Nikki’s no-sugar, no-flour cookies

December 31, 2009 at 1:54 am (101 cookbooks, B plus (3.5 stars, like a lot), Cookies, Dessert, Grains)

I accidentally left my freezer open last night and everything in it defrosted.  I’m taking it as a higher power’s way of telling me it’s time to do some New Year’s cleaning.  I decided to start with a ziploc bag full of now uber-soggy bananas.  I was going to make banana bread when I came across the recipe for Nikki’s healthy cookies on the 101 cookbooks blog.  I’ve made vegan cookies with banana before (from the Rancho la Puerta cookbook I think) and they were terrible–fluffy and too-banana-y and not really anything like a cookie.  But the comments on Nikki’s recipe were almost universally positive, so I decided to give it a try.

I didn’t have coconut oil so I used half melted butter and half olive oil.  I didn’t have almond meal so I made my own from just over 1/2 cup of almonds.  I used just over 6 ounces of vegan chocolate chips, Whole Foods brand.  The only thing I did wrong was adding baking soda rather than baking powder.  I wasn’t sure what to do to fix it, but I was pretty sure that baking soda alone wasn’t going to work because the recipe doesn’t have any acid in it, so I added the baking powder in as well.

As Heidi warns, the batter was very loose.  I used the mini spring-loaded ice cream scoop my mom gave me to measure out the cookies, and it worked really well, despite the loose batter.

After about 10 minutes in the oven my cookies were looking quite brown.  I think it’s because I had the fan on in my oven, and because baking soda makes cookies brown more than baking powder.  I left the cookies in for 12 minutes then pulled them out and let them cool on the parchment-lined cookie sheet.  The cookies looked quite haphazard and misshapen, in a cute, rustic kind of way.

The cookies tasted good!  The kind of tasted like chocolate chips stuck together with oaty, nutty bits.  The coconut adds a bit of mouth grit, but I didn’t detect much coconut flavor.  Maybe if I had used coconut oil they’d taste more like macaroons.   Without it, however, I’d say they were more akin to chocolate chip oatmeal cookies than macaroons.  I was a bit worried that the cookies would be too salty because of the baking soda, but I didn’t notice anything amiss.  The cookies are crunchy on the outside and slightly moist in the inside.  You can taste the banana, especially if you get a lump, but the banana flavor is quite discrete.  I didn’t taste the cinnamon, although it probably added to the perceived sweetness and complexity of the flavor.  I didn’t taste the olive oil at all.  The banana and chocolate chips provide plenty of sugar, so despite the lack of added sugar the cookies end up plenty sweet.    Derek didn’t even mention the lack of sweetness, and as you know he likes things very sweet!  A minor weakness of this recipe is that the cookies don’t hold together too well.  I wonder if grinding up a little of the oats along with the almonds would help them stick together a bit better.

The main danger of this recipe is that the cookies are so cute and petite looking, it’s easy to eat six in one sitting.  Although they’re relatively low-calorie, after a few cookies the calories definitely add up!

Nutritional stats for my version.

Macronutrient breakdown: 48% fat, 45% carbs, 7% protein.

Serving Size: 1 cookie (1/38th of recipe)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 76
Total Fat 4.2g
Saturated Fat 1.7g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 2mg
Sodium 77mg
Carbohydrate 9g
Dietary Fiber 1.3g
Sugars 4.8g
Protein 1.4g
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 1%
Calcium    1% Iron 2%

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