(Originally written in May 2013)
Cookies. They are awesome. If you don’t like cookies, leave this page now, and never return. There is nothing here for you. You heard! Go!
Now that those silly divils are gone, I can tell you all about my latest cookie discovery. Yes, the title sums it up nicely, this cookie recipe IS guilt free.
“Guilt free cookies? That’s a load of bollocks, Becca”… is the jist of what most people say when I try to tell them about these little gems. Their reaction when they taste, well let’s just say my smugface game is on point.
Other than the small amount of oil, and the sprinkling of Maple syrup (which is optional by the way), these cookies are very clean. They contain NO flour, sugar or butter and only the smallest quantity of salt.
- 260g of uncooked oats (I use Flahavans Irish organic jumbo oats)
- *130g of chopped walnuts
- **130g of uncooked raisins or sultanas (make sure they are not coated in sugar/preservatives)
- 1/2 a teaspoon of salt
- 3x medium sized bananas
- 70mls of vegetable oil (or sunflower oil)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Organic maple syrup for some drizzley squizzley fun*You can of course substitute walnuts for other nuts if you wish. I’d recommend almonds, golden linseeds, or if you are feeling crazy, a mix of all three. Just make sure they stay within 130g.
**Again, you can substitute here too. I sometimes like to mix it up with dried cranberries, strawberries or blueberries. Make sure you stay within the 130g. Also, make sure you use dried fruit as opposed to fresh fruit, otherwise the cookies will be far too moist and will effect the bake, preventing them from setting. Result: Big squidgey mess.
- Wash your hands, for the love of God, wash your bloody hands.
- Place baking paper onto a flat baking tray.
- Pre-heat your oven to 175º or gas mark 4.
- Combine the first four ingredients (your dry ingredients) in a large bowl; stir well.
- Peel and chop your bananas and place into a separate bowl and – here’s the fun part – mash them up with your hands. You could use a fork but it will take longer and it is not nearly as much fun :-). Mash them up so that the consistency is even and liquidy; some little lumps are OK.
- Measure your oil in a jug and combine with the banana, along with your vanilla essence. Stir well
- Add the banana mixture to your dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon (less stick issues) to combine.
- Let the mix stand for no longer than 15 minutes. Any longer and, because you have moisture sucking jumbo oats in your mix, it will start to dry up.
- Get a spatula and chopping board ready…. (this is purely for technique in shaping the cookies)
- Pick up small handfuls of the mix with your hands and roll/patt into flat ball shapes, but don’t handle too much. Place the ball on the cutting board and use the spatula to squash down (gently, not too much) and flip the dough so that you are left with a slightly chunky cookie shape (see my pics for an idea – even flatter would be recommended so they are not too dry in the centre)
- Repeat until all the dough has been formed into cookie shapes. I make big ones, so I usually get about 12 cookies from the mix.
- Take your maple syrup and drizzle a very small amount over each cookie. This will give them a really nice, subtle sweet flavour. It goes perfectly with the flavouring of the baked fruit and nuts.
- Place those beauties in the oven and Bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden. I usually flip them after about 10 minutes.
- Transfer cookies to wire racks for cooling
These cookies are great to have in the fridge as a snack, and what’s more is they keep for about a week, and they freeze very well. They are ideal as an on-the-go breakfast snack in the morning. If ever I have an pre-work gym visit or an early flight to catch, and am up at a silly hour, I always take one with me in my bag. It is nearly as good as the king of brekkies, a small bowl of porridge and fruit, and MUCH better than about 95% of the rubbish cereals you see along the supermarket aisles these days. They are also great as a late afternoon pre evening gym snack, as they provide a small balanced serving of complex carbs to give you the right kind of low GI energy boost you sometimes need at that time of day.
I am really proud of this recipe, as I kind of made it up from scratch when I wanted something yummy to snack on, minus the guilt. Hope you enjoy trying it out.