Snack Recipe: Raw cookie dough

The finished product. I recommend creating 3-oz bars and storing them in plastic bags for easy consumption in the field.
The finished product. I recommend creating 3-oz bars and storing them in plastic bags for easy consumption in the field.

As a thank you for helping her land a new job last year, an acquaintance dropped off a small but game-changing gift: a mason jar of raw cookie dough. It disappeared remarkably fast — it worked as a pre-morning run snack, a dessert after lunch or dinner, and all points before, after, and in between.

When I needed a refill, I took a recipe from The Kitchn and adopted it to my bulk-friendly format, using weights rather than conventional cooking measurements so that the recipe can be more easily scaled.

Raw cookie dough is an excellent backpacking snack. It is shelf-stable and made of only a few easy-to-find ingredients. It’s not paleo, but it’s cashew-based and uses maple syrup as a sweetener, not sugar. Prep is minimal, and entails no cooking; however, you’ll need a food processor, and you’ll want a mixer for big batches.

I recommend forming 3-oz snack bars and storing them in plastic bags. Unless it is a communal dessert or treat, do NOT store an entire batch in a single freezer bag — you will almost certainly dig into tomorrow’s rations.


The ingredients are easy to find and shelf-stable. Missing from this photo: vanilla extract.
The ingredients are easy to find and shelf-stable. Missing from this photo: vanilla extract.


1. Place cashews, rolled oats, salt, and cinnamon into the processor. Chop the ingredients until you have a fine mixture, but don’t chop them for so long that you make cashew butter.

2. Blend in the maple syrup and vanilla extract. Beware: This step can be hard on a low-powered food processor. If the mixture is too dry for your tastes, add more syrup; if it’s too gooey, add more cashews or oats, and use less maple syrup next time.

3. Depending on the size of your batch, stir in the chocolate chips by hand, or put all ingredients into a mixer.

4. (Optional) Form 3-oz bars and store in plastic bags. Refer to the first photo.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.


  1. Lars on March 22, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    Thanks for including the allergy info, I always appreciate that. Cashews would stop basically stop my breathing, so Im going to search for a good substitute. Looks tasty and I look forward to experimenting with this recipe.

    • rob on September 26, 2016 at 10:58 pm

      you ever find a good substitute for the cashews?

      • Teri on May 10, 2017 at 11:04 am

        I’ve been making something similar to this for years, but I use garbanzo beans instead of cashews.

  2. Patrick "Gumby" on March 23, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    These look yummy – I love cookie dough. I will be making them this weekend.

    BTW: I make a protein bar that is very similar. To make them more portable. I will put each bar in a muffin liner. The way to make this work is put the muffin liners in a muffin pan and then press the dough into the liners. The pan helps them maintain their shape. I will then put them in the fridge for 30 minutes to harden up a bit. After 30 minutes I will then put the set of bars in a gallon zip lock bag. The muffin liners allow me to eat them without getting too sticky and isolate the germs from my fingers from transferring to the dough.

    • JT on June 9, 2023 at 3:16 pm

      This is genius!! I prepped them this way and it work amazing. Thank you!

  3. Rob on March 27, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Andrew, I made some up and had problems getting the chocolate chips to incorporate into the mixture. Have you had that problem and what did you do?

    • Andrew Skurka on March 27, 2016 at 9:12 am

      There are two ways. If you made a big batch, use a food mixer like my beloved Kitchen Aid. With a smaller batch, spread the chips out evenly across the mixture, and then fold the mixture into itself with a spoon. This technique does not work quite as well, and it becomes really tiresome with a big batch.

    • Bruce Gillard on January 22, 2021 at 1:08 pm

      Almonds, pistachios or peanuts (or any other nut) are great unless allergies are a problem. Flax or similar seeds are an option too. I love this recipe. You have many options.

  4. annie_on_the_trail on April 6, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Clean hands work great for mixing in the chips! I bake a lot of bread and am used to digging in, but folks who only use utensils never think of using their best tools – hands and fingers! 🙂

    • Bruce Gillard on January 22, 2021 at 1:10 pm

      You can mix it in a large zip lock bag. Keeps the hands clean too.

  5. Wendy on July 18, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Considering this for an upcoming trip. How long will it keep for?

    • Andrew Skurka on July 18, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      A while. Everything is shelf stable; refrigeration is merely recommended for things like maple syrup, for freshness.

  6. Brandon Hartwig on August 21, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    Just made up a batch, and hot damn it is true to its name. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Gordon on August 29, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    I experimented by just putting all the ingredients into the Cuisinart at once, and punching the button. The result is more granular (larger cashew pieces) than what’s in your photo above – wish I could upload a picture. The bars are rather crumbly, but delicious nonetheless.

  8. Gordon on October 1, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    When I’ve made them (twice now), the bars are a bit sticky. If you want to put them in one bag without having them glom together, you can put shredded coconut in the bag, and then shake it up. In no way does this disturb the eating enjoyment, IMHO.

  9. jim on January 2, 2017 at 8:17 am

    My brother is really allergic to tree nuts and peanuts do you have any alternatives for the cashews in your recipe?

    • Andrew Skurka on January 2, 2017 at 9:07 am

      I asked my wife, who knows a lot about food allergies. She says no. The nuts act like a paste and hold everything together. Ditto for the oats. You might also want to ask your brother if he has any ideas — usually the person with the allergy knows some alternates.

