Last weekend, I found myself standing at the kitchen counter in front of a muffin tin and a very full mixing bowl. I had begun this culinary adventure with the best intentions; I was going to make muffins without using grains, refined sugar or eggs. My Grandmother was being released from the hospital and I wanted her to come home to a house that smelled delicious complete with a muffin basket full of healthy baked goods. How very Martha Stewart of me.
I had started off on an encouraging note, but at this point in the baking process, something told me that this wasn't going to end well. Perhaps it was the cement-like mixture caked between my fingers that was the first clue. These muffins were destined to resemble hockey pucks.
I stared down at my "dough", which happened to be magically solidifying by the minute. I had to think fast if I was going to make a game-saving move here. I tossed aside the muffin tin and pulled out a cookie sheet. New game plan: we're going to make cookies.
My concoction, now dubbed "cookie dough", only contained almond butter, bananas, and palm sugar. I had planned to use baking powder in my muffins, but I made an executive decision to throw in baking soda instead in hope that my (accidental) cookies might "puff up" a bit. I also came to the conclusion that organic maple syrup might come in handy when attempting to moisten the dense dough that rested in my mixing bowl. I took an educated guess at measurements (taking notes from Rachel Ray), then prayed to the cookie Gods.
10 minutes later, after dropping generous-sized cookie dough balls onto my baking sheet, I crouched peering into the oven as I watched my cookies rise. It's amazing, the sense of satisfaction one can feel while watching a hand-crafted baked good take shape. This felt like a Herculean feat.
On about the 11th time that I checked to see if they were "done", I deemed them "good enough" and took them out of the oven to cool. My Grandfather had arrived home with my Grandmother, both surprised that the house smelled like cookies rather than steamed cruciferous vegetables. What a pleasant surprise, right? Even more surprising was that I baked a cookie that actually tasted good. Success.
Upon taking his first bite my Grandfather asserted: "Mmm! What are these made out of?". As an effort to avoid scaring him away from his second bite, I replied: "Oh, you know, healthy things." It'll be my little secret that these cookies are gluten free, grain free, egg free, dairy free, refined sugar free...and pretty darn healthy.
Maple Almond Butter Banana Cookies
- 1 cup of Almond Butter
- 1 large slightly mashed Banana
- 1/2 cup of Palm Sugar
- 2 tbsp organic Maple Syrup
- 1/2 tsp gluten and corn free Vanilla
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- Extra mixture of palm sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling on top (optional- for snickerdoodle-like outcome. If aiming for this, puree the banana instead)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While preheating, lightly mash one banana (you want your cookies to have decent-sized bits of banana scattered throughout, so don't mash it to mush). Combine your banana thoroughly with your almond butter.
- Add your palm sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and baking soda. Mix well.
- Roll your cookie dough into a shape slightly smaller than a golf ball. You're going to want to make at least one dozen cookies with your dough. If you come up short, you've made 'em too big. Spread them evenly on your parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes. You may want to check them around 13 minutes, to be sure that they aren't drying out. You don't want to burn the bottoms! You'll want to take them out of the oven before they're crispy.
- The cookies will be fragile when they first come out of the oven. Resist eating them! Wait at least 20 minutes to pull them off of the parchment paper.
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a 5 Ingredient Mondays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Wheat Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free Fridays and Wellness Weekend submission