The legendary Elvis Presley, King of Rock and Roll, loved the combination of banana and peanut butter so what better inspiration could I have for this recipe.
Cookies without egg and flour, lack the normal binding ingredients which keep the cookie together after baking. There are commercial replacements available, but if you only occasionally bake gluten free and egg free cookies, or if you like me would prefer to have less expense then the question is: What can be used instead of egg and flour to make cookies that do not fall into pieces upon a minor touch? Vegetables or fruit with a high fibre content (long, sticky carbohydrates) are a good bet.
When pondering this problem, I came to think about Elvis’ love of banana and peanut butter. In some of my previous cakes I have used chickpeas as the binder but not everyone can eat these or other pulses, so I decided to try to use bananas as the binder for the cookie dough. I have already tried bananas as an egg or gluten replacement in my book “Free Cakes”, but never as the only replacement. I also asked myself, how would it work with peanuts? It worked well, but very mature bananas overwhelm the peanut flavor, so the banana should be used before it is completely black. The recipe is enough for about 8 large cookies or 16 smaller. The cookies are crispy on the outside and soft inside.
100 g ripe banana without skin
30 g peanuts or peanut butter (to be used as a source of fat)
40 g of syrup
60 g melted coconut oil or saturated coconut fat (or similar vegetable shortening)
50 g brown sugar
50 g white sugar
1 teaspoon (6 g) xanthan gum (or if available 1/2 table spoon (12 g) of xanthan-containing marmalade thickening powder)
115 g of all purpose gluten-free flour mixture
35 g oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
30 g milk free chocolate (70% cocoa) broken into pieces
50 g of peanuts (to be used for crunch and taste)
Blend the oatmeal in an electric coffee grinder or in a blender until it becomes a fine flour. Put the gluten free flour in a baking bowl and add the oatmeal. Add the baking soda and mix well.
Melt the coconut oil in the microwave, or in a glass or steel bowl that you put over a pot of boiling water. (Warning when putting fat directly in a pan on the stove, the heated fat may start to burn)
Place the blender’s jar on a kitchen scales. Weigh the banana, peanuts (30g) or peanut butter, melted coconut oil and syrup into the jar.
Reset the kitchen scales between each addition. Run the blender until everything is completely mixed and there are no chunks of peanuts left.
Weigh the sugar directly into the blender’s jar and run the mixture until the sugar is dissolved. Sprinkle on the xanthan containing powder while the blender runs.
The mixture will now thickened. Empty the mixture over the flour and scrape out all remaining mixture sticking to the sides of the jar. Mix together into a dough.
Work in chopped peanuts (50g) and chocolate. Put the dough in a refrigerator for 30 minutes or longer. Shape the dough into a thick roll, about 8 cm in diameter, or two thinner rolls, about 4 cm in diameter. Place the dough in the refrigerator or freezer for cooling, for at least 30 minutes.
Set the oven to 180 degrees C. Cut each roll into 8 equal slices. Place the slices on clean baking paper with a good distance in between them, so they do not stick to each other. They will increase in width during baking. Touch the cookies with your palm to ensure a smooth surface. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes at 180 degrees C until they are nicely browned.
The cookies are quite soft to the touch just as they come out of the oven, but they are fine and firm (and maybe a little soft inside) when they are cooled.
These cookies are milk free, gluten-free and egg-free, and thus vegan. If you tolerate wheat flour, replace the 115 g of gluten-free flour mixture and the xanthan with 130 g of all purpose baking flour (not self rising type)
If you want to learn more about “cookie science” then have a look here. The blogger explains how research works using cookies as an example. Here you can find out how to make gluten-free cookies as good as regular cookies. This is a fun read, if you want to learn more about how scientists think.
Wishing you the best of good bakes!
Anne S, Cornelius C and Sigrid T
Blog post by Anne Spurkland, first published in Norwegian on 18th November 2014
Translated to English by Cornelius C and Sigrid T, republished on 26th May 2018
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