Monday, 23 February 2009

Banana Cookies

So I was vegan for a while (not anymore) and it was always a challenge baking. Most baked goods have eggs in them, and vegans don't eat eggs. Many vegans use an egg replacer, and there are always suggestions to use applesauce or mashed banana as well. I always thought egg replacers were a bit frivolous and frankly stupid, but I like the banana/applesauce idea. This was my thought when I saw that...

I had a very black banana in my fruit bowl, and love the taste of banana. I do not, however, like the taste of a very soft, almost rotting one (who does? Reminiscent of baby food). I recently made chestnut cookies/drops using a minimal amount of butter: about 2 tablespoons, so I thought I'd start with that. I was a fan of the lower fat content and didn't miss it at all. I suppose the sugar won't make these really the healthiest cookies, but you can switch out the white sugar with splenda, and I'm sure that'll help. If you want to make these vegan, just use vegatable spread or margarine instead of the butter.

Also, these cookies are pretty versatile: Instead of the vanilla you could use almond extract. You could also throw in some chopped nuts, chocolate chips, etc. The flavor could also be changed by adding a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg (or both) I kept these pretty plain just to see what they'd be like (Ok, I confess I did actually put some caramel pieces in mine, but it didn't turn out too well: melted and oozed out).

Banana Cookies

1/4 c. (65 g) packed dark brown sugar
1/4 c. (65 g) white sugar
1 and a half tablespoons (knobs) of butter
1 small, very ripe banana
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch salt.

Cream together the butter and sugar
Add the banana and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and combined
add the flour, baking powder and salt, and mix until thoroughly combined
Stir in a small handful of chocolate chips if you want
Roll rounded teaspoons of the dough between your hands, into balls, and place on baking paper lined baking sheet
Bake at 150 c (300 F) for about 10-12 minutes, until tops of cookies are slightly hard.

A note. These cookies have a very stiff batter due to the high flour and low butter content. Because of this, they will not spread when baking and retain their lovely little ball structure. If you want a flatter cookie, smush your balls flat. I like them better as balls though, because I think they look prettier/cuter and the middle is very soft; it's almost like you're eating raw cookie dough. The best part about this though, is since it doesn't have any eggs, you don't have to worry about catching salmonella by eating uncooked cookie dough. Ah HA!

If you think they look a bit boring (let's admit it, they do look a bit boring: light brown balls), dust them with some powdered sugar when they come out of the oven or drizzle with melted chocolate once they have cooled.

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