt the Earth Balance in a bowl in microwave. Now whisk in the brown sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth.

3. Whisk in the salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. Chop the pitted dates.

4. Remove nuts from oven and stir into the dough mixture. Stir in the chopped dates.

5. Stir in the flour and then the ground flax. The mixture will be very sticky, but it shouldn’t be so sticky that you can’t handle it. If it is too sticky (and this might be the case if using a different flour), add a tablespoon of flour at a time, but I wouldn’t add more than a couple.

6. Shape into balls (just smaller then golf balls), with lightly wet fingers if necessary. Compact dough together tightly. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. No need to space them out as they don’t spread.

7. Bake for 18 mins at 325F, checking the bottoms after 15-16 mins. To get mine cooked in the middle, I had to slightly brown the bottoms (see below). Cool for 5 mins on the sheet and then transfer to cooling rack. The middle will firm up a bit more as they cool.

*Notes: Coconut oil works as a sub for EB, but the flavour won’t be as buttery. I made a trial with brown rice flour (using 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp flour) and it held together fine, but it was gritty. For a gluten-free version, I suggest using certified GF oat flour. Other flours probably work too!



The cookies come together very easy! Just toast the nuts, mix the batter, chop the dates, add flour and flax, and mix it all together.


Your dough should look like this…sticky!


The dough is really sticky to handle, so if you need to lightly dab your fingers in a bowl of water, feel free. When shaping the cookies, make them just smaller than golf balls and really squeeze the dough to compact it together.


I had to make quite a few trials of these cookies to figure out what the perfect temperature and baking time was. In my oven, 325F and 18 mins of baking time resulted in the perfect cookie. Depending on your baking sheet, oven, and altitude, this time may vary. To get the cookies cooked in the middle, I had to cook them until they were golden brown on the bottom.

This golden bottom, resulted in the perfect middle:


Perfectly cooked middle (after cooling):


If you don’t bake them long enough, you will have an undercooked middle, as shown below:


You don’t want that!

After cooling, they have this amazing toffee-like, chewy, and dough interior with a crispy and crunchy shell! We’re pretty much obsessed with them. For my first original Christmas cookie, I was really pleased with the outcome. Eric insisted I keep all the “failed” trials for him to eat! I’m also freezing a bunch and will give them to family members on the weekend.


Make these cookies for someone you love, maybe even crazy Uncle Ted.

Most of all, never forget your sense of humor during the holiday season.


My Grandpa still has his.

and I’m sure he would agree with me that Nutcrackers are really creepy.


Seriously, creepy.

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{ 137 comments… read them below or add one }

HRCK the Herald December 22, 2011 at 9:35 am

I have ALWAYS found nutcrackers to be a little creepy! They are in the ballet, as well.

These look delicious, and they’re making me wish I could have their toffee/chewy goodness for breakfast right now!


Andrea @ Vegvacious December 22, 2011 at 9:36 am

So sorry to hear about your grandpa’s setback. It sounds like he is a really strong and wonderful man and I’ll be thinking of him and your family and sending lots of positive thoughts & vibes your way!

PS – totally agree – Nutcrackers are seriously creepy dudes


Julie @ Shining From Within December 22, 2011 at 9:37 am

Your grandpa is an inspiration.
It’s so true, too. If you wake up alive and well, or otherwise regardless, it’s a good day.
And there is more important things than looking *perfect* in your holiday dress.

Cheers with nutcracker cookies to your grandpas health and spirit!


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table December 22, 2011 at 9:44 am

Sorry to hear that about your grandpa. He looks like an energetic, positive person! That goes a long way in beating cancer. :)

Your nutcracker cookies sound wonderful! I wonder if I could use chestnuts in them too? And figs in place of some of the dates? I’m out of walnuts and dates. :)

P.S. I’ve always thought nutcrackers were creepy.


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 22, 2011 at 10:03 am

I think these would work with many different nuts and dried fruit! Let me know how they turn out. :)


Natalie December 22, 2011 at 9:44 am

My boyfriend’s mom must have 100 nutcrackers around the house at Christmas. She lines them up along ledges on the stairs, so when you come in the front door they stare down at you. I hate them! Creepy!

Best wishes to your grandpa.


Liz December 22, 2011 at 9:46 am

So sorry to hear about your grandpa Angela. I hope you’ll hear some good news soon. He sounds like a very positive person and must be so proud of you!

