If, like me, you’ve had more than your fill of butter cookies, cheesecake, and other decadent holiday desserts, these cookies from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen (Ten Speed, Apr.) are a welcome respite. It helps if you think of them more as granola bars in cookie form, since their ingredients—mashed bananas, coconut oil, almond meal, peanuts, and popped corn—are not exactly your typical cookie ingredients, and they’re a little crumbly. They’re a different kind of cookie, for sure. But after the barrage of the holidays, maybe that’s just what you need.
1 ½ cups well-mashed bananas (about 3 large)
1 t pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup barely warmed (not solid) extra-virgin coconut oil
1 ½ cups rolled oats
1/2 cup almond meal (You can make your own by pulsing almonds in a food processor until it is the texture of sand. Don’t go too far or you’ll end up with almond butter.)
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2/3 cup shelled whole peanuts
1 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups popped popcorn
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with racks in the top and bottom third of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla, and coconut oil. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate, then the peanuts, and lastly the popped corn. The dough is quite a bit looser than a standard cookie dough, but don't worry about it. Firmly shape small balls with your hands, about 1 heaping tablespoon each, and place about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 14 to 17 minutes, swapping the baking sheets from top to bottom once along the way, until the bottoms are deeply golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Makes about 24 cookies.