Let me start by saying that to call these cookies is a stretch. They do have a lot of protein and they are slightly sweet. If you bake them in the shape of a cookie, well, you might be able to pass them off to a child as a cookie. But as an adult, unless you are on a restrictive diet, you are going to be hard pressed to sell the idea that these are cookies. These cookies are gluten free and sugar free. If you cannot eat either or both of those items, THESE ARE COOKIES! Yeah! And compared to the number of gluten free/ sugar free items that I have purchased over the years, they are not half bad.
So why do I bother? Well, it started 16 years ago. My oldest daughter was diagnosed with a sensitivity to sugar. She was also found to be allergic to wheat flour. So began my journey to find things that would satisfy a growing girl’s sweet tooth and not make her ill. Over the years I have gotten pretty good at making treats without sugar or gluten, but excluding both is a real challenge. I frequently use substitutes like Splenda, Truvia, Stevia, Agave Syrup, and mashed bananas to sweeten dishes. Although, I have found that using a combination of sweeteners usually works best. Used individually, the above either leave an odd aftertaste or they just don’t get the job done.
A few years ago, I found the base of this recipe 3-2-1 (3 bananas, 2 cups of oatmeal, 1 cup of peanut butter) and as usual, I sought to improve it. I found the basic recipe ( just combining the above ingredients) to be coarse and chunky. So I added a few ingredients and processed a few. That brought me to the recipe you see today. I can’t say that they are my favorite, but my daughter likes them and that is all that is important. I will say however, if you have a need for something to grab and go as a nutritious breakfast item or snack. These are great! They pack a powerful 3.06 grams of Protein, only 10 grams of net carbohydrates, and 5 grams of natural fruit based sugar per cookie (chocolate chip version). So it can be a great way to get protein early in the morning, if you aren’t a bacon and eggs type of person. If you are avoiding calories and fat, probably not the cookie for you.
- 3 Ripe bananas
- 2 Cups of oatmeal
- 2 Cups of peanut butter (my daughter prefers the chunky)
- 1 Egg
- 1 (or more) Tablespoons of agave syrup
- 1 Pinch of salt
- Extra dark chocolate chips
- No sugar added jam
You have to start with the bananas.The riper the better. Most people consider a ripe banana to look like this:
But I don’t consider a banana truly ripe until it looks like this:
I know, most of you throw away bananas that look this way. But this is when the sugars are going to be most concentrated. So don’t throw away that banana, make cookies out of it!
These are the base ingredients:
Before I combine the base ingredients, I run the oatmeal through my blender (you can use any food processor) until it more resembles flour than oatmeal. This reduces the coarse texture of the cookie.
Normally I mash the bananas with a fork, but today I am in a hurry and (what the heck, the blender is already dirty) so I am running the bananas through the blender. This works only because I am adding an egg. Otherwise the cookie batter might end up being too loose (runny). I will also do a slight taste test for sugar at this point. Less ripe bananas may require more agave. But remember, not too much. It defeats the purpose.
I place all of the main cookie ingredients into a bowl and thoroughly combine with a rubber spatula.
If you want to make the jelly thumbprints stop here and form the cookies on your cookie sheet. If you are making, chocolate chip cookies you can add ½ cup to 1 cup of extra dark chocolate chips. I am splitting this recipe today and making half and half. So I am going to do the thumbprints first and then add ½ a cup of chocolate chips.
I scoop the cookie dough out with a small ice cream scoop onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
These come out slightly smaller than a ping pong ball and will thereby render about 28 cookies.
When I finish scooping the cookies on to the cookie sheet, I come back with a spoon or fork and press them flat. These cookies are not going to move. So whatever shape the are when they go into the oven. That is what is coming out.
I place the cookie into my oven at 375 degrees for around 10 minutes. My oven is convection, so it is going to cook faster and a little hotter. You may want to bake them at 400 for 12 minutes. Ovens vary, so hopefully you know if your oven runs hot or not. Either way, you want the cookie to have a slight tinge of brown around the edges, but not brown on top. You are not so much cooking these as solidifying them.
For the thumbprint cookies, I immediately remove the cookies, and indent them with the back of a spoon and add a very small spoonful of jelly or jam. As the cookies cool the jelly will melt slightly into the cookie.
I set aside to cool.
So let’s go back to the other half of the batter and mix in the chocolate chips.
Then we form the cookies the same as we did with the thumbprints and pop them in the oven to bake.
Once removed, you need only allow them to cool. No other steps are needed.
I hope that you enjoy these cookies. They are at least somewhat guilt free. But if you are one of the people who like my daughter cannot eat gluten and sugar. Congrats! You can now bake cookies!