Monday, February 13, 2012

Go ahead. Eat those cookies.

I've been on a bit of a sweets tear lately. I have, for the most part, kicked the regular ice cream habit, but I just moved on to chocolate truffles (which, in my defense, were leftovers from a birthday gift I made — I couldn't let them go to waste!) and now cookies.

My go-to cookie for satisfying a craving is a banana chocolate chip cookie recipe that is actually pretty healthy, as far as cookies go, and is also really delicious. I've had this recipe for a while and have tweaked it over the years until I think I've got just the right proportions. It's a great one to have in your repertoire, because it's egg-free (which came in handy when my godson had an egg allergy) and can be made dairy-free if necessary.

In fact, I made the cookies last week with butter and tried coconut oil this week. I was hoping it would give the cookies a bit of a coconut flavor, but it didn't — the cookies tasted pretty much exactly the same.

OK, so these cookies aren't exactly low in fat or sugar. The recipe calls for either a stick of butter or half a cup of coconut oil, both of which are pretty high in saturated fats and calories. And there's a whole cup of brown sugar in the batch.

But check out all of the good things: whole wheat flour, wheat germ, bananas and walnuts! And I would certainly throw dark chocolate into that category too. It is good for you, right?

I'll be honest — these are not as satisfying as a really delicious, gooey chocolate chip cookie. But they are delicious in their own right and are definitely worth a try.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c toasted wheat germ
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 rounded tsp sea salt
1/2 c unsalted butter or coconut oil
1 c brown sugar
2 bananas, mashed
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, wheat germ, baking soda, baking powder and salt).

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter or coconut oil until light and fluffy, and then beat in the sugar. Add the banana and vegetable oil and mix together thoroughly. Add the vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients and beat well. Finally, mix in as many walnuts and chocolate chips as you like.

Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

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