Fudgey Chocolate Protein Cookies

These cookies are the answer to your prayers. The ultimate fudgey, chewy, dense chocolate cookie free of grains, gluten, dairy, added sugars, and, most importantly, guilt. They're like little pillows of healthy deliciousness that makes you feel good about indulging!

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You guys, I have to be real with you. Blogging is hard. Developing new recipes, photographing, editing, and writing requires a lot of work and creativity. Honestly, I haven't written a blog post in about 3 weeks just because I haven't yet developed a new recipe I'm ready to share. And if I'm being for reals real? This recipe is kind of a cop out because it's a recipe that I have been making for Real Food Kitchen for quite some time now. BUT, my lack of new recipes is your gain because, out of desperation, I am sharing one of Real Food Kitchen's exclusive (and most requested!) recipes with you. You're welcome.

Back in the days when Real Food Kitchen had a farmers market stand in San Francisco, so many people would stop by and request cookies that didn't include any added sugars. This was particularly the case in January when everyone would be on their new year's diets or detoxes, whether it be a sugar detox, Whole 30, etc. As our famous chocolate chip and snickerdoodle cookies are made with maple syrup, they didn't fit the bill for these diets. Determined to make every customer happy, I created these delicious, fudgey, nutty cookies made with medjool dates. And, for extra credit, I included hemp protein powder, made from raw hemp seeds, for an extra boost of protein and fiber.

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The key to these fudgey cookies is the medjool dates. Medjool dates are softer and stickier than other types of dates, making them ideal for keeping these cookies chewy and soft. If your dates are not soft, soak them in warm water for about 10 minutes and drain well before using.

With a simple ingredient list and the triple punch of protein from almond butter, hemp protein, and walnuts, these pillow-y, chewy cookies are perfect as an afternoon pick me up or pre-workout fuel. And, speaking from personal experience, as a grab and go breakfast. Try making these and let me know what you think! Enjoy!

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Fudgey Chocolate Protein Cookies

Servings: 9

Time: 15 mins

Difficulty: Easy 


  • 1/2 cup (110 g) pitted medjool dates, packed
  • 1/2 cup (150 g) creamy almond butter [see note]
  • 1 pastured egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup + 1T (40 g) hemp protein powder
  • 2T (10 g) cacao
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup (45 g) walnuts, toasted and chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the dates until it forms into a soft large ball. Add in almond butter, egg, and vanilla extract and pulse until just incorporated. Do not overmix.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together hemp protein powder, cacao, sea salt, and baking soda. Fold the date mixture to the dry ingredients and mix together with a spatula. The dough will be quite thick. Fold in the walnuts.
  4. Form the cookies into rounds (~43 grams each) and place them on the baking sheet, evenly spaced apart. Press down to flatten them into disks.
  5. Bake for 8 minutes, rotating the baking sheet half way through. They may seem underdone, but will continue to firm up after they're out of the oven. DO NOT OVER BAKE! Allow to cool before eating. Enjoy!

NOTE: Super creamy almond butter is very important in this recipe. I use the raw creamy almond butter from Trader Joe's. If your almond butter is too thick, the cookies may turn out more dense.