Skillet Cookies are a Yummy Gluten-free and Dairy-free Choice

It's okay to love these cookies because they are both gluten-free and dairy-free. Sometimes you have to choose your food by what isn't in it and these cookies are a fine choice. Their true value, however, is that they are just an excellent cookie regardless of diet preferences. Very tasty! 

Since we do have a family member who eats gluten-free and dairy-free, I make these cookies often and she is always glad to see them. It is the reaction of the rest of the family who have no such restrictions that amuses me. My gang of guys love them! Their eyes light up and you can see that they are trying to restrain themselves from eating them all before the one they are made for even gets to eat some. Once she gets her chance, though, a scramble ensues and the cookies are consumed in rapid succession. Leftovers are a very rare thing. 

These cookies go together quickly and, as the name implies, they are cooked in a skillet, not baked in the oven. Crisp rice cereal and nuts give them a satisfying crunch that is held together with a moist date/coconut oil concoction and wrapped in a dusting of powdered sugar. Never cooked with dates or coconut oil? Then its time you tried them! 

Dates are an ancient fruit grown on the palm tree in temperate climates. You can find them mentioned in the Bible. Wonderfully sweet, they are actually quite nutritious. An excellent source of fiber, iron and potassium, they are also rich in minerals like calcium, manganese, copper and magnesium (source). Coconut oil is a tasty alternative to butter. It is solid at room temperature but melts quickly when heated. Sometimes these items can be a bit pricey, but when I picked them up at our local Aldi store, I experienced reverse sticker shock; they were very reasonably priced. (The dates are a seasonable item and may not be available year round.) 

In a heavy skillet mix together:

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 egg, well beaten (I do this in the cold skillet sometimes)
1 cup chopped dates

Gently heat pan and bring to a boil while stirring occasionally.

When mixture begins to pull apart from the side and your spoon leaves a momentary streak when stirring, it's done.

Quickly stir in:

2 cups crisp rice cereal (double-check ingredients to make sure its gluten-free; it usually is)
2/3 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

When cool enough to handle, form into golf ball sized (or a little smaller) balls and roll in powdered sugar.

Makes about 24. 

Note: If you need to leave out the nuts, consider adding chopped gumdrops (about 1/4 cup was in the original recipe) or additional crisp rice cereal. 

Cookies are now ready to eat. Stand back and let the rush begin. 

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