Tall Drink of Nerd – Has Gone Bananas
a blogumn by Amy Robinson
As I type this, I’m shamelessly stuffing my face with chocolate chip banana bread cookies. Given my proclamation to go wheat free on a previous FaN blog, chocolate chip banana bread cookies seem dangerous, contradictory, hypocritical even. Nope!
That blog got much love and support from friends and from peeps suffering from Celiac Disease, thank you very much! At the time, I also admitted to being thrifty. I promised you that if I found any cheapish Gluten Free (GF) recipes/solutions that I would share them here on FaN. Well I have found some! I humbly apologize to Fierce Foodie, who is the true FaN recipe guru. She is responsible for any drool damage I have to my laptop. (BTW, try her rice pudding recipe; it’s gluten free and so addictive, I just go ahead and leave the spoon in the dish in the fridge for easy snacking access…)
Just to be difficult, I also have a serious sugar jones and love to bake. I think I have written 4 blogumns about pastries here on FaN. A few weeks ago I decided to make traditional chocolate chip cookies. They were meant to be a pre-emptive apology to our downstairs neighbor for our recent Wii Fit Plus purchase and activity. We get bouncy on the Wii.
You know that all of the cookies didn’t make the trip downstairs. After savoring 1/2 a cookie, I had a horrific headache, tummy troubles and a tremendously bitchy personality change. But the 20 minutes they took to bake, and 1 minute of tasting, were happy making. I only wanted to bake cookies that wouldn’t make me miserable.
Luckily, the very next morning, one of my favorite food porn sites, 101cookbooks.com, posted a natural chocolate chip cookie recipe. This recipe calls for bananas. No butter, no flour, no eggs, no sugar (except in whatever chocolate chunk/chip you choose to add) but they are so yummy! They taste exactly like little chocolate chip banana breads. My husband has become addicted to them. I eat them without guilt or pain. With every batch I’ve whipped up (there has been 3 so far) I’ve thought ‘I should share this with the FaN folks, specially since ETC is eating right and her MIL loves to cook for them.’ So here is the recipe for Kick-Ass Banana Choc-Chip Cookies: (you know I gotta make you jump)
3 large, just ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups) – If they are too ripe, the dough will be too loose
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almond meal
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
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, racks in the top third.
In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and olive oil. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, 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 wetter and looser than a standard cookie dough. 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 the tops should be lightly browned. 15 minutes seems to be about right in my oven.
Almond Meal is about $10 a bag at Whole Foods, which I balked at. But one bag will last 3-4 months if you make these 2 times a month, so the cost seemed managable. If you have almonds on hand, you can make your own almond meal by pulsing almonds in a food processor until it is the texture of sand. Don’t go too far or you’ll end up with almond butter. I do not use GF oats, but I have not been diagnosed with Celiacs. GF oats are available on the market for a bit more money if you are more sensitive. This is slightly modified from her recipe. She calls for coconut, and I’ve tried it both ways and prefer it without.
The other recipe I’ve been making repeatedly has few ingredients (sugar, butter, eggs, choc chips). It’s stuff you probably have in the house already, so it’s cheap! It doesn’t seem logical that something so dang hot and gooey and chocolatey decadent can be as cheap and easy as this. You can find the recipe for Classic Molten Chocolate Cakes for Two here.
Well, now I’ve got a chocolate thumbprint smudge on my space bar. I should probably clean that off…after this one last cookie.