Thursday, April 16, 2009

"Hippie" Cookies

"Hippie" Cookies

Since I eat more sweets than is healthy or reasonable, I try to balance things out with the rest of my diet.  Just when I was running out of my own creative combinations of beans and rice I discovered Heidi Swanson's beautiful food blog,  Heidi's recipes are innovative but easy to follow, and the meals I've made from them have been, without exception, totally delicious.  

Acknowledging that even the most nutrition-centric among us needs a treat now and then, Heidi's line-up also includes recipes for sweets like these, called "Nikki's Healthy Cookies" after their originator.  I re-named them "Hippie Cookies" in celebration of their alternative vibe and rustic appearance (think gravel, buckskin, and grass trimmings). 

The revolutionary principle at work here is that an overripe banana and some oil (olive or coconut) will hold a dough together just as well as eggs and butter.  Add oats and almond meal for body, coconut and vanilla for flavor, and dark chocolate for fun, and you have a vegan, flourless, low-sugar treat.  The mixture is baked just long enough for the ingredients to meld.  

I followed Heidi's recipe to the letter, deviating only when it came to shaping the cookies. When I tried to drop spoonfuls of the mix onto a cookie sheet, my freeform haystacks just fell apart (maybe my bananas weren't mushy enough).  I settled on rolling spoonfuls of dough into balls, which held together fine and lessened the risk of burnt bottoms.  The result was totally delicious, man.

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