Can we talk more about those truffles? I made them the other night and my husband loved them! They were SO good! We had two each. Which leaves 12 to take to my in-laws .. . . if they last that long! :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 22, 2011 at 10:04 am

Thanks Liz!
I’m happy that you enjoyed the truffles! I agree they go fast. I think next time, I will double the batch.


Tanya @ theskyandback December 22, 2011 at 9:50 am

Angela, I’m so sorry to hear about your grandpa! I will be thinking about you and him in the coming days. Please keep us posted. Cancer is a complete bit*h. My mom is battling stage IV breast cancer right now. But she is putting up an awesome fight and your grandpa will, too!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 22, 2011 at 10:06 am

I’m sorry to hear about your mom Tanya, but glad to hear she is such a fighter. There is something to be said about a strong spirit. Sending positive thoughts her way.


Zugey December 22, 2011 at 9:50 am

Peace and healing energy to your wonderful grandpa. I will keep him in my thoughts and prayers. Yes, waking up each day to a healthy self is a gift all on its own. To life, health, and delicious eats! Looking forward to making these cookies this weekend, since I made the berry bliss oat bars and pumpkin spiced donuts this past Sunday; absolutely delicious treats. Thanks, Angela!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 22, 2011 at 10:08 am

Thanks Zugey, I couldn’t agree more. Glad to hear those recipes turned out for you.


kimberly December 22, 2011 at 9:51 am

Angela, your grandpa is SO CUTE! I am a nursing student, and I love all these little old men I get as patients all the time. They are adorable, tell the best stories, and often have such a positive outlook, it’s just inspiring. I truly hope he feels better and things can be resolved, especially with the holidays approaching. Just keep the faith! It sounds like with you he has a wonderful support system in place.
The cookies look awesome, but I am with Liz… I am so excited to make your truffles. I am actually planning on giving them away as a gift, too. Yay!


Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 22, 2011 at 9:52 am

First, so sorry to hear about your grandpa and the setback and challenges he is going through. I will keep him and your whole family in my thoughts and prayers. This is an especially hard time of year to have anyone going through something so tough.

The cookies…oh, wow! The shot of them before baking…I doubt I would have even bothered with baking them :) Seriously I love dough of all kinds and yes I love the toffee/caramelized sugar vibe but raw dough usually trumps that.

You did an amazing job with them from recipe development to the photos…wonderful work!


Em December 22, 2011 at 9:58 am

sending your grandpa positive vibes of the most potent kind :)


Melissa December 22, 2011 at 9:59 am

I’m so sorry. My thoughts and prayers will be with your grandpa and your family.


The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh December 22, 2011 at 10:03 am

I LOVE those buckets. Where did you find them?

I’m so sorry to hear about your grandpa! My FIL had MM. If you need to talk to someone who understands the struggle, feel free to shoot me an email. My FIL had a good amount of success with a stem cell transplant. If they find your grandpa has relapsed, *insist* they run the blood test for refracted MM which is usually how it comes back and is highly treatable when diagnosed early. It could’ve saved my FIL’s life and if one person can benefit from this info, it’s worth sharing.


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 22, 2011 at 10:22 am

Thanks so much for your support and advice. He is having extensive blood testing done today, so hopefully we will know more soon.

The containers are from Bulk Barn :)


Diane December 22, 2011 at 10:05 am

Hi! My grandpa also had multiple myloma. The thing is they can go into remission but will mostly likely get spots somewhere in their body again. My grandpa’s were in his lower back vertabrae. He was in so much pain and Fought the good fight until he just let himself go home in 2004. I will be trying to make these wonderful cookies this year. Grandpa’s are tough cookies aren’t they! I miss mine and was just wishing last night that I could talk to him. This is what I was looking for! Thanks for your blog and sharing your heart with us. With love, Diane


Elisabetta December 22, 2011 at 10:06 am

Oh, Angela, so sorry for your granpa. My prayers will add to yours. I can understand your feelings because last year in the days before Christmas my grandma was in hospital and she was so ill and bad… It’s hard to live such situation while people out there are laughing and having fun. Wishing you, your granpa and your family all the best.


Lauren @ What Lauren Likes December 22, 2011 at 10:22 am

Nutcrackers are downright creepy! I am making these cookies now, I love how they remind you of your grandpa! Tough cookie is right! :)


Carolyn December 22, 2011 at 10:22 am

Your grandpa is, as you said, one tough cookie! I hope for the best for your grandfather. I’m sure he’d love a batch of your nutcracker cookies when he gets out of the hospital. =)


Tracy December 22, 2011 at 10:23 am

Cookies look yummy. Prayers and healing thoughts to your grandpa. My stepdad had active MM after being in remission for a year. I love the tough cookie comparison – my grandpa was indeed a tough cookie!!


