Sunday, June 5, 2011

Nikki's Healthy Cookies

Butter-less, flour-less, egg-less, and potentially sugar-less cookies? When I first read the recipe for Nikki's Healthy Cookies in 101 Cookbooks, I shared Heidi's doubts about just how good this cookie could be. But as I read on to the ingredient list and ripe banana, ground nuts, oats, and chocolate chunks popped out, I put away my doubts and went for it. The ingredients in this cookie are so wonderfully rich in taste and texture on their own that it doesn't even need added fat or (much) sugar to taste good. Cut into irresistible bite-size chunks, the emphasis here on "healthy" does not disappoint.



Nikki's Healthy Cookies (original recipe link)
Yield: Makes about 3 dozen bite-sized cookies.

Ingredients:
3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, barely warm - so it isn't solid (or alternately, olive oil)
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened (I actually didn't have coconut, and used ground flax seed instead for this portion. Use the former if you want a more macaroon-type taste, and latter for nutty.)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 - 7 ounces chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar chopped
1 tbsp brown sugar (optional). I added sugar because I was concerned the cookie wouldn't be sweet enough without the coconut, but I don't think its a must- a less sweet cookie takes on a more earthy taste.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, racks in the top third.
In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks/chips.The dough is a bit looser than a standard cookie dough, don't worry about it. Drop dollops of the dough, each about 2 teaspoons in size, an inch apart, onto a parchment (or Silpat) lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 - 14 minutes. I baked these as long as possible without burning the bottoms and they were perfect - just shy of 15 minutes seems to be about right in my oven.

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