Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Choc-oat banana walnut cookies

Some people shy away from recipes with flavor profiles that are too "busy." I, on the other hand, tend to be intrigued by such recipes, where the numerous main ingredients sound complementary on paper, but the only way to know if they really merge well is to try it and see. These cookies, peculiar as they are, receive a definite thumbs-up.

Randomly enough, these are apparently Susan Sarandon’s favorite cookies. I found the recipe in Health magazine, and changed a few things. I used whole wheat pastry flour in place of oat flour. For the oats, all I had were the quick-cooking kind, and they worked just fine. I reduced the oil a bit and replaced it with some applesauce to lower the fat a tad, but you can just use 1/3 cup canola oil if you don’t want to mess with the applesauce. I recently bought some of the new SoDelicious unsweetened coconut milk, and I’m loving using it in recipes. It’s a refrigerated product, and it’s not like what you get in the cans; it’s much thinner and lower-calorie (though using canned coconut milk could be yummy too). Feel free to use good old soymilk instead. Also, in retrospect, a spoonful of ground flaxseeds would have been a great addition to these.

One thing I wish the recipe had said is to pat down the cookies (or press them down with a fork) before baking. Mine remained ball-shaped. They still tasted great, but obviously lacked a little in the looks department. Other than that, though, the recipe is sound. Oh, and the cooking time is not a typo, believe it or not.

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup quick or old-fashioned oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
3T canola oil
Heaping 2T unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or soymilk)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 ripe banana, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, applesauce, coconut milk or soymilk, and vanilla.

Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir to combine.

Fold in the banana, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Scoop the dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto the pan. These cookies won’t spread, so you can put them close together if you want. Do what I didn’t do and press them down lightly with your fingers or a fork before baking.

Bake for 25 minutes (yes, really) or until golden brown, turning the baking sheet halfway through. Let cool on a wire rack.

Fresh out of the oven, these are soft and chewy inside with just the slightest crust on the outside. After sitting overnight (in an airtight container), they become tender throughout. The oats and walnuts provide great texture, and the banana flavor comes through brightly but not overwhelmingly. The chocolate chips are a great extra burst of sweetness in an overall not-too-sweet cookie. These are interesting, unique, and delicious—I hope you try them and enjoy them as much as I did.

Yield: 16 cookies. Per cookie: 124 calories, 5.4g fat (1.2 sat), 18g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 2.2g protein.

If you like this, you might also like...
Chocolate peanut butter cookies
Chocolate chip cookies
Pumkpin oatmeal cookies

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1 comment:

  1. Amber, I've made these! They are Bethenny Frankel's recipe and I love them. I've only made them once but I did use the oat flour- just ground it up in my magic bullet- I also mashed the banana instead of slicing it. I flattened them before they baked too. I don't think I used nuts though...