Dear Sunday Treats readers,
It's been three weeks since we last posted a recipe. Actually, four, if you look closely and realize that Katie's Mother's Day post didn't include a new recipe, but rather linked to recipes we've posted in the past. Sneaky, Kate, real sneaky.
It's been a busy month in the world of K&B, what with the end of the school year, 3-day weekends, allergy season (yuck), birthday parties, bridal showers, and dance rehearsals and performances. We seem to actually be busy these days. Overall, I like to consider that a good thing.
The not-good thing, of course, is that it means we've been neglecting our blogging duties. Please do not take that to mean we've been neglecting you, faithful readers! In fact, part of our busy-ness has sprung from the myriad of picnics and parties and celebrations we've been baking for. It's the post-baking posting that's eluded us.
We sincerely thank you for your patience. And, to some of you, we also express our gratitude for your persistence. It's certainly a lot easier to put your nose back to the grindstone (er, keyboard), when you have friends and coworkers reminding you in gentle yet exasperated tones that "you didn't post a recipe this week, again."
To reward you for your patience, I am about to unveil the recipe that has become a K&B signature. Drumroll please...
Presenting the famous, fantastic, fabulous...Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies! Oh yeah, and they're vegan, too!
The story of these cookies starts in El Salvador - a country known for it's spectacular pupusas and pan dulce, not cookies. However, while studying abroad there in college, our fellow American student and enthusiastically vegan friend Miguel decided to prove to his housemates that a meatless, dairy-less, eggless, etc.-less existence could still be tasty by whipping up a batch of said banana oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
Aspiring bakers that we were at the time, Miguel had to fight Katie and I out of the kitchen while he worked. When the cookies came out of the oven, he had to fight to save a cookie or two for himself. My most prized possessions from those four months abroad include my personal journals, drawings from the children I accompanied in the coffee fields each day, and the recipe for these cookies.
There are many, many reasons I love these cookies. 1) They are simple to throw together, with no mixer required (which was good, because in El Salvador, we didn't have one). 2) They make use of my favorite egg replacer - ripe bananas. 3) Good ol' oatmeal gives them stability, but more importantly allows you to rationalize eating one or five of them for breakfast. 4) They're great for entertaining vegan friends, but hold their own against traditional baked treats - so much so that I sometimes forget they are vegan at all. And 5) My coworkers request them, conversations are started by them (what do you mean they're vegan?!), and friends of friends remember who I am by tasting them. Muchas gracias a Miguel, they've given Kate and me our reputation as superb bakers.
For a while after discovering their power, Katie and I attempted to keep the recipe for these cookies to ourselves. Then, of course, we realized the irony and selfishness in hogging a recipe we'd in fact gotten from a friend in the first place. Now we share the recipe as often as we bake the cookies, which, I'm sure, is what Miguel would want us to do.
So there you have it. Have at 'em, amigos. And when someone asks you for the recipe, be a good friend and pass it on.
-Becky & Katie
Vegan Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe via friend Miguel
Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies
1½ cups flour, less one tablespoon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup canola oil
1 1/3 cups unrefined (raw) sugar
One to one and a half ripe bananas (when smashed, volume should equal that of approximately two eggs)
2 tablespoons vanilla soy milk (plain or banana soy milk are fine, too)
1½ tablespoons vanilla (be generous)
3 cups quick oatmeal
12 oz. dark chocolate chips or chunks (check label to make sure chocolate does not contain milk products)
Non-vegan substitutions: When baking for a non-vegan crowd, I've often substituted regular milk for soy milk and semisweet chocolate chips for the dark chocolate. The result is still quite tasty, but in my opinion, not quite as good as the original.
Note: As quick oats tend to be smaller and less sturdy than other oatmeal varieties, I like to use half quick oats and half quick-cooking "old fashioned" oats. However, any type of quick-cooking oats will do.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl; set aside.
- In large bowl, stir together oil and sugar until creamy.
- Using a fork, potato masher, or the bottom of a sturdy glass or plastic cup, smash bananas in a flat-bottomed bowl or tupperware until you achieve a consistent texture. There should be no large lumps. Add bananas to the sugar/oil mixture, stirring until well combined.
- Add soy milk and vanilla and stir well.
- Slowly add in the flour mixture and stir until well combined.
- Stir in oatmeal and chocolate chips.
- Place heaping tablespoons of batter onto cookie sheets about 3 inches apart.
- Bake approximately 10 minutes. Cookies are done when the inside looks moist, but not too wet, i.e. when they no longer look too "shiny". Because there are no eggs in the batter, they will not brown as much as classic chocolate chip cookies. They will, however, turn a golden tan.
- Remove cookies from oven and allow them to sit on the sheet for about two minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will be delicate when hot, but will firm up as they cool.
- Cookies are best the day they are baked, or the following day, but can be stored in an airtight container up to five days. You’ll know when they are no longer good because the taste changes. To keep moist, loosely wrap a slice of bread or apple in a paper towel and place in airtight container with cookies.