      • Pam on January 1, 2018 at 10:50 pm

        You might try sunflower seeds. We use sunbutter for kids who have nut allergies. Though not as creamy as cashews, I believe it would work. Maybe hemp seeds, but it would be rather pricey. Sesame seeds could also be used, though with a different flavor profile. Imagine the flavor of tahini paste…which maybe could be used in some way.
        The idea being look to seeds rather than nuts.

    • Alex on May 5, 2021 at 3:57 am

      Im allergic to almost all nuts, except cashews .. did he ever try em ?

  10. Rob van Dun on July 10, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Dear Andrew,

    I just gladly copy-pasted your recipe, except for shamelessly changing the tough-to-get and expensive vanilla extract with vanilla aroma. I know, not quite the same thing. Still, it tastes great! Thank you so much for the recipe. I normally eat about everything and anything, but when hiking I can get very picky. I am looking forward to the cookie dough!

  11. Francisco on August 27, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Great recipe Andrew! I just made it for an upcoming trip to Mammoth Lakes and I’m debating between sharing them with my group (my original intent) or saving them all for myself 🙂
    Best luck in UTMB

  12. Leann Collier on April 20, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Just made this for the first time. I love cashews & chocolate so it’s perfect. I did have a hard time incorporating the chocolate chips. I also added butterscotch chips! I ended up rolling the dough into balls and just pressing the chips into the surface. Might try th emuffin pan/liner/freeze for 30 min next time. Thanks!

  13. Clayton on February 15, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    Awesome recipe. Have to try it soon.

    Any tips for subbing the food processor if on the trail..? Just toss it all in a bag together?

    Thanks for all your insight and work with publishing it.

    • Andrew Skurka on February 15, 2020 at 6:55 pm

      Without a food processor, it’d seem difficult to sufficiently crush the cashews and blend together the ingredients. I think the cashews would be the harder part. I suppose you could smash them in a plastic bag, but you might burn through a few bags before you’re done. Maybe better to crush them inside a bowl or pot.

  14. Greg Feeney on June 28, 2020 at 9:55 am

    Wow, these are really good. Made some to test the recipe out and I ended up eating it all in 24 hours with a little help from my family. Will definitely be making these again for my Colorado trip next month. I see what you mean about the 3oz portions being necessary!

  15. Riley Cox on March 8, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    Hey Andrew,

    Do you have a nutritional breakdown; calorie, fats, proteins, for these 3oz portions? These look amazing!

    • Andrew Skurka on March 8, 2021 at 4:43 pm

      I do not, sorry

    • Katy Buell on June 8, 2024 at 11:05 am

      I crunched some numbers. Using the recipe as stated, I divided into 4 servings of 4oz each. 532 cal (close to what Andrew shows) 33 g fat, 8.9 saturated fat, 0 Cholesterol, Sodium 12.1mg without added salt, fiber 4.2 g, Sugar 25.5 g, Protein 11.5 g, Ca 6.7%, Iron 29.2%, Potassium 375 mg

  16. vivek on May 15, 2021 at 6:40 pm

    Love the idea for this recipe! It looks like the google docs link is broken, though 🙁

    • Andrew Skurka on May 17, 2021 at 2:21 pm

      It’s working, but you may be having a page caching issue or just need a hard refresh (in Chrome, try Ctrl + F5).

      • vivek on May 17, 2021 at 3:05 pm

        It works! Thanks!

  17. Nick_Pa on May 19, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    Riley, I entered this into MyFitnessPal and got the nutrition info. I split each batch into 8 bars of equal size. Here’s the nutrition info for 1 of those bars:

    Summary of fat/carbs/protein:
    17g Fat
    28g Carbs
    6g Protein

    Multiply the above by 8 to get the totals for the entire batch.

  18. Sterling C on May 27, 2021 at 8:43 pm

    Messed up with my scale and accidentally put .5 oz of salt 🙁 ruined… just putting a pinch next time.

    • Andrew Skurka on May 28, 2021 at 1:36 pm


  19. Marie on July 6, 2021 at 6:37 am

    Where may I find the quantities for each ingredient? Google sheets won’t display the recipe ingredients list. I only see the directions.

    • Andrew Skurka on July 6, 2021 at 5:18 pm

      I’m having a persistent issue with embedded sheets, and have been struggling to find a consistent solution.

      You might try using incognito mode, clearing your browswer’s cache, or using another browser or device. Apologies for the inconvenience, this is on my radar.

  20. Marie on July 6, 2021 at 7:13 pm

    Incognito mode worked! Thank you. Will be making it for this weekend’s trip. FYI – We love your Beans & Rice recipe.

  21. Kat on July 28, 2022 at 10:10 am

    tested these out last night to great success! did a half batch as noted, and another half with coconut instead of chocolate. Also added 1oz of milk powder to each half-batch to get some extra protein – which had the unexpected bonus effect of increasing the cookie-dough creaminess and reducing stickiness, which I think will be good for our remaining true summer trips

  22. Jenny Stout on March 25, 2024 at 11:13 pm

    Do you use raw cashews or roasted?

    • Andrew Skurka on March 27, 2024 at 8:41 am

      You could use either. Adjust salt accordingly.

    • Alan Gustin on May 10, 2024 at 1:05 pm

      Great question. I bought large bag of roasted and thought I would have to go back and buy the raw version.

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