1 tablespoonsmaple syrup , OPTIONAL. Only use if you want the filling to be a little sweeter.
For the cookies
Preheat oven to 350°F and have a large cookie sheet or baking tray ready.
Pit the dates and put them in a bowl, then cover them with boiling water from a kettle. Leave for around 10 minutes then drain.
Add the oats to a food processor and process until a coarse flour-like consistency.
Add all of the other ingredients including the drained dates and process until a big dough ball forms. If it has trouble coming together you can add a few tiny drops of water until it does, but it isn't usually necessary.
Remove the blade, and take chunks of dough and roll into balls around the size of a walnut.
Place the rolled balls on a baking tray, pressing the top of each one down into a cookie shape with the bottom of a glass or the palm of your hand. Make them about ¼ inch thick.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. They should just be starting to go golden around the edges but will still feel a little soft if you poke them.
Once done transfer to a cooling tray.
For the filling:
Put the blade back in the food processor and add all of the filling ingredients. No need to wash it unless you want to! Process everything until smooth.
When the cookies are cool, dollop an even amount of filling into the centre of half of them then make sandwiches by placing the remaining cookies on top and squishing down gently so the filling spreads evenly.
Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
Don't forget to soak the dates in hot water. If you don't they will be too dry and stiff and won't bind the cookies properly.
Don't try using a blender to make the cookie dough. It's way too stiff, even for a high powered blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec.
Don't overbake the cookies or they can become a little dry.
Use very ripe pureed banana instead of pumpkin
Use sweet potato puree instead of the pumpkin
Switch up the spices. Pumpkin spice would work well!
Omit the spices, salt and filling to make toddler-friendly cookies