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.
Almond shortbread recipe and the cute button cookie cutter
Who doesn’t love the soft, crumbly, buttery taste of shortbread? It’s one of those melt in the mouth biscuits which- according to Beau, I don’t make nearly often enough. That and freezer cookies!
I was requested to make a batch and when I had some leftover ground almonds I thought that they’d work well together – I’m a bit obsessed with almonds at the mo! And my almond shortbread recipe was developed and loved. They were deeelsh. After the on-going shortbread fiasco of a few years ago I decided that now was the perfect time to have a play with my new button cookie cutter stamp.
Button cookie stamp
My friend Emma (is it me or is everyone called Emma nowadays?) set up her own cookie stamp business Emma Jane’s Bakery, just before the birth of her daughter and she asked if I would like to have a play with one of the designs. Of course I jumped at the chance. I mean how great are they? Emma asked me to choose one and I have to say that I struggled. They’re all really cute. I went for this simple swirl design as I thought it would work on so many levels – biscuits for friends, christmas gingerbread gifts for teachers, shortbread for demanding eleven year old daughters!
As well as doing button cookie stamps (there’s eight to choose from) Emma also does a stamp for weddings, Christmas and she can even personalise them too. “Made by EmmaMT” sounds pretty good to me, but you can have baby’s names and birthdate for christenings, Mr & Mrs and the date for weddings, company logos – the list is endless. Go have a look and see.
Almond Shortbread Recipe
- 200g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 100g Caster sugar
- 35g ground almonds
- 225g plain flour (plus a bit extra for rolling out)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Mix the butter and sugar until completely combined.
- In a separate bowl sieve the ground almonds and flour and stir to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients and almond extract to sugar and butter and mix until just combined. The less mixing you do the better and more crumbly the shortbread will be.
- Line a baking tray with silicon paper.
- Roll out the dough so it is around 1cm thick. Using the button stamp imprint the pattern into the dough. If your dough is really sticky give the stamp a light dusting of flour. Then use the circle cutter to cut out around each patterned biscuit. I found that by cutting the circles after imprinting the pattern I got a nice neat circle button. When I cut out the circle then tried to do the pattern I squished the shape and it wasn’t round anymore.
- Continue patterning and cutting till you have used all the dough up. Remove the excess dough from around the shortbread buttons then carefully lift each biscuit and place it onto the baking tray.
- Chill the shortbread on the baking tray for 30 minutes. This will prevent the biscuits from spreading and losing their shape whist baking.
- Pre-heat your oven to 160ºC (Fan oven140ºC) and bake the shortbread for 12 minutes. The edges will start to go slightly golden at the edges. If they go brown they’re overdone.
- Remove from the oven and place on a cooling tray to cool down completely.
- Eat them all up!
Disclaimer: The cute button cookie stamp in this post was sent to me by Emma Jane’s Bakery (Thanks Emma. I’m gonna have fun using this one) All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.
Chocolate peanut cookie recipe
Every now and again I come across a cake or cookie and I simply have to have more of! That was the case with these chocolate peanut cookies. I was on a photo shoot in April and the client bought some of these in with her. She’s bought them at some trendy bakers and I kept sneaking back into the kitchen to eat a few more crumbs in between shots. I couldn’t get enough of them. So, I decided to try and recreate them.
Cookies are a funny thing. They need to be moist and chewy in my mind to be a success and these weren’t as chewy as I’d hoped for. They were deep and almost fluffy inside and the combination of chocolate chips with all those peanuts just worked. I’ve tried a few flavour variations on this recipe and this is definitely my favorite.
They’re great for making in a hurry as they are a success whether you chill the dough before baking or not (I couldn’t tell the difference between the ones I baked straight away and the ones that had sat in the fridge for an hour first) They also work well straight from the freezer- just give them a few extra minutes in the oven.
So, with the end result being more biscuit than cookie we still managed to polish them off in record time. Whatever you’d call them they were totally moreish and completely deeelish. Whats more, they took less than an hour from start to munch!
