Sugar free oaty banana cookies
Are you being healthy this year? We’re trying to be, but that’s not why I discovered this recipe! You see my sister is sugar obsessed – as in the NOT eating sugar, obsessed. It’s not a weight issue for her. She looks after her teeth. She avoids sugar at all costs and has these runs of being completely sugar-free. The most recent one was eighteen days! Each time she re-starts she tries to get a longer chain.
I have to say that she’s on her own there! Even though Mr MT and I are eating a healthier diet, I still have one treat a day and it ALWAYS has sugar in it. But when you know that your sister is on a long chain and the family is coming round for Friday night dinner, you want to find something that everyone can enjoy for dessert. That’s where these Sugar-free, oaty banana cookies come in.
The best thing about this recipe is that it ticks so many boxes – sugar-free, dairy-free AND vegan. It’s all good. Also, once cooled they’re cookies but eat them 10 minutes fresh out of the oven and they’re lovely and warm served with ice cream for a dessert and that’s exactly what I did when the family came round. Also, as a side note I reheated them for 10 seconds in the microwave a few days later and drizzled them with honey (no judging- I said I loved sugar!) and they were deelish!
You see I think there is a theory that if you get the balance right you can use banana to mush practically anything together! Oats and banana just work don’t they? And they are naturally sweet and sugar-free to boot! It’s a win, win! I wonder what they’d be like with a touch of cocoa? Hmmm?
Sugar-free Oaty Banana Cookie Recipe
3 ripe banana (mine were 270g once peeled) mushed up
200g rolled oats
20g ground almonds
120g dried/medjool dates- chopped into small pieces
85ml sunflower oil
1 tsp vanillia extract
Make sure the bananas are well mashed then add the rest of the ingredients and mix in well.
Set to one side for 15-30 minutes. This allows the wet ingredients to saturate the dry and form a solid mix.
Pre-heat your oven to 180ºC (160ºC Fan oven) and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
Use a ice cream scoop to grab some of the mixture and place on the baking sheet leaving a little space between each one. They don’t rise as much as spread a little.
Bake for 20 minutes until the edges start to brown slightly. Remove the tray from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely. They are delicate and will fall apart if handled straight out of the oven. As they cool they become more stable to be handled.
I hope you enjoy these and they help you to keep your new years resolution. Oh and by the way, my sister didn’t have any ice cream with hers – she’s a good girl, and all the family loved them
The only choc chip cookie recipe you’ll ever need!
Do you ever have one of those days when only a choc chip cookie will do? I love them but Beau simply adores them. Whenever I’m baking that’s what she wants – Freezer cookies. So, when I went to make her a quick batch I discovered that I actually didn’t have all the ingredients I needed so in true EmmaMT style I just made up teh recipe as I went along and used similar alternatives. What I discovered was a batch of the most moreish, soft, gooey chocolateyness I have ever tasted. I had to hide them just so I wouldn’t eat them all before I had shot them. In fact I am alone in my house right now as I type this and I know that there are still five more calling me from downstairs
“Emma! Come and eat us. We’re all soft and warm and bursting with waaaayyyy too much chocolate to resist us!”
But resist them I must. I promised Tim that I wouldn’t eat them all and that there would be some when the girls get home too! Pfew! My waistline thanks him for that!
Alternatives that work
The thing about these cookies that took me by surprise it how good they taste when made with margarine instead of butter. I knew that the brown and granulated sugar would work instead of soft brown sugar but I expected them to be a bit soggy not perfectly gooey. They were just right. Another benefit is that you can use margarine straight from the fridge as it’s soft to begin with. I used Flora’s Buttery as I have a post I’m writing for them in April and had it in the fridge already. It’s goooood!
The trick to getting the perfect soft cookie
… is to not over bake them. This is something that has taken me years to perfect. They only need 9-10 minutes in the oven. The edges will start to turn golden brown but not brown-brown- if you know what I mean? They’ll be light and puffy and they’ll look under baked. They’re not. Just take them out of the oven and place the tray on a cooling rack and leave them for 20 minutes before removing them. I know, I know. Warm cookies from the oven are too good to resist so just do your best! As they cool they wrinkle and look like the ones above. Chocolate heaven.
Even after nearly forty minutes the chocolate was still all warm and melted. See? It’s hard to resist! Hence there are now only five left from the batch – which makes 18. (just so you know I’m not completely greedy I did bake these yesterday. I haven’t eaten them all by myself in one go!
I hope these become a staple in your recipe repertoire as they have mine! Let me know how you get on and if you manage to resist/share them.
The perfect Christmas cookie gift
My good friend Kathryn is popping over today with gifts for the girls. She is one of my oldest friends and always buys them a gift for Christmas. She’s so generous. We always buy her a birthday present (her birthday is in January – it’s one of those funny set ups) but I thought it would be lovely to give her some home made Christmas cookies as a little treat when she comes for lunch today. I know she loves chocolate. I mean who doesn’t? I decided to make extra chocolatey cookies and give them a Christmas touch. These cookies are pretty quick and easy to make, but they do need to be left over night to harden.
Makes around 30 biscuits (enough to give and to ‘test’)
- 200g unsalted butter- at room temperature
- 200g caster sugar
- 50g cocoa powder
- 350g plain flour
- 1 egg – at room temperature
- 1 tbsp cold water
- 100g white chocolate
- 200g dark chocolate
- Green and red sugar paste for the holly
To make the biscuits
- Heat your oven to 160° and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
- Place all the ingredients into a bowl in one go and mix until just blended, then use your hands to form a soft dough.
