>> Monday, November 16, 2009
OK. So, I lied. There's more than meets the eye (and taste buds) with these chocolate-banana chippers. But before you click the X at the top of your screen, I beg you to keep reading. The base recipe for these cookies comes from Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious cookbook. I've read the good, bad, and often ugly reviews, but when I found a copy for a mere $3 at a local discount store, it was too much of a steal for this cookbook addict to pass by. Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Foods. In this event, I was the "kid" we were so eagerly trying to have eat more healthful foods. (I tend to be a bit of a sweet tooth, and those of you coming to us from METHOD know this reality quite well.)
One night I opened the pretty pink book and started reading. First thoughts: I wasn't really shocked by the idea to incorpore vegetable purees into my meals -- I've been doing that for quite a while in fact. When you're vegan, especially, you find yourself putting all kinds of purees (and other strange ingredients) into baked goods to substitute for eggs, milk, etc. Unimpressed, I continued on to the dessert section. Then I found it. The page with those infamous CHICKPEA chocolate chip cookies. And you don't mash up the little buggers, you add them right into the batter like so many walnuts.
I just had to try it out.
But I didn't have eggs. Or applesauce (which is my favorite substitute). However, I did have two ridiculously ripe bananas sitting in my line of sight. CHICKPEA and BANANA cookies? I don't know . . . Oh, why not?! I sent Stephen to the corner pharmacy to pick up some chocolate chips (CVS is our favorite "emergency foods" store) and got to work on the dough.
Here's the recipe. I'll continue below with my comments.
What you'll need . . .
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar (I used dark)
- 3/4 cup trans-fat free soft tub margarine spread (I used Earth Balance)
- 2 large egg whites (I used 2 medium, very ripe bananas)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- (15 - ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed. NOTE: She does not instruct to mash them.
- 2 Cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (Stephen's trip to CVS only yielded some Halloween-sized chocolate bars I used my food processor to "chunk" -- either way, just add some chocolate. You're going to need it.)
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 3/4 cups raisins (optional -- but YUCK! REALLY?!)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 cup wheat pastry, 1/2 cup all-purpose)
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Method . . .
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and margarine with a wooden spoon or on medium speed until smooth.
- Beat in the egg whites (bananas) and vanilla.
- Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt, chocolate chips, CHICKPEAS, walnuts, and raisins (if wanted), and mix on a low speed until a thing dough forms.
- Drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto the baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart.
- Press gently with a fork to flatten.
- Bake until the cookies are golden brown and just set, 11 to 13 minutes; do not over bake.
- Transfer to a rack to cool.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. However, our batch didn't last that long.
Personally, I hated these cookies more than anything I've ever baked in my entire life. And this includes several failed attempts at vegan brownies that turned into an oily goo in the oven. What makes them so bad, you ask? Well, as much as I tried to ignore the chickpeas, their texture and taste simply didn't allow me to forget them. They don't really transform in the baking process. Maybe dry out a bit, but they remain that familiar chickpea from salads and such. The rest of the cookie, though, wasn't too bad. I'd try them again -- maybe -- sans legumes.
Stephen's take? He LOVED them. Everything about them. He ate them all in two days and has since begged me to make them again. We'll see about that.
Final verdict? Give 'em a try. At very least you'll have an interesting story to tell you friends & family. And I've read that kids really don't notice if you don't tell them what's in it.
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