Chocolate Banana Walnut Oatmeal Cookies!

Have you ever had Laura’s Wholesome Junk Food? I love that stuff, but especially the banana chocolate cookie version. If you followed that link, you’d know my sadness–they no longer make it! And while I don’t think these cookies quite live up to Laura’s yet, they are really easy to make, and cost a lot less than $5.99 a batch!

Chocolate Banana Walnut Oatmeal Cookies (makes 13 cookies–a baker’s dozen!):

  • 1 really ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 T applesauce
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 T ground flaxseed meal
  • 3 T unmilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces

Mix the applesauce, sugar, syrup, flaxseed, unmilk and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. There will probably be a few banana lumps–don’t worry about them, as long as they aren’t huge. Now, add the oats, flour, cinnamon and baking powder to the bowl, and mix until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts until evenly incorporated.

Drop cookies onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes. It’s important to slide them off of the cookie sheet and onto a baking rack when done, so the bottoms don’t steam and get super soft. Let them cool fully before eating, or they will turn into a gooey blob in your hand. Yummy!

 

 

 

Advertisements

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Funny, isn’t it? I’ve been trying out different recipes, testing out different theories about what makes a good chocolate chip cookie, and the answer was there all the time. This is pretty much my same exact recipe for chocolate chip cookies, just with two easy switches to make it vegan. And it’s perfect. Sure, that sounds like bragging–but you’ll see!

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies (makes 2 dozen):

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 T umilk
  • 1 T ground flax seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt (you can use 1/2 tsp, if you like saltier cookies)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

First, mix your unmilk and flax seeds together in a small cup, and set aside. Then, in a medium mixing bowl, combine sugars, maple syrup, canola oil and vanilla. Really stir them together–for two minutes or until your arm hurts. Then, add the flax and unmilk. Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl and mix until dough forms. Here’s a tip to know if you’ve added the right amount of flour: the dough should appear wet, but isn’t sticky if you pinch off a bit. If it sticks to your fingers, add a little more flour–about 2 T. Now, add the chocolate chips, stirring to combine.

Now, make little individual dough balls about the size of a walnut, and flatten gently onto your parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake on a cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes (depending on the size of your cookie) in a 350 degree oven. I usually just make cookies in small batches, and keep the dough in the fridge. However, I’ve noticed this dough gets sorta crumbly as it gets cold, so if you want good looking cookies, I would either let it get back to room temp, or just make all the cookies at once.

But yeah, they are seriously awesome. And no fussing with cornstarch! Or tapioca starch! Hooray!

(Okay, I just realized that I posted virtually this same EXACT recipe before, but the results were completely different! How weird is that? Anyway, check it out!)

Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles!

One of my husband’s beloved co-workers had her last day at work on Friday, so I made these very spicy cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. One, we didn’t tell anyone that they were spicy, so that was pretty funny. Two, these are amazing! I will cut back on the cayenne next time I make them–they were a little too hot for me. But they would make the best ice cream sandwich cookies in the world.

Basically, imagine a cookie that has the taste and texture of a very thin brownie. Then make it sugary crunchy on top, with a hint of cinnamon. Then, put it in your mouth. Aaaaah.

 

 

Cookie Bars! Cookies! In Bar Form!

Well…what you see is a cookie bar, not bars, but there were more of them. I promise!

I’m still working on getting my cookie recipe just right, but these are close enough that I thought I would share. The first night, I made this dough into regular cookies, then popped the rest of it in the fridge. When I tried to make cookies again the next day, the dough wouldn’t form back up. I got cookie crumbles. Or, as my husband lovingly pointed out, “Are you in there making trail mix?” Exactly.

So, I decided to take what was left and just press it into a baking pan and make bars. Easily done, and they came out really great–even better than when they were shaped into “normal” cookies. Hooray!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars:
(makes easily a dozen bars, cut smaller or larger for more…or less)

  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 T ground flax seeds
  • 3 T unmilk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 and 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Take the flax seeds and mix with the unmilk in a small cup. Set aside while you work on this next part. Vigorously blend together the sugars, maple syrup, and canola oil in a medium bowl. Mix it for as long as you can stand, the longer you mix the better your cookie texture. Now, add in the flax and unmilk mixture and the vanilla. Stir to incorporate. Add in the salt, baking powder, and flour. Continue to mix until most of the flour is absorbed. Now, add your chocolate chips and stir until they are pretty evenly distributed. Lots of them will attempt to hang out at the bottom of the bowl.

Now, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. For ease of removal, you may want to lightly grease your 8×8 (or smallish) baking pan, or line the bottom with parchment paper. Press the cookie dough firmly in, and bake for about 10 minutes. The dough should be slightly golden on the top, if it isn’t, put back in for another 2 minutes.

Note–great mix-ins for these cookies would be: 1/4 cup of coconut, and/or walnuts, and/or pecans.

Gingerbread Ducks

My daughter is obsessed with the story of the Gingerbread Man (which is kinda awful, cause he’s a sneaky little DB), so I thought we’d try our hand at making some homemade gingerbread. Word to the wise: I do not like gingerbread. No one in this house likes gingerbread. But I had all the ingredients, so I went for it.

Guess what? When it’s warm, fresh out of the oven and soft, this gingerbread tastes fantastic. Amazing! Wonderful!

Guess what else? If, for some foolish reason, you decide to freeze the gingerbread, since you made a lot and want to enjoy it later, do not be fooled. This frozen and defrosted gingerbread will taste exactly like crap. Or at least cardboard. That someone crapped on.

Word to the wise: eat it hot!

Recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.

 

Speltaway Meltaways

Cookie Mad Science: Muwahahaha! I have just been down in the cookie lab, and made something I’m desperate to call Speltaway Meltaways, though I don’t think they are actually meltaway cookies. Rather, they are no-conventional-sugar chocolate chip and spelt wonders. I’m super excited to share the recipe with you!

Speltaway Meltaways (I can’t help myself):

  • 1/2 cup flour (I use something known as “super grain flour” which is a mix of white and whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup (or use agave nectar, if you have it on hand)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 T blackstrap molasses (or any you have on hand)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 T tapioca starch
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

You first want to mix the syrups & molasses with the oil. When mostly blended, add the tapioca starch and vanilla, and then really mix the heck out of that thing. I’d say stir for at least a minute, maybe two. Now, just add in the flours, salt, and baking powder. Mix until dough forms. Vegan cookies tend to not “come together” like non-vegan ones, which will usually sort of ball up on you. Instead, just make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Now, mix in the chocolate chips! This is the tough part, because the dough will want to reject them. Don’t let it!

Next, and this is optional, get out a piece of plastic wrap. Use this to roll the dough into a neat log (a la tube cookies from the store). This will help you get the chocolate chips incorporated, and will let you make pretty cookies when you slice them off the log. Put the log in the fridge until it firms up. If you want to skip this and make drop cookies, just drop tablespoonfuls of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake cookies in a 350 degree oven for at least 8 minutes, but probably more like 10 minutes. Cookies always look undercooked when you remove them from the oven, let them cool on the baking sheet and they’ll be perfect.

Let me know how this mad science works for you! I’m still trying to perfect my cookie recipe, and I would like to do it without conventional sugars. I found these to be a little bit on the dense side–but that might be good for layering or in a blondie-type situation.