Gaia Cookies {with oats, coconut, dates, chocolate}

Words are a powerful thing. The main reason I love blogs. You are able to share words, thoughts, and experiences with others.  It connects people.  

Recently, my college friend Whitney posted a review for the book, Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes on her blog. 

Even though Whitney and I now live in different states and I haven’t seen her in a few years, I feel like she is close by. That is the positive power of social media. You are able to be a part of someone’s life, no matter where you are. You are able to influence others. 


After reading Whitney's post, I was hooked.

I went the very next day to Barnes & Noble and bought the book. 

The author, Shauna Niequist, discusses the joy found in life around the table. It is not all about the food, but it is about the people you are with and the memories you share. The book is funny, honest, and spiritual. 

Shauna also shares her recipes throughout the book. She says that she wants her readers to delve into the book and read it…and then take it into their kitchen and try all of the recipes.  

So sure enough, after I finished the book, I took it with me into my kitchen. Just like Shauna said…


The first thing I wanted to make were her go-to cookies –> “The Gaia Cookie" 

It is a recipe from a hippie vegetarian cafe in Grand Rapids, Michigan called "Gaia Cafe."  The cookie has tons of oats, chopped dates, coconut, and chocolate. 

Seriously… I am totally into everything about this situation.  


I loaded these little guys up with dates, raisins, milk chocolate, coconut, and toasted walnuts.

Very wholesome. :)

But you can adjust this recipe and add only chocolate or only your favorite dried fruits. Make is as healthy or chocolately as you like. 

You see, contrary to popular belief, baking is NOT an exact science. 


By the time I am blogging this, I have already sent my copy of Bread & Wine to my mom to read… and I am currently starting another Niequist book, Bittersweet.

Yes, you could say that I highly recommend her books. 

And her cookie recipe…

Gaia Cookies  (from Bread & Wine)

Makes about 2 dozen, depending on the size

  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 ½ cups oats
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (I like to toast it)
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped and toasted
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I use milk chococolate)
  • 1 cup chopped dates, raisins, cranberries, or dried cherries (whatever mix you prefer… I like the dates + raisins combo the best)


- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

- Cream together butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add in the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and mix well.

- Toast the coconut and walnuts in the oven for about 5 minutes or so. Add them to the mix along with the chocolate chips, dates, and raisins. Mix until combined. 

- Drop tablespoons on a cookie sheet. You can refrigerate the cookies for a few minutes to prevent them from spreading out too much when they bake.  Then bake for about 14 minutes, or until golden brown.

- Let cool and enjoy with all of your favorite people!


Package up these cookies give them to the ones you love.

And don’t forget to share the recipe along with it.  :)