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Guilt-Free Golden Door Chocolate Chip Cookies

Guilt-Free Golden Door Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from The Golden Door Cooks Light and Easy by Chef Michael Stroot (Gibbs Smith, 2003)

Yes, they do make and eat chocolate chip cookies at the famed Golden Door Spa. Using fruit puree instead of butter and cream is an easy and nutritious way to maintain texture and flavor and cut the fat. Leftover prune puree can be used for other baked goods; store it covered in the refrigerator for four to five days. Or, to save time, use packaged prune puree or baby-food prune puree.

For the prune puree:
1 1/2 cups pitted prune
2 cups water

For the cookies:
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup sifted unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 egg whites
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Combine the prunes and water in a small pot set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 40 minutes, or until the prunes are very soft. Drain, then transfer to a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until smooth. Strain the prune puree through a fine mesh sieve and set aside to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and brush with 1 teaspoon vegetable oil each.

3. Place the oats into a dry skillet set over medium heat; toast, shaking the pan lightly, for three minutes, or until lightly browned. Combine the toasted oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl; mix well.

4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whip, beat the brown sugar, eggs and egg whites at high speed, until the eggs are frothy and doubled in volume. Add the canola oil, vanilla, buttermilk and 2/3 cup of the prune puree; mix well.

5. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, and blend well. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips. Spoon heaping tablespoons of dough about one inch apart on the prepared baking sheets; bake for 15 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown.

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


+ add your own
8:43PM PDT on May 26, 2013

if it is really guiltfree it is vegan which it isnt

2:17AM PDT on Aug 24, 2011

Yummy! Thanks.

6:01AM PDT on Apr 11, 2011

Amazing recipe, thank you

11:09AM PDT on Aug 17, 2010

Wow, I just came across this article & recipe and had to comment. No offense, but replacing butter or fat with prune puree just adds carbs to an already carb-sweet recipe. You are much better off slowing those simple carbs down with some healthy organic butter, or coconut oil if you're vegan. And canola oil is NOT a healthy fat, in spite of it being promoted a lot on this site. Prune puree can be a great substition for other sweeteners, but don't replace fats with it. We really need good, healthy fats and fewer simple carbs. Try Elana's Pantry website for healthy chocolate chip cookies made with either coconut or grapeseed oil, sweetened with a little agave. Much healthier! Sorry Melissa. :(

Kristi Cooke
Nutritional Therapy Practitioner

6:48AM PST on Feb 2, 2010

these do sound v healthy, like to try them

1:10AM PST on Jan 28, 2010

Wrote down this recipe, cannot wait to try it out...sounds good doesn't it..thanks for a vegan recipe.
pet hospital

8:07AM PDT on Sep 17, 2009

Want to learn more about guilt-free chocolate? Visit and learn about cold-pressed, healthy chocolate. Basically, it is raw cacao, uncooked, sweetened with acai berry and blueberry, then cold-pressed into chocolate! So here you have it, 3 superfoods with the highest levels of antioxidants on the planet, combined to bring you the healthiest, tastiest Belgium chocolate you have ever eaten!
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10:28AM PDT on Jul 22, 2009

Not that hard to make vegan buttermilk:
For every cup needed start with 1.5-2 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice with enough soy or almond milk added to make a cup (so for this recipe, probably 1/2 tsp vinegar w/ enough soy or almond milk added to make the 1/4 cup needed). Set aside to curdle while you get the rest of your ingredients together.

As an aside, I eat a largely vegetarian diet, have limited my eggs and dairy, and try to only buy from local, humane producers. That said, I think we can respect people's efforts at making small steps towards being healthier and more environmentally responsible and not jump on them for using all of 1/4 cup buttermilk in their cookies.

9:04AM PDT on Jul 22, 2009

Are you sure about the cows needing to be continually impregnated? I could nurse my baby indefinitely if I wanted to. As long as she is drinking the milk, I would keep producing it. I wouldn't need to get pregnant again! Another case of dramatic misinformation to support a cause? Info, please.

4:03PM PDT on Aug 25, 2008

Sounds delicious. Will copy it and try it ASAP. Thanks =)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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