Gina @ Running to the Kitchen December 22, 2011 at 10:23 am

I love the idea of these! I have cookies and fudge in tins right now all ready for homemade gifts to be handed out but the fudge tin is looking sparse. I’m thinking I could add some of these in to bulk it up. Especially because I have all the ingredients :)
And for the record I’m with you, Nutcrackers are seriously creeptastic.


Nicole December 22, 2011 at 10:24 am

Sending healthy, healing vibes to your Grandfather!


Dawn December 22, 2011 at 10:28 am

Angela, wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas, and sending prayers and positive vibes that your Grandfather will be feeling better very soon! xo ps. Thanks for your inspiration all year long :)


Kristi December 22, 2011 at 10:28 am

Of course everyone’s thoughts are with your family… prayers & good luck to your Grandpa.


LizAshlee December 22, 2011 at 10:30 am

Sending well wishes to your grandpa…I am so sorry to hear about his recent infection…I bet one of these delicious cookies will help heal him even faster! :)


Cindy December 22, 2011 at 10:31 am

Sending loving thoughts and prayers for your grandpa.

Your recipe looks delicious. Can’t wait to bake some healthy cookies!


Mary December 22, 2011 at 10:38 am

Angela, I’m sending positive vibes to you and yours as you go through this scary time with your grandfather. He sounds like someone truly special and well loved.


Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn December 22, 2011 at 10:41 am

Is that your sister?! Or your cousin? You two could be twins.


Katrina December 22, 2011 at 10:48 am

These are so pretty!!


Anne December 22, 2011 at 10:51 am

Thanks for the post and the reminder to appreciate the health that we have. I’ve been actively trying to do this daily, especially during this holiday season when we tend to get caught up in how we look, how much weight we gain, how many cookies we eat, instead of focusing on what really matters – health, love, friends, and family. Happy holidays to you!


Georgina December 22, 2011 at 10:55 am

So sorry to hear about your Grandfather. He sounds like a wonderful man. I’ll say a prayer for him.
The Nutcracker cookies are a must try! I just saw the Nutcracker ballet this week, so this will be a perfect thing to do on Friday, if we get sent home a few hours earlier. (Fingers crossed!)


Veggie V! @Veggie V's Vegan Adventure December 22, 2011 at 11:01 am

Everyday I wake up is a good one. I’ve said that for years. Keeping that in mind helps keep things in perspective when I’m having a not-so-great day.

I hope your grandpa is peaceful in mind and spirit, even if his body won’t allow it.


Jen @ December 22, 2011 at 11:10 am

Aw, what a sweet post! I actually think Nutcrackers are kinda cute. ;)


Rachel Runs December 22, 2011 at 11:13 am

These cookies look amazing!! I’ll definitely have to try them out.

Holidays are always a little bit tough when a family member is sick, my grandfather is on oxygen since he smoked most of his life. He also has Alzheimer’s and he’s been slipping a lot this year. Its hard to see him not be able to finish his sentences, and know that he’s a proud WW II vet that only a few years ago used to chop all the firewood for the wood stove and be an expert fisherman and fly tier. It makes me look up to my grandmother so much, she is selfless a bundle of energy that refuses to sit down and always makes ENORMOUS meals for holidays. Her goal in life is to someday have no grass in her lawn, just gardens full of flowers and every kind of vegetable you can think of. I hope I’m like her someday!!

Although my grandfather is sick, being around family you appreciate the health and happiness of the rest of your family (and your own) so much more and I think that is truly the spirit of the holidays!


Dana December 22, 2011 at 11:27 am

I’m sorry about your grandfather. I’m sending good vibes his way!!!<3


Britny W December 22, 2011 at 11:35 am

I am sorry to hear about your grandfather. It is inspirational that he has such a great attitude! On another note, my boyfriend is terrified of nutcrackers. I have been told I am not allowed to bring one in the house lol.


Andrea December 22, 2011 at 11:36 am

I’ve noticed that some of the most positive people I’ve met in life are the ones who have had some really rough patches in their life but have pushed through them like no other! It’s always so inspiring. Good luck to your grandpa!

The cookies look awesome :)


kalli December 22, 2011 at 11:40 am

i agree with you 10 percent. everyday we wake up in good health is a good day! so sorry about your grandpa… thoughts are with you and and your family.


