I took down my Christmas decorations at the weekend. I used to hate taking them down, everything looking so bare. But now I kind of quite like it. It signifies getting back to a routine and on with New Year sensible eating habits!
As I’ve said in my last post, I’m trying to lose a bit of weight and January is going to be mostly about healthy treats. I decided to give making healthy cookies a bash. So, these were a bit of an experiment, but I think they turned out lovely.
The fact these contain no dairy fat, no eggs (plus no sugar), makes them quite vegan virtuous indeed. They aren’t gluten free, but you could swap the wholewheat flour I used for another, such as almond or spelt flour.
I used a low-fat peanut butter in these, but a full-fat version would be okay too. Peanuts contain ‘good’ fats and there isn’t too much in these anyway. And coconut butter is such a good alternative to regular butter. A lot of health shops stock it for quite a hefty price. But I picked a jar up for next to nothing at my local Chinese supermarket.
To replace some of the sweetness and the binding of the egg, I went for an over ripe banana. I chucked a banana in the freezer and when frozen, let it come to room temperature and it slips out of it’s skin in a much pulp, perfect in the cookie batter. Also to replace some of the sweetness, I used sachets of Stevia – each one comes in at 1.5 grams which equates to 1.5 grams of sugar. I added 6 of these but as they are calorie free you could add more if you like things sweeter, without affecting the consistency of the cookie dough. And I added a tablespoon of raw cacao powder. This added a subtle chocolaty flavour too.
One last tip, I used a scoop to measure these out, so they were round domes on the baking sheet. I presumed they would spread and flatten out when baked. How wrong was I? They kept their shape, and I quite like the round shape. But if you prefer your cookies a little flatter, press them down with the bottom of a glass. They won’t take quite so long to bake either, so adjust the oven time accordingly.
The cookies are a great snack, full of flavour, slightly sweet, slightly peanut buttery and slightly chocolaty. They are crisp on the outside with a slight chew in the middle just as I like my cookies. And of course, they are much better for you! Enjoy if you give them a try yourself.
Yield: 16 cookies approx.
115 grams coconut butter
60 grams peanut butter (low-fat optional)
1 medium banana, very ripe and mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 sachets (9 grams) Stevia powder
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
150 grams wholewheat flour
Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and preheat the oven to 180C.
In a bowl, either by hand or with a mixer, cream together the coconut butter and the peanut butter. Add the mashed banana and vanilla extract and beat this in until smooth.
Add the dry ingredients (the flour, stevia and cacao) and combine until a thick dough is formed. Divided the batter into 16 rounds and place on the baking sheets. Press down slightly into a flat cookie shape if desired.
Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until dry looking and lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before enjoying.
I am entering these cookies into this month's Treat Petite hosted by myself this month, and my co-host Kat from The Baking Explorer. The theme this month is Healthy Treats.
I'm also entering these cookies into this month's Biscuit Barrel Challenge hosted usually by Laura at 'I'd Much Rather Bake Than...' but this month my Alexandra 'The Lass in the Apron'. The theme this month is 'Innovations and Discoveries'. These cookies were a bit of an experiment so I think they fit the bill of innovation!