17 February 2011

Recipe for the Perfect Midday Snack: Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites

Snack break: Healthy Cookie Bites, espresso, Miles Davis and The New Yorker
Click here to listen to My Funny Valentine by the Miles Davis Quartet.

After three days of cookies, it's time for a brief interlude from refined sugar. I'm not ready for a cookie break -- in all honesty I've become quite accustomed to the daily cookie -- but a health infusion might be just the shot in the arm this cookie week needs.

I'm a big fan of using ripe bananas and dates to sweeten things, so 101 Cookbooks recipe for Nikki's Healthy Cookies piqued my curiosity. The ingredients -- nuts, coconut, oats, chocolate -- resemble those of an all natural energy bar.

This healthy cookie will likely become a staple at our house. It's a breeze to make and the perfect midday snack with just the right balance of mood-elevating chocolate and energy-rich whole foods. The oats offset the chocolate to provide a more sustained boost of energy without the inevitable chocolate crash. These bites manage to taste both wholesome and cookie-like.

Usually I'm all about dark chocolate, but reduced the chocolate in this recipe. I wanted a hint of chocolate, but wanted the flavor of nuts to shine. I followed Chocolate & Zucchini's modification and used nut butter instead of coconut or olive oil to further accentuate the nut flavor.

 Pair with an espresso for an additional boost, or a small glass of milk. Room temperature cinnamon orange tisane that's been infused overnight is also a delicious match.

Healthy Cookie Bites, makes about two dozen cookies.
I reduced the original recipe and still had enough dough for two nearly full cookie sheets.

wet ingredients:
1 1/2 large, ripe bananas*
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup peanut butter

dry ingredients:
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup raw almonds
scant 1/3 cup unsweetened, finely shredded dried coconut (I used reduced fat)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
rounded 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

+Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
+Line baking sheet with parchment.
+Make almond meal by grinding almonds in food processor until reach fine, sandy texture.
+In a medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.
+Puree bananas with vanilla in food processor. Once smooth, add peanut butter and blend until smooth.
+Add wet ingredients to dry; stir until combined. 
+Fold in the chocolate chips. 
+Using a tablespoon to measure, place mounds of cookie dough on baking sheet, about 1 inch apart.
+Bake 14-17 minutes, until cookie is golden on top and brown on bottom.

*If you're unsure what to do with that extra half banana, try my favorite energy shake. Puree 1/2 banana and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, then add 1/2 cup milk, 1 tablespoon peanut butter and blend until smooth. If you're looking for an energy boost after a workout, there's nothing better.

Adapted from Nikki's Healthy Cookies on 101 Cookbooks and Wholesome Banana Chocolate Breakfast Bars on Chocolate & Zucchini.

1 comment:

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