So, two nights ago I had a serious hankering for chocolate chip something. Muffins, cookies, scones, I dunno. Zucchini chocolate chip muffins sounded divine, but I have a really bad history with food graters (read: I grate my fingers and/or fingernails off ever time because I am clumsy) and the zucchini at the store was inexplicably slimy. Not going to happen.
So I pinterested, as I am wont to do when I am hungry, and found a recipe for “Fruit Sweetened Gluten Free Cookie Recipes.” Looked interesting, I had the ingredients, so I tried it out. What I came up with was maybe not exactly what the blog author Lynn had in mind, so I’ve published my version of her very good recipe below. The recipe I made gave me nice thick cookies that were browned and crispy on the outside but soft and moist on the inside. I would recommend serving these within a few hours from the oven. I don’t know how they’ll keep – they got eaten too fast for me to provide helpful advice on that front. 🙂
Let me openly admit, and hopefully if you ever dine at our house this doesn’t bother you, but I will taste the hell out of food as I make it (as long as it doesn’t contain raw meat) to make sure that any adjustments in the flavor get made before the recipe is cooked. Texture is another story, usually. But, this recipe needed adjustments. I appreciate the spirit of the original recipe, but the batter, to me, just did not taste like potential cookies.
On an aside, I also want to address the original blog author’s reason for substituting fruit sources of sugar for refined sugar. She happens to be a cancer survivor (as am I, liposarcoma in 2010), and she read somewhere that eating refined sugar causes cancer recurrence. This is the second time today I’ve seen this – that refined sugar causes cancer, published in a food blog, and honestly that claim stinks of horse shit. The library school graduate in me begs you: Check Your Sources and use reputable ones! (Hint: blogs typically don’t qualify.) There are a lot of people on the Internet pretending to know what they’re talking about giving incorrect (and sometimes even dangerous) health advice. Please don’t go spreading it around like manure. From the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, the Cancer Institute, named after the Cancer Researcher:
[M]any cancer patients are led to believe they must follow a restricted sugar diet for fear of causing cancer growth in themselves if they do not adhere. This fear and rigidity often promotes a very stressful experience. The stress will actually lead to an increase in blood sugar as well as compromised immunity….
“The connection between body weight, insulin levels and cancer survivorship is currently being researched. In the meantime, becoming more physically active, striving to maintain a healthy weight and eating a plant-based diet including substituting refined sugars and white flour with whole grains and other unprocessed carbohydrates can all help to keep insulin levels in check and promote cancer survivorship.”
If you want to know more about cancer in plain language (including Dr. Farber), check out Siddhartha Mukherjee’s book, The Emperor of All Maladies. Anyhow, enough ranting, let’s get on with the baked goodies, shall we? 🙂 Here are my notes on the major changes I made to the original recipe.
Note 1: Since we live in Biscuitburgh, as I mentioned, I didn’t have access to a Whole Foods or similar to purchase cocoa nibs. The irony in this is that we do live in Hershey, and there are probably cocoa nibs by the trainload somewhere nearby. So, I used extra chocolate chips.
Note 2: When I first tasted the batter before I added the brown sugar, the result was something that might have passed for a muffin or maybe a scone. The banana, while sweet, lended a tanginess to the batter that I just could not abide, and Lovey certainly wouldn’t enjoy eating these cookies either. His sweet tooth is worse than mine, so I had to do something about it. I added teaspoons of brown sugar in until the batter passed for a healthy-ish cookie batter.
Note 3: The almond meal I had on hand was really coarse, so I used half almond meal and half sorghum flour (a finer sift) to compensate. I liked the results. In general, I’ve taken a fancy to using sorghum flour in sweet-oriented dishes.
At long last, I present the recipe:
Gluten Free Healthier-ish Chocolate Chip Cookies with Banana and Flax Meal
- 3/4 cups butter (stick and a half) softened. I heated refrigerated butter in the oven as it preheated.
- 1 large or 2 small bananas very ripe, peeled and mashed
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons vanilla (I like my cookies to have a distinct flavor, cut this in half if you don’t)
- 1/2 cup almond meal (I used Bob’s Redmill)
- 1/2 cup sorghum flour (I used Bob’s Redmill)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (I may have used slightly more than 1/4 cup, but not enough to say 1/3 cup)
- 1/4 cup coconut flour (I used Bob’s Redmill)
- 2 tablespoons ground flax meal (I used Bob’s Redmill)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate chips (I used the mini chips)
- Preheat oven to 325F
- In a large bowl, combine butter, mashed bananas, egg, and vanilla in a bowl and mix with a mixer until evenly creamy
- In another bowl, combine the rest of the (dry) ingredients and mix by hand
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a fork until evenly blended
- Scoop into rounded mounds about 1 inch in diameter and place on an ungreased baking sheet
- Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies are just starting to golden
- Cool for 5 minutes and enjoy
Makes about 18 cookies
Sorry, Milo. Cookies are not for cats.