Katie December 22, 2011 at 11:43 am

I’ll keep your family in my thoughts, Angela.
And these little cookies look delicious!!


Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove December 22, 2011 at 11:45 am

I hope your grandfather gets better soon! My grandma beat cancer about 10 years ago and now she’s 90! There must be something special about their generation.

I actually like nutcrackers, but I think that’s because I love the ballet so much :)


Amanda December 22, 2011 at 11:52 am

Sending positive thoughts to you and your family. I hope your Grandpa has a speedy recovery.

And yes – nutcrackers are totally creepy.


Beth December 22, 2011 at 11:53 am

Best wishes to your grandfather. He looks like a good man. :)

Do you think overnight oats would work with steel cut oats?


Sarah December 22, 2011 at 11:54 am

sending my best wishes for a speedy recovery to your grandfather.. and love to you and your family!


[email protected] KatieDid December 22, 2011 at 11:54 am

Very sorry to hear about your Grandfather. Your family will be in my thoughts!
Your description of the texture of these is so perfect I can just feel them getting stuck in my back teeth. Awesome flavor profile mmm!


Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning December 22, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Warm wishes and hugs to your Grandpa and your family- he does sound like one tough cookie for sure! We all take our health for granted so often, and it’s important to be thankful for it (and treat our bodies with respect!)

Love the photo with the nutcracker about to chomp on the cookies!!


Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin December 22, 2011 at 12:21 pm

I’m so sorry to hear about your grandpa Ange. He sounds like a wonderful person with such a positive outlook. I hope he gets better soon!


tonya December 22, 2011 at 12:24 pm

You have a knack for turning every day ingredients into awesomeness. So you mean I’ve had the ingredients for these cookies sitting deconstructed in my shelf for months?? A pity. I must unite them so they can fulfill their greater purpose ;-)


DessertForTwo December 22, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Sorry to hear about grandpa. Best wishes & Merry Christmas!


Cheryl December 22, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Your blog is such BRILLIANCE. It has been so exciting to click on and see what magic Angela has created. We are making your burritos with squash for the second time. I did them in the wok and my husband (a carnivore) picked out a handful and then filled his bowl. “YUMMY” he exclaimed. Your recipes have inspired a 13 year old
to eat less meat and a 41 year old the confirmation that a life of good eating has helped. My 9 year old daughter has ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia), so I know the journey. Your grandfather is in the picture of health and I am sending prayers for continued healing and peace for you family. Enjoy all the moments you have together this season.


Kathy December 22, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Love nut cookies. Will have to give these a try. Can you tell me the difference between regular dates and Medjool dates? Can they both be used for baking in the same manner? I have wanted to try the Medjool, (for snacking) but didn’t know if I would like them.


Gail December 22, 2011 at 12:53 pm

I’m so sorry to hear about your grandpa. My friend died last week of stage iv breast cancer. She battled it for 5 years. she was originally told that she was too young to have breast cancer (she was 26 at the time), and a year later was encouraged to get it checked out by another doctor, just to find out it WAS cancer, and it had developed into stage iv (incurable). She was a month shy of her 33rd birthday when she died. Just like you said, it really put a lot of things into perspective for me as well. I’m 45 and after her ordeal I’ve learned that there are more important things than how you look in clothes, what weight you are, etc. What’s important is the way you live your life, be happy, enjoy the little things, who cares if I indulge once in a while, make sure I form really good relationships, treat people so much better than I have, stop gossiping and being jealous of people, and start liking myself. Life’s too short, and you don’t know what lies around the corner, not just for you but for the people around you. One little gesture really makes a difference to someone. Anyway, I’m rambling. I hope your grandpa starts feeling better soon :0)


Audrey December 22, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Your grandpa is such an inspiration. He will be in my prayers.

Yes, nutcrackers are creepy! Almost as creepy as clowns *shudder*


Sabrina @ Radioactive Runner December 22, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Angela. I am so sorry to hear about your Grandpa and his step back. I’m thinking of you and your family. I hope he can pull through with his strength, love and determination. You are so right… so many people take their health for granted. Without our health, we have nothing at all.


Alex @ Raw Recovery December 22, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Those cookies look delicious! I love the texture and taste of toffee so I’m definitely going to try these. I’m also going to try and make the vegan “egg nog” recipe that you posted last year I believe. Tomorrow as it happens, I’m going to see the Nutcracker ballet, which I find so beautiful and whimsical, however, nutcrackers themselves…DEFINITELY CREEPY (along with Furbies)


Alex @ Raw Recovery December 22, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Oh and best wishes to your grandfather. I’ll keep him and your family in my thoughts


kaila @ healthyhelper December 22, 2011 at 1:06 pm

YES!! I have a whole bag of dates that I have been trying to use up!!! These will be perfect!!! Can’t wait to try em out !


