Banana-Date-Pinto Bean Cookies (don’t knock’em ’til you try’em)

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While I haven’t forgotten about the last installment of the articles on caffeine-containing herbs, I have had to temporarily put it on hold in order to prepare the cooking classes that I’ve been giving in the local community of late.

This week’s class is on cooking with beans, above and beyond the pea soup and baked beans typical of my region.  In an effort to find ways to use beans in every type of food course, the final touch was bean dessert.  While black bean brownies will definitely be making it in there, I also wanted a good cookie recipe.  So loosely (ok, very loosely) basing myself on the US Dry Bean Council’s (I was as surprised as you to find out that they existed) recipe here, I went to work creating my own.

I really liked them, but then I’m biased in favour of my own cooking; they do have a light and somewhat cakey texture (you’re warned in case you don’t like that) and I did find them a tad on the sweet side.  As a result I had my husband taste-test and his verdict was ”succulent: a bit too sweet for us though, cut the sugar in half next time.”

So I’ll shut up now and let the recipe speak for itself:

  • 2/3 cup granulated cane sugar (less if you aren’t super into sweet)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, soft but solid
  • 3/4 cup dry pinto beans, soaked and cooked until soft
  • 3 ripe banans
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2-1/4 cups flour (you may need a bit more, particularly if you use canned beans which are somewhat soupier than the dry ones. Use whatever kind of flour you like, I used what was sitting at the bottom of the flour pot which had a mix of oat, barley, wheat, rye, sourghum and millet)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped dates (you could use nuts instead, or trail mix, or chocolate, or whatever add-in tickles your fancy and works with banana in your world)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Drain the beans and mash them with a fork.  They’ll be pretty dry, that’s OK.
  3. In a food processor blend the sugar and coconut oil until smooth. Add the bananas and blend well. Add pureed pinto beans and blend until the mixture is smooth and even.
  4. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the wet mix from the food processor and mix until the dough comes together. Fold in the dates.
  5. Make 1 tablespoon sized cookies (the two-spoon method or ice-cream scoop method work well) on a greased cookie sheet.  They don’t spread a whole lot so you can probably put a dozen to a pan.
  6. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden. Cool on a rack. Makes about 4 dozen.

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