Chocolate peanut cookie recipe
Makes around 20
- 150g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 150g caster sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- 1 large egg
- 225g plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 100g chocolate chips
- 100g peanuts
- Line a baking sheet with baking paper and pre-heat your oven to180ºC (Fan oven 160ºC).
- Mix the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the egg and vanilla essence. Sieve the flour and baking powder over the mix and stir until just combined.
- Lastly, add the chocolate chips and peanuts. Be careful not to over mix the ingredients as it makes the cookies tough.
- Place dollops of cookie dough onto the tray leaving space for them to spread a little and bake for 12-15 minutes until they start to turn brown at the edges.
- Leave on the tray for a few minutes before transferring onto a cooling rack.
- These chocolate peanut cookies will keep for a few days in an air tight container.
Every now and again I come across a cakey gadget that I just HAVE to have. I’m sure you’re the same. So, when I saw these letter stamps I really couldn’t resist them. I was in Hobbycraft gathering up loads of supplies for a mammoth Christmas crafting shoot I was working on and out of the corner of my eye I spotted these cute little letter stamps.
Now, they’re not really meant for cake decorating. They’re meant for ink, but with a quick soapy wash I think they are fine for a bit of cookie stamp action. The reason that they’re on my radar is because my sister in law sent me a link over a year ago to an American website with this really cool cookie letter press set that had a frame to put the letters in and create nice and even words. It was really expensive to buy when you considered the postage costs but the set was always at the back of my mind.
But. this little set was a bargain. Probably one of the biggest cake decorating bargains I have ever come across. Guess how much it was?
£2.00! Yep, just £2.00. How amazing is that?
So, I had a bit of a play with them on some vanilla cookies and they came out pretty well. I think I’ll be trying them out on some sugarpaste next. The results should be even better.
My mum has a famous Kichal recipe- well, it’s famous in our family anyway. Whenever she needs to make some biscuits to take to someones house these are what she takes. She cuts them in a crinkly circle and adds either a slither of chopped almond or a tiny piece of cherry on the top and she keeps them nice and thin. That’s the secret. To bake them long enough to be cooked right through but not so long as they go too brown. If truth be told I am the first to eat the ‘burnt’ ones as they are just as tasty- they’re just the wrong colour! Then she piles them high. They never last very long!
When my mum gave me this recipe I wrote it on the inside cover of the red book. The back cover has a pancake recipe on it. (I have had this book for a very long time!) I was talking to my sister about it and it turns out she has mum’s recipe written inside her red book too. I think I feel a family tradition coming on!
Almond biscuit recipe
Makes around 50 biscuits
- 226g (1 cup or 2 sticks) butter at room temperature
- 460g (3 ½ cups) Self raising Flour
- 226g (1 ¼ cup) caster sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp water
- ½ tea spoon almond essence/ extract
How to make Almond biscuits
- Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature- especially the butter and eggs.
- Pre- heat your oven to 160ºC (140ºC Fan) and line your baking sheet with silicon paper
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until it forms a ball of dough. You can use a food processor or stand mixer but the best way to mix is with your hands as their warmth will combine the ingredients in a way that makes them taste the best. I’ve tried it all ways and by hand always wins- hands down!
- This makes quite a lot of dough so I will often knead two balls and freeze one. It will defrost in about 30 mins and it’s always great to have some ready to go. Whether you want to chill or freeze, wrap the dough in clingfilm. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
- Once you are ready to roll out, lightly dust your surface and knead the dough. If it’s really sticky add just a little flour. The dough will soften quickly as you handle it so handle it as little as possible.
- For really thin biscuits roll out the dough to a depth of around the size of a coin then cut out your shapes and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes then turn the baking sheet around inside the oven so the biscuits bake evenly. Bake for a further 5 minutes. You know they are done when the edges start to brown ever so slightly. Watch them like a hawk if you don’t want them to burn.
- Place the cookies on a cooling rack and try to resist eating them hot!