Amber K December 22, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Nutcrackers are definitely creepy. So sorry that your grandpa is having some troubles, but he definitely sounds like one tough cookie :)


Jen December 22, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Beautiful post, thanks for the reminder about our precious life. I’ll be thinking of your Grandpa and your family!


[email protected] for the Soul December 22, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Your grandpa seriously warms my soul, Angie! His smile is just so genuine….God bless him for reals. I was really touched by this part: “If you wake up healthy, it’s already a great day.
and my Grandpa would argue, even if you wake up unhealthy it can still be a great day.” :D


Char @ December 22, 2011 at 1:53 pm

*big hug* to you and your family, Angela. I’m so sorry about your grandpa :( you’re right, though. I woke up healthy, so today will be a great day <3 It's so important to remember how precious life is.


Mandy Jo December 22, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Thank you for the wonderful story AND recipe. My grandpa is sick as well and he has the most positive attitude. I think we can all learn from people like your grandfather and mine who always remind us what life is really all about.

The recipe looks fantastic! thank you for the idea! I am newly vegan (2 weeks now!) and I was dreading what to bring over for Christmas dinner!! This gives me a dessert idea, any dinner suggestions? I know my grandparents will be having pork, veggies loaded with butter and rolls. All of which I can’t eat! Help!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 22, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Thank you Mandy Jo…I am sorry to hear about your grandpa!

I would check out this post for ideas:


Katie December 22, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Your grandfather is in my prayers. :)

This post really touched my heart. January of this past year, my dad was diagnosed with agressive prostate cancer. He had surgery and is now going through hormone treatment AND radiation and we are pretty confident he has beaten cancer. This year has taught me so much. Both my grandparents passed away and my mom had a breast cancer scare, but we stayed strong through it all. Granted there were times we wanted to throw in the towel, but we kept on waking up and making it a point to be aware of something that we were (and still are) grateful for each day. I’ve also learned how to slow down and not rush through life so fast. Learning how to appreciate the now instead of wishing for something better has really made a huge change in how I now live. :) This year for Christmas, we are giving each other one thing each and it all has to do with spending time with one another.

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a healthy New Year! :) :)


Misty December 22, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Sending love to you and your family and strength to your Grampa. XO


Rachel D. December 22, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Your Grandpa sounds like a rockstar – you’re lucky to have him! Sending best wishes to him and the rest of your family.


Kimberly December 22, 2011 at 3:27 pm

another yummy recipe!! they look great! I really want to try your broccoli cheese soup from the other day though – YUM!


Cait's Plate December 22, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Yeah I’ve always found nut crackers a little creepy too. We have a ton of them lining our piano in our house and they always just creep me out a liiiiittle bit.

These cookies look amazing and I love your grandpa’s outlook on life!!


Lisa (bakebikeblog) December 22, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Sending your grandpa lots of speedy recovery vibes xx


Caitlin @ Cake with Love December 22, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Hi Angela, my grandfather was also diagnosed with cancer, but he is the most positive person I know, and also has a lot of faith, if you don’t mind give me your grandfather name, I will include him in my prayers, I know how important they are for us, and I hope God will help them.


[email protected] December 22, 2011 at 4:04 pm

So sorry to hear about your grandpa. Cookies look super healthy and good, as always!


Rebecca @ Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous December 22, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Those look so good! You always have the best looking food pictures!


Lauren @ HugsKissesNDishes December 22, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Best wishes to you, your grandpa, and family. It is definitely hard to deal with sickness during the holidays. I hope everyone stays in the best spirits and enjoys the miracles of the holidays! It definitely reminds us to be thankful for the healthy days we have!


Kelly @ Foodie Fiasco December 22, 2011 at 5:32 pm

I am so sorry about you dad. I know how you feel, becaus emy mom is in radiation for breast cancer.

Those cookies look incredible! (No surprises.) Do you think I could use un-raw nuts? That’s all I seem to have on hand. Thanks!


Emily (Edible Psychology) December 22, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Thinking of you and your family! I hope your grandpa stays strong and positive and that you all have a wonderful Christmas. I love what you said about enjoying each day. The cookies look amazing, and I think they would make anyone’s day a bit brighter!


