Sunday, October 9, 2011

healthy cookie series: part one!

i think it's important to start by setting some things straight about the above title: 

yes, cookies are healthy. get over it.

in fact, if made right, cookies can supply you with oats, grains, honey, and a warm fuzzy feeling. if that doesn't equate with health, then i don't know what does.
unfortunately, i haven't been able to experiment with all too many cookie recipes since starting this blog (exception: please check out these ridiculous macaroons), as my oven for the past year was somewhat picky regarding what it would and would not burn/decimate in some way or another. cookies were, to put it lightly, not its baked good of choice. there are horrifying pictures that bare witness to this harsh reality, but for the sake of the children, i've tucked them away in a folder deep in the corridors of my hard drive. 
in any case, today's a new day! and a new oven! an oven that, unlike some ovens, doesn't subscribe to anti-cookie propaganda (i'm slightly sad that 1) my old oven can't actually read how sassily i'm speaking about it and yet 2) i'm still sort of writing this post as if it can). so over the next couple of months, i'll be posting three to four cookie recipes that are not only really really tasty, but also appropriate or customizable for certain diets (gluten free, vegan, SCD). 

my younger brother aptly described today's vegan and gluten free oatmeal chocolate chip cookies as "insane", and i think he's just about got it. these little guys are crunchy, sweet, and dense with flavor. this recipe makes about 20 cookies, some of which i topped with almond slices (though i think walnuts or pecans would be a nice alternative). also, feel free to add raisins or any other mix-in of choice to the dough right before baking. 

vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
*for gluten-free cookies, use certified gluten-free oats

2 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
2/3 cup steel cut (or gluten free) oats
1 ripe banana, mashed          
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/4 cup almond slices (for topping)

preheat oven to 375F. lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

in a medium bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and oats. in another bowl, combine the banana, agave, and extracts. pour wet ingredients into dry, and add the chocolate chips. (as there are no raw eggs or animal products in this, feel free to try some of the dough and see if it needs anything else. i may or may not have added more cinnamon...).

using a small spoon - or better yet, your hands - form the dough into little balls. place on baking sheet, top with a couple of almond slices, and bake for around 17 - 20 minutes. the finished cookies should be toasted around the edges and slightly doughy in the center.