no-bake salted peanut butter "cookies" | the first mess cookbook giveaway!

We flew home recently for my best friends wedding. After a freak snow storm in March and endless cloudy days it was sooooo good to feel the warm sun of California again. (ps. We mentioned our trip home to a few new friends we've made here in Utah and we've noticed that a lot of native Utahns call California, "Cali" and it's officially one of my pet peeves. I want to correct them and say it's California, not Cali, but I don't because it's rude. It's probably rude that I'm talking about it right now, huh? But am I alone in this? My peeps, we don't call California, Cali RIGHT?!! Stop it! :D)

The day was perfectly her. She was surrounded by her best girlfriends (half of us have been BFFS since we were 7) all wearing blush pink and holding english roses and praising how beautiful she looked. Her dress was beaded, fitted and sparkly with a small band of diamonds in her hair. She was RADIANT and by the end of the reception she had a send off that was probably the best send off I've ever seen: a full-blown confetti canon that was loud and shot gold confetti EVERYWHERE. It felt like it rained gold for days, it was completely and totally HER.

This last trip home was especially wonderful because I had help from my mom. When I'm here, in Utah, I check the clock way too many times in the afternoon because I'm exhausted from taking care of a small babe all day and could really use an adult or a nap. Since neither of those are a very likely option, behold these no-bake cookies. They're Laura Wright's recipe, from her gorgeous new masterpiece, The First Mess Cookbook.  

These bad boys are brilliant, addicting, nourishing (no sugar and nut-powered) and the PERFECT sweet bite to pick you up in the afternoon. After you eat one it's like having another mom around because you just have that much energy.  

And not only are these awesome for you, they're awesome for your people too. It's hard to find a cookie you feel totally great about feeding your little one you know? But these are soft enough to feed your really littles, and I think they freeze beautifully if you want to double the batch and freeze some for later. There's nothing more I love than feeding my people a treat that's good for them and this cookbook is FULL of beautiful recipes like this one that I'm dying to make. So guess what? 

GIVEAWAY TIME!

YAY! Because I love you and this gorgeous book, I'm giving away a copy of The First Mess Cookbook to one of you beautiful friends! Woohoo! All you have to do is leave a comment on here below and I'll announce the winner on Monday. (Confetti emojis) 

Trust me, this book is one to treasure.

Congrats to my crazy talented blog-friend Laura for creating such a stunner of a book. I can't stop looking through it. Love you friends and good luck! xo

Update: Contest only open to US and Canadian residents only. Sorry I forgot to mention that earlier!! Can you tell I'm a newb?!

******GIVEAWAY CLOSED!***** (I just straight up wrote all of your names down and picked out of a hat. :) Congrats Anna!! Email me (click the little envelope icon in the top right hand corner of the site) with your mailing address and I'll send the book your way. :D

I wish I could have given away one to all of you!! Thank you so much for your comments and for entering! I'll do this again. xo) 

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no-bake salted peanut butter "cookies"

Reprinted from The First Mess Cookbook by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2017, Laura Wright

I soaked my dates in some boiling water because they were a little dry. I think this messed with the consistency just a bit, so I added some spoonfuls of flax seed and a tablespoon of almond meal to stiffen up my mixture. I didn't find that my additions messed with the deliciousness of the cookies at all. In fact John just asked me to make these again, and I'm quite sure if Myles could talk, he'd be asking for them too. 

1 cup / 250g raw almonds (I did half almonds, half pecans for fun)

½ cup / 125ml unsalted smooth, natural peanut butter

1 cup / 250g Medjool dates, pitted

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (I squeezed in an extra teaspoon)

flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, grind the raw almonds on high until you have a course meal, about 30 seconds.

Add the peanut butter, pitted dates, vanilla, and lemon juice to the food processor. Pulse the mixture a couple of times to get everything moving. Then mix with the food processor on high speed until have a uniform "dough" that clumps together.

Using a rough measure of 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons / 22 to 30g per cookie, portion the dough into balls and place on the baking sheet. Press the balls down, either with the palm of your hand or the tines of a dinner fork. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with the flaky sea salt.

Place the cookies in the refrigerator for at least an hour to firm up. The cookies can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.