Saturday, March 31, 2012

Banana Chocolate Walnut Cookies

I am one happy baker today! I was finally able to successfully adapt a cookie recipe to my liking by making it healthier and having it actually turn out right. What you don't know is that for the past week or so, I've been trying out different cookie recipes using various substitutions for butter, sugar, oil and all-purpose flour.  For whatever reason, the combinations I put together did not yield the best results.

Part of what helped me succeed is a book called "The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions" by Celine Steen & Joni Marie Newman that I borrowed from my sister.   This book is a wealth of information that I highly recommend to anyone interested in vegan cooking/baking.  Not only are there suggestions for supermarket substitutions for milk, eggs, cheese, meat, animal by-products (honey & gelatin), gluten, sugar, soy & fat, but there are also recipes for how to make your own from scratch!  Each chapter contains one real, non-vegan recipe with suggestions on how to substitute with vegan ingredients.  They also provide you with lots of vegan recipes per chapter.   I especially appreciated the chapter that discussed the different types of flours and which kinds are best to use in what type of recipe.  In addition, they give excellent advice on how to adjust other dry and wet ingredients in a recipe when you want to use liquid sweeteners in place of refined sugar.  This is going on my "must buy" list!

On to the cookies... this recipe is adapted from Vegan Cookies Invade your Cookie Jar.

Banana Chocolate Walnut Cookies
(makes 24 cookies)
1 ripe banana (medium)
2/3 cup Organic, Grade B maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp quinoa flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly grease two baking sheets (I used coconut oil). In large mixing bowl, mash banana.  Add maple syrup and vanilla and mix together. Add flour, baking soda, salt & cinnamon to wet ingredients and mix until moistened.  Add oats, walnuts and chocolate chips and mix until combined.

Ingredients combined

Scoop out sections of dough slightly smaller than palm sized (I used an ice cream scooper).  Form dough into a ball, place on greased cookie sheet and flatten with your hand.   Place each ball 2 inches apart.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned (mine took 11 minutes).  Cool for 2 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

By using maple syrup in place of refined sugar, I was able to completely eliminate the need for oil in this recipe.  Double bonus (no refined sugar or oil)!  Also, quinoa flour adds additional nutrition as it's rich in protein, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and is also gluten free.  It makes for moist and tender baked goods, and has a nutty flavor, perfect for this type of cookie.  It can be found at most health food stores.

These cookies are moist, chewy and ooey, gooey delicious!

Oh, and someone was very interested in the Rice Milk.....

Don't worry, I didn't actually let him have any.  He just got close enough to think he was getting some.  Silly cat!  :)  


Val said...

Ohh.. this sounds awesome! I wish I could get quinoa flour here!

Cute how your kitty wanted to have some of the rice milk! =)

Christine said...

Hopefully you'll be able to get some when you live in Germany! You could use all purpose flour too, I just wanted to use a healthier flour instead of white.

Ha ha, of course my little busy bodies are always getting into what I'm doing. Sam really wanted that Rice Milk! -^..^-