My husband Greg has found a way to combine one of his passions with a career; he is a pilot who teaches people how to fly warbirds, and he also gives aerobatic instruction. (Shameless plug alert: visit the Gauntlet Warbirds link under "Friends on the Web" to get a taste of what he does!)
One of the things I love about Greg is how incredibly hard he works. Unfortunately, this almost always means he will work a 12+ hour day without stopping to eat. You can probably imagine how I feel about this habit of his. Through the power of baking, though, Greg and I have been able to work out a compromise where he eats little snacks throughout the day, and I can stop panicking that he eats like a camel.
This recipe is adapted from Naturally Thin, by Bethenny Frankel. I was making the original recipe one day, when Greg tasted a cookie and asked if there was a way to beef up the protein and turn it into a "mini meal" for him. We had a lot of fun experimenting with different ingredients until we got the combination to a point where we always have a batch of these living in the freezer, so Greg can stock up before a work day. And, as a fun plus, Greg and I got to bake together, which is something I just love to do.
I will admit that these cookies are a bit on the dense side, but they are tasty and very filling (and vegan, too!). If you've never cooked with soy flour before, I highly recommend it. It's a great source of protein and mixes well with other flours; be sure to store it in the fridge so it stays fresh. Raw soy flour has the slight aroma of banana, so it works really well in this recipe. If, however, soy flour isn't your thing, you can use a different kind of flour. Speaking of banana, this recipe is a great way to get rid of bananas that have been lurking around your house a bit longer than they were welcome to stay.
Banana Oatmeal Cookies
Yields: 18-24 cookies
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. soy flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. raw sugar (if you only have granulated sugar, that will work as well)
1 Tbsp. natural applesauce
1/3 c. soy milk
1 1/2-2 medium ripe bananas
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 - 2/3 c. chocolate chips (optional) (you can use vegan or your favorite brand)**
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. While mixing, add the applesauce, milk, and vanilla.
3) Add the bananas last. For a smoother consistency, mash the bananas before you add them. If you like banana chunks, just throw the bananas in whole.
4) Once the dough is well combined, stir in chocolate chips, if you desire.
5) Scoop little cookie dough balls (about one tablespoon) onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. I recommend using a cookie scoop or tiny ice cream scoop, but regular spoons work just fine.
6) Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes, or until the bottoms and/or edges start to turn a light brown. The cookies won't rise or spread while baking, but don't fret - that's normal! Also make sure to rotate the pans halfway through.
7) Rest the cookie pans on a cooling rack for about 2-3 minutes, and then remove the cookies and cool all the way on a cooling rack. The cookies may be a little sticky when you take them off the pan, but that's normal. Parchment paper is a wonder for minimizing sticking to the pan.
**For those who know me, you are probably shocked that you saw "chocolate chips optional" because I am a huge lover of all things chocolate. However, Greg and I have a philosophical difference on whether chocolate should be added to these cookies. He likes them just the way they are, and I think everything improves when chocolate is added. I would just follow your gut and do what you normally like in a cookie. I've also approximated the measurement, because you should just eyeball how much chocolate you add, until it is to the level chocolatey-ness you prefer.
If you think that you have never baked with vegan chocolate chips before, you may be surprised! I was pleasantly happy to read the back of the Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips to find, as far as I can tell, no animal products. These are now my chocolate chips of choice - and they are delicious.