- This mixture is quite sticky so it needs to chill in the fridge for at least an hour or you’ll end up with a sticky mess! Wrap the dough in cling film first so it doesn’t dry out.
- When you are ready to roll out the dough, take a little out of the fridge at a time so it doesn’t get too warm and handle it as little as possible. Also, try not to use too much flour when rolling out as it will remain on the baked biscuits. I used a 2 ½ inch circle cutter to create the round cookies and used spacers to ensure each cookie was the same size. Pop them in the oven for 12 minutes or when the edges start to go darker.
- Leave to cool completely on a wire rack once baked.
To decorate the chocolate cookies
- Roll out a small amount of green icing and use a holly leaf cutter (available at Cake craft world.com or hobbycraft shops) to cut out 1, 2 or 3 leaves for each cookie. Set aside to dry a little, then roll out tiny balls of red sugarpaste. When you have enough press the bottom of the leaves together to secure. Add the berries to the base. If they don’t stick use a tiny amount of water or edible glue to position them.
- Set aside to dry for 10 minutes or so, so you‘ll be able to handle them when you want to put them on the cookies. It’s a good idea to place some baking paper on the plate so the sugarpaste doesn’t get stuck.
- For the top of the Christmas pudding melt the white chocolate in the microwave in a non metallic bowl. I blast it for 30 seconds at a time so it doesn’t burn. Stir between each session till there are no lumps. I have a new toy (more on that next week) it’s a Lekue decopen which is a silicon icing tool. It’s perfect for holding hot melted chocolate without burning your hands and allows me to control where I ‘ice’. You can easily use a plastic icing bag with a nozzle though. If you don’t have either you could use a small spoon but it might take a bit of patience to do it that way! Create an outline of the dribbling icing at the top of each pudding then fill in the space with the chocolate.
- You can simply add the holly at this stage as the cookies look really cute. But for a ‘death by chocolate cookie’ melt the dark chocolate and create the bottom half of the pudding in the same way as the top. Then add the holly and leave to dry overnight
Top tip: When adding the melted chocolate remember that it has a tendency to run so don’t ‘ice’ too close to the edge of the cookie or it will dribble off the side of the cookie and you won’t want to give it as a gift – you’ll have to eat it yourself!!!
Basic vanilla biscuits / Cookies
Last night: Sunday, 7.30pm as Beau get’s out of the bath.
Beau: You said you would make biscuits for school for our biscuit tasting
Me: Yes I will. When is that?
Beau: Yes what will you make?
Beau studies a new topic each term and this time it’s chocolate. They are doing a biscuit tasting to see what different brands make and how they differ. As I had limited notice (let’s say 1 ½ hours, as Downtown Abby was going to be starting at 9pm) I had to think on my toes. “What do I have in the house-ingredients wise- that will suit?” I decided that you can’t go wrong with a vanilla biscuit and as I have recently discovered, these ones taste amazing with dark chocolate.
This is the recipe I always use when I ice biscuits as gifts, but with a chocolate topping on them they taste completely different and are very quick to make and decorate. Also melting chocolate and ‘drawing’ all over biscuits is really good fun.
Makes around 30 biscuits
- 200g unsalted butter- at room temperature
- 200g caster sugar
- 400g plain flour
- 1 egg – at room temperature
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 100g dark chocolate
To make the biscuits
- Place the butter in a bowl. I had to cut mine up into small pieces so that I could warm it up quickly when I mixed it, but it’s best if it’s at room temperature.
- Add the sugar, flour, egg and vanilla essence
- Mix the ingredients by hand. I always mix biscuits by hand as the warmth from your hands means that it’s all being blended really well and for some reason they taste much better than when mixed with a machine. You can always start the mixing with a wooden spoon if you don’t like gloopy hands.
- Be careful not to overmix biscuit dough. It will not only become tough, but the biscuits will spread more when baked and we want them to keep their shape perfectly.
- Once it is nearly all blended I turn it out onto the worktop and knead it till it all holds together nicely.
- Then wrap it cling film and pop it in the fridge for 30-60 minute. I was on a tight time scale last night so I put it in the freezer for 10 minutes. The dough is much easier to handle once it’s been properly chilled. Mine was really soft and sticky so I just added a little more flour when rolling it out.
- Use spacing sticks (available from cake decorating shops) to ensure that when you roll out your biscuits they are all the same thickness.
- Cut out the letters then remove the excess first. This way you can pick up the biscuit without denting it.
- Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and place in the fridge for 20 minutes. This will stop the biscuits from spreading when they are baked.
- Bake in the oven for 12 minutes at 160° or until the biscuits start to brown on the edges
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Place long strips of cling film across your table. This is great as the chocolate makes a huge sticky mess and when you are finished you can simply lift it up and bin it.
- In a microwaveable bowl melt the chocolate. The easiest way to do this is to break it into small pieces and heat it up for 30 seconds at a time and stir in between. That way you can ensure that the chocolate doesn’t burn.
- Place all the cooled biscuits on the cling film so that they are close together but not touching.
- To transfer the melted chocolate into a plastic icing bag place the bag inside a drinking glass and fold the edges over. Snip the bottom off when you are ready to go. The chocolate will dribble out from the moment you cut off the end of the icing bag so be ready to go.
- Decorate each biscuit in turn by adding the chocolate in a circular or zig zag action. Leave the chocolate to harden for 5 minutes then transfer the biscuits to a cooling rack to harden completely.
- Once dry and hard place the biscuits in a box or on a plate and enjoy.
These are a great biscuit to make as a gift. The first time we made them was for Beau’s friend Dixie’s 8th birthday a few weeks ago. We wrote her name and did a few dog shapes too. They always go down really well.