My adventures in raw and vegan dessert and the occasional savory recipe creation!
Monday, July 11, 2011
Vegan Chunky Monkey Cookies
In my house, food never goes to waste...especially delicious food such as salted almond brittle! I had made some salted almond brittle to use as a garnish on a dessert I had made, then assembled the dessert, served it, and long after it was eaten I realized the bowl of almond brittle was still sitting on my counter! I guess that is what happens when I am doing too many things at a time... and at least nobody noticed because the rest of the dessert was so good. Now, you may wondering why I didn't just eat the almond brittle. Well, honestly I cannot justify eating a large amount of something so sweet and sugary on its own (which I would, because this brittle was addictive, and dangerous to leave on the counter). What I can justify however is dispersing it into something else delicious such as vegan cookies, and spreading the intense sweetness out!
I thought the brittle would add a nice salty caramelly, nutty tasting crunch to a cookie, and if I added chocolate with it, even better! Now, I thought about using an oatmeal cookie base, but decided instead that a banana base would be delicious! I had acquired some over ripe bananas which were sitting on the counter begging to be made into cookies!
I mixed up the dough, and I cannot tell you enough how delicious that alone was...as I snacked on a large amount of it. After all it is vegan so no risk of contamination for eggs! The cookies smelled wonderful while baking, like banana bread with nutty toffee. Once they were cool enough to taste I dove into one...well maybe a few more because they were so good warm, and they were fabulous!
A soft cookie with the flavor of banana, crunch of toffee and nutty almonds made more intense with sea salt, and bursts of chocolate flavor from the melty chips. I was going to give them a rather straight forward name, but that changed when I gave my Mom one and she exclaimed..."Mmm...these are sooo good! Like chunky monkey cookies!" So I decided that they needed to be called "Chunky Monkey Cookies". She had hard time believing they were vegan, as you could not tell they contained no butter or eggs. Now, I suppose if you wanted to make these and didn't want to go through the trouble of making the brittle, you could substitute peanut brittle, but I encourage you to make the almond. It is really not that difficult and more delicate than the peanut. Here is the recipe if you would like to experience the deliciousness for yourself!
Vegan Chunky Monkey Cookies
(banana cookies with salty crunchy almond brittle and chocolate chips)
makes 1 1/2 dozen
1 cup maple sugar, or granulated organic sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup Earth Balance vegan buttery spread at room temperature
2 medium well mashed very ripe organic bananas
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp banana extract
1/2 cup agave nectar
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 tsp fleur de sel sea salt
1 12 oz bag vegan chocolate chips
2 cups almond brittle*, chopped
1 cup sliced toasted almonds
In a large bowl, combine buttery spread and coconut oil with sugar and beat until fluffy and well combined. Beat in the bananas, vanilla extract, almond extract, banana extract and agave nectar until well combined. In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, then add to the large bowl, and mix until well combined. Mix in the chocolate, brittle and almonds, and place in the fridge to chill until firm. To bake, Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll balls into about 2 inch balls, and place on prepared cookie sheets a couple inches apart (refrigerate unused dough while baking the other trays). Bake for about 15 minutes, until puffed and just starting to brown slightly. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining cookies.
Salted Almond Brittle:
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
Fleur de sel
Lay out a piece of foil and spray with non-stick spray. Heat sugar over high heat in a non-stick skillet with 2 tsp sea salt, until sugar begins to melt. Stir with a rubber spatula to evenly melt sugar and add almonds. Stir to coat, and pour onto foil, spreading into a thin layer. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and let cool completely. Break into pieces (very small if using for cookies)