Katie December 22, 2011 at 5:44 pm

These were SO good! I’m a new vegan and your recipes have seriously been giving me so much to be excited about!! :)


Amelia December 22, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Very sorry to hear about your Grandpa… wishing you both the best.

I made a half batch of this (living alone is dangerous for baking) and they are AMAZING! Thanks so much :)


Christine @ The Brighter Side of Life December 22, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Your Grandpa has such a wonderful smile!

So sorry to hear what he’s going through – and you too – but glad to hear he’s a tough cookie. Attitude makes all the difference.

Thinking positive thoughts for you, your Grandpa and your family. Wishing you peace of mind this Christmas.


Olya December 22, 2011 at 6:33 pm

I’m sorry about your grandpa Angela! I wish him to win this battle!


Alaina December 22, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Haha, I love the picture of the Nutcracker moving in on the cookies! As much as I like Nutcrackers, yes, yes they are creepy.


Kate December 22, 2011 at 7:10 pm

Sending all my get-healthy-and-well-as-soon-as-possible-kill-all-the-bad-germ vibes I can find to your Grandpa.


Michelle December 22, 2011 at 7:16 pm

You look like your grandpa! Sending him healing thoughts for a quick recovery.


Jill December 22, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Oh dear, sending positive thoughts to you and your family!


emma December 22, 2011 at 7:23 pm

I love your piccies! I read the title and thought of the ballet…..I love the ballet :-)…..and then I carries on reading only to see the Nutcracker pop onto the scene – so cute! Great recipe. Can’t wait to get cooking after last weeks trip to NYC! Nicky and I went to Pain Quotidien every day on your recommendation….best porridge ever!!


Ellen December 22, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Thanks for a great post. It’s important to always remember the value of life! I’ve been feeling ‘over-indulgent’ and guilty lately, so it was a great post for me to read! Merry Christmas!


TeenyLittleSuperChef December 22, 2011 at 8:02 pm

These cookies look and sound delicioso! Plus they’re nutcracker-approved. Doesn’t get better than that.
Your grandpa sure sounds like a fighter. My prayers go out to him and the rest of your family. By the way, are you and your sister twins? You’re both so dang beautiful :)


Keri December 22, 2011 at 8:16 pm

We had: So. Much. Snow! So today was perfect for baking. Making a batch now, and can’t thank you enough for your creativity :) So excited to take these home to family tomorrow!


Sarah December 22, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Wow those cookies look amazing. I’m wishing the best for you and your family over the holidays, but I’m sure all your positive attitudes will pull you through. I love how you just put things straight back into perspective. Right now a lot of people are stressing about presents, and holiday meals that we rarely take a step back and be thankful for all we have. Thank you for making me stop and take stock of everything that’s wonderful in my life right now. I have my health, and my family and I couldn’t ask for more. A very merry christmas to you :)


Keri December 22, 2011 at 9:23 pm

So…I’ve been in the kitchen for most of the afternoon and resisted trying one. Until now. Holy wow. These are so effing tasty!


Moni'sMeals December 22, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Sorry to hear about your Grandpa. What a great photo of you and your sister with him. :)

So these cookies seriously looks amazing. Of course with a tall galss of almond milk or coffee!

oh and I still do not know how I feel about Nutcrackers. ;)


Kristin December 22, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Sorry to hear about your grandpa. My thoughts are with you during this tough time.

These cookies look sooo good. Can’t wait to try them.


Stacy @ Say It With Sprinkles December 22, 2011 at 10:40 pm

I’m pulling for your grandpa!

I love those clear canisters, such a cute way to show off treats!


Kari @ bite-sized thoughts December 22, 2011 at 10:42 pm

I’m really sorry to hear about your Grandfather’s latest setback Angela :( I’m thinking of him and your family.


Lynna @wholeytreats December 22, 2011 at 10:49 pm

I’m so sorry to hear about your Grandpa, Anglea. Having health problems that you can’t control is so frustrating (I have one myself). And you’re so right, our health is something we often take for granted when we should really be taking more time to be thankful for it.

Wishing you and your family the best over the holidays!


Kait December 22, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Man the winter solstice was NOT a good day for health! From the minor things (like my super duper inflamed/baseball sized wrists) to the major (your grandpa, my grandma having a stroke)…something about yesterday was not good.

Your grandfather and family are in my thoughts…sending lots of positive vibes in the general canadian direction. xo


Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers December 23, 2011 at 7:48 am

Yum! What a nice healthy cookie!! I think I’ll make them today, which will keep me away from the unhealthy cookies.


