This blog was born out of a shared interest in yummy, creative and healthy animal-free food between Hilary and I, and was motivated in large part by a desire to please in endless dinner parties with friends, so what better way to start off this project than with a recipe I whipped up for Hilary’s birthday?
Because I make almond milk every week, I now have a ton of almond meal in the freezer, so I had to think of something to do with it. Also, since both Hilary and I consume pretty minimal amounts of sugar and knowing that a diabetic friend was going to be a part of the celebration, I had to invent a tasty dessert that wouldn’t be too sweet (the only sugar in this recipe is from the dehydrated coconut and horchata- the sweetness mostly comes from the banana and the stevia). Okay, so those were the technical specs I was working with- the rest is creativity, invention and support from The Minimalist Baker.
These cookies take kind of a long time to make, but there are many modifications that can be done to make the process a little less complicated. Cookies come out soft and moist and smelling like yummy bananas with surprising little crunchy chunks of cacao and coconut. They were a hit at the party both with the vegan/sugar-free crowd as well as with sweets-loving omnivores.
- 4.5 cups almond meal
- 4 ripe bananas
- 1 cup dehydrated coconut*
- 1/2 cup cacao (or cocoa) powder
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 2.3 tablespoons baking powder
- ~1/3 cup arrowroot flower (tapioca) or cornmeal
- pinch of salt
- 3 pinches of stevia powder (or to taste)**
- 1 cup horchata mix*
- 1/2 tablespoon cloves
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or margarine
*Contains sugar **Optional
- Set the oven to 400 F (200 C) and if needed, put the almond meal in the oven while it preheats to dehydrate it. Be careful not to burn it! You just want to get rid of as much liquid as possible.
2. Meanwhile, mash the bananas in a large bowl until pureed. Add the coconut, cacao or cocoa, and the vanilla. I used whole cacao beans that I first had to remove from their shell and then grind, but you can also just use cocoa powder.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients: baking powder, arrowroot or cornmeal, salt, stevia, horchata, and cloves.
4. Gradually mix your fresh-out-the-oven almond meal into the banana mixture. When it’s well combined, gradually add in the coconut oil or margarine. If needed, you can add more cornmeal or arrowroot flour little by little. You want the dough to be moist (but not liquid) and somewhat sticky so that the cookies are soft and don’t fall apart- that’s what the arrowroot flour or cornmeal is for. The nice thing about this recipe is that the dough’s consistency and the consistency of the baked cookies is basically the same, so there are no big surprises when they come out of the oven.
5. Grease the baking tray so that the cookies don’t stick. Shape the dough into balls, whatever size you like- mine were about 2 inches wide -and put them on the tray, flattening the centers lightly. You can arrange the dough balls really close to each other on the tray since they don’t really change shape in the oven.
6. Leave the cookies in the oven for about 10 minutes just until the undersides are golden (you can check the bottoms with a spatula), then let them cool for about 20 minutes before eating them. Optional: once they’ve cooled down (half an hour or more), drizzle cookies with melted chocolate.