Sarah December 23, 2011 at 8:42 am

I made these last night – I was desperate for something without chocolate and I had all the ingredients. Delicious! Apart from snickerdoodles, these might be my new favourite!


Catherine December 23, 2011 at 8:44 am

Angela, Thanks for your sense of humor as well as your inspiration for what’s important in life. Best wishes for your grandfather’s health. I hope he is doin better.

ALso, your photography is really beautiful!! Merry Christmas.


Varsha December 23, 2011 at 8:45 am

So sorry about your Grandpa Angela. Keeping him in my thoughts and prayers.
When there are so many good thoughts going to him, he will get better :)

Love the cookies – I am a nut person.


Tiffany December 23, 2011 at 9:09 am

I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather’s setback and new battle…what a blessing that he has instilled such a faith and love of life in you.


Lauren December 23, 2011 at 9:38 am

So true…We just found out last week that my Mom has been diagnosed with uterine cancer…It really puts things in perspective. Stressing over eating a cookie or some other indulgence is so unimportant in the grand scheme of things. I think that illness is often our greatest teacher. All the best to your Grandpa xo


Natasha Cook December 23, 2011 at 11:26 am

May God heal your grandpa from every ailment that troubles him. He sounds like an incredible man! Thank you for the recipe, it looks divine. I know your grandpa will appreciate these. Stay Strong!


Anna @ The Guiltless Life December 23, 2011 at 11:54 am

Oh you had me sold with that picture of the perfectly doughy inside!

And I really hope your grandpa starts feeling better, I’ll keep him in my prayers. Christmas is a crummy time of year for this to happen, so I really hope things start looking up for him!


Sonia (the Mexigarian) December 23, 2011 at 1:34 pm

I’m sorry about your grandfather. Sending positive thoughts his way, though it seems he must be surrounded by positivity with your family :D

And I am thankful I wake up everyday, no matter how bad the previous day might have been or what might be looming before. Being alive and living is all that matters.

Nutcrackers are a little creepy. . . .


Allison Welton December 23, 2011 at 1:59 pm

What a great reminder. I’ve been struggling a bit today. Thank you for sharing.


hannah alehandra December 23, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Your Grandfather sounds like a a tough cookie, indeed. I hope he has many more wonderful enjoyable days ahead of him. The cookies look delish. Love from England.


Lexi @ A Spoonful of Sunshine December 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm

So sorry to hear that your grandpa has been having trouble! Much like these cookies, he sounds wonderful :)


Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes December 23, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Your Grandpa is truly inspiring!


Katie December 23, 2011 at 7:14 pm

As an oncology nurse I try to not let a day go by without be thankful for my health. It definitely gives you a different perspective. I will be thinking and praying for you & your Grandpa! Merry Christmas!


Sharon @ Bit of the Good Stuff December 23, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Hi Angela. Your grandpa sounds like one tough cookie so hopefully his strength of character will pull him through this challenging time. I’m sending lots of positive thoughts and energy your way xx


Lynne December 23, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Sadly, my husband likes nutcrackers, so they are currently up on a shelf in our living room. A very high shelf, so I can sort of not see them. Prayers for your grandfather’s recovery, and for calmness and peace for the family.


Sarah @ December 23, 2011 at 11:02 pm

I love the look of those nutcracker cookies!!! Might give them a try for new years celebrations. I just got finished in the kitchen making my grandma’s famous linzer cookies. This year is the first year that she won’t be with us, but making them made me think of all the fond memories we had together. Wishing you the best christmas and happy new year!!!


Kris December 23, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Great post, Ange! :) Grandpa’s positivity is something that I truly admire. He is proof that with the right attitude, anything is possible. :)


Jessica @ Hungrygems December 24, 2011 at 12:44 am

No better way to show love and support but through a labor of sweet love. Cheers to you and your grandfather.


Colleen December 24, 2011 at 11:21 am

I am sorry that your Grandpa is having a tough go at the moment. I read your blog nearly every day and I love the recipes and your view on life. Thanks for the great recipes and perspectives – Happy Holidays!!!


Rebekah December 24, 2011 at 11:43 am

Thank you for such a beautiful and honest post. I’ll be praying for your family, your grandpa’s health and continued peace within the fam!

And I think I’ll try and make those cookies! :)


lisa @ early morning run December 24, 2011 at 2:51 pm

So sorry to hear about your Grandpa. It’s always such a hard thing to deal with, let alone during the holidays. Sending good thoughts and prayers your way.


Jessica December 24, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Coconut palm sugar to sub for the brown sugar? Yum oat flour!


Colleen December 24, 2011 at 7:52 pm

I made these tonight and they were soooo good – I don’t know if they are going to last until tomorrow:) Luckily we are setting them out for Santa, so it will be mandatory that most are gone by morning.


Rebecca December 25, 2011 at 9:10 am

Great recipe! I made the gluten free version with the oat flour and they came out fantastic! I also used only almonds because I can’t find pecans and walnuts in my area not manufactured with wheat listed in the allergies. These still came out perfect! And I have to say, toasting the nuts first really does give it a distinct (and amazing) flavor! Another wonderful recipe, thank you!


[email protected] December 26, 2011 at 8:45 pm

A wonderful tribute to your grandfather. He is in my thoughts and I am wishing you and him all the best. Great looking cookie too :)


Elizabeth December 26, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Hi Angela,

We saw Grandpa today he seems in good spirits. I thought he was better today.

I am so proud of you and continue to sing your praises wherever I go!

Love Aunt Elizabeth


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 28, 2011 at 8:37 am

Hi Elizabeth, I’m so happy to hear that!
Happy New Year!


Laura @ A Healthy Jalapeño December 27, 2011 at 7:48 pm

What a fabulous way to look at life. A healthy day is a good day… and any day you can spend with friends and family {especially over the holidays} is a GREAT day!
These cookies look excellent and I love all the nuts in there. I think I have had my fill of cookies and treats over the past couple of days but these might need to make a New Years Eve appearance!
<3 your newest follower


Maria Carolina December 28, 2011 at 11:17 am

Angela Im so sorry to hear about your uncle Ted. You always here about people losing their loved ones to sickness and feel empathy but the truth is you never really no what its like until you experience it first-hand. God bless you and your family.
P.S. I made the nutcracker cookies just now…..they..are..FANTABULOUS (Fantastic and fabulous get it?). I didn’t have almond milk so I subbed for applesauce and used hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, and fresh shredded coconut for the nuts. Can you say best cookies ever? I sure think so.


Ali December 28, 2011 at 1:34 pm

I am so sorry to hear about ypur grandpa. My mother was also diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in spring of 2011. She just recieved her stem cell transplant….it’s tough right now- but she always has a smile on her face. I will keep your grandpa in my thoughts.
I came to your blog after watching, “Forks Over Knives” and made the change to become vegan…it’s an amzing journey. Thank you for all your inpiration!!! Keep on keeping on.


Barbara Rogers December 29, 2011 at 12:12 pm

God Bless your family. Your grandfather sounds like a wonderful person the world gets to have.


Kelly December 30, 2011 at 11:09 am

Best wishes to your Grandpa. My mom has multiple myeloma but she is currently in remission. It is so scary to think about what could happen. Love to your family!


Courtney Orrange January 3, 2012 at 9:43 pm

I just made these today and oh my, they are my new favorite! They are amazing. I am thinking of reducing the sugar to 1/4 cup next time since they are plenty sweet and we try not to eat a lot of sugar. Do you think it’ll mess up the rest of the cookie?


Sarah November 29, 2012 at 4:49 pm

I just made these cookies using the coconut oil instead of the Earth Balance and they turned out delicious! I wasn’t missing the buttery flavor at all. Yum!


Meri August 3, 2013 at 10:40 am

I’m a new reader of your blog. I have been browsing your older posts and found this recipe. I just made these cookies – nevertheless it’s summer at the moment – and they are absolutely piece of heaven! I find it very hard not to eat them all right now. I notice myself walking away from kitchen but soon realize I am back there…just one more and I will stop!


Jay Scott September 27, 2013 at 6:24 pm

These look absolutely awesome. Dates and nuts, what’s not to love?

Love the pictures with your Grandpa as well. :)

Great article and I’m trying these cookies!



Allison September 29, 2013 at 12:39 pm

I made these this weekend with the coconut oil substitution, and they are truly amazing. I think they are my new favourite cookie, and it generally takes chocolate to make something my favourite! I am impressed with your recipe creation skills. Thank you for this.


Sara Nordstrom October 10, 2013 at 8:37 am

Hey Angela! I cannot wait to try and make these! My only problem is the ground flax. I’m from Southern California but I’m spending a year in Nairobi, Kenya and I have not been able to find flax seeds! For this recipe what could I use as a replacement?

P.S. Your story is so inspiring and I can really relate to it right now!!
God Bless!


Cate December 6, 2013 at 4:05 pm

How long do you think that these cookies will keep for?


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