Welcome to my blog, through which I hope to be able to share my experiences of gluten free cooking, baking, experimenting and eating.
When my daughter was diagnosed (age 6) with Coeliac Disease, our world of eating changed overnight. From breads, pastry and pasta to cakes, biscuits and puddings.......... suddenly most of what we knew was 'off the menu'. I think I must have tested every available gluten free product on the market, seeking out replacements to try and keep things as normal as possible. I was disappointed to find that what was available was often dry, crumbly and flavourless.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to turn my kitchen into a laboratory, turn all I knew about cooking on its head and start creating!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Chocolate-Banana-Coconut Macaroon Cookies (gluten free)


You may recall that a couple of weeks back I made Coco-Banana Freeze Bites. Healthy and delicious, I have been eating rather a lot of them. The flavour is so good, but because they need to be stored in the freezer, they cannot be taken out and about. So this week, I have been busy adapting the recipe to make a soft cookie............. One which is full of healthy ingredients, but still absolutely yummy.

A few tweaks here and there and I have done it............ This time using coconut palm sugar instead of brown sugar and also adding coconut oil to moisten the mixture for baking. The quantities of a couple of other ingredients have also been altered very slightly and hey presto........... we have Chocolate-Banana-Coconut Macaroon Cookies. Another great use for over-ripe bananas!


Yes............ I am afraid that I have been letting them go 'off' again. I keep telling myself, I must either stop buying so many bananas, or get better at eating them. But then, on the other hand, they are giving me all the encouragement I need to come up with some fantastic new treats, so perhaps I am looking at this all wrong?


Without inspiration however, they would most certainly be heading for the bin, so I have decided they should be offered to this month's No Waste Food Challenge, as yet another banana rescue project. April's challenge is being guest-hosted by Ness over at Jibber Jabber on behalf of Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary, and as always challenges us to find good use for all those ingredients that might otherwise be wasted.


The result of my efforts is a soft chewy cookie with an almost macaroon texture which comes from the shredded coconut and moistened oats. No......... forget 'almost'............ this is very much like a banana macaroon in both texture and flavour. Not to be confused with a 'macaron', which is (of course) a lot more sophisticated. But don't be fooled............. these little bites may lack finesse, but they are certainly packed full of flavour and are an absolute delight for the taste buds.


When you bite into them, the first thing that hits you is the aroma and flavour of coconut. This is closely followed by a bananary wave, tempered by melty chocolate. The cookies have a chewy texture, but are soft and creamy on the inside, with a sightly 'squeaky' bite that you get from the little pieces of coconut. The sweetness comes through as very natural, and the whole experience is set to a backdrop of earthy oaty-nuttiness. Heaven!


These cookies spread in the oven far less than I expected (make sure you flatten them nicely before you bake), and I was worried that they may be a bit dry. How wrong was I? They are amazingly moist and have a texture reminiscent of a cross between a bounty bar and a chewy flapjack. And they stay that way...... even when stored in the fridge!


Because they didn't spread, they did not come out of the oven looking that pretty, and to be honest I was initially disappointed. I wanted lovely rounded, perfectly-shaped cookies that sold themselves! My husband shook his head and gave me the 'doomed cookie' look. But not one to be beaten (I hate it when my food is un-photogenic), I resorted to the trusty drizzled chocolate trick to perk them up and I reckon they now pass as quite presentable. Actually, I am pleased I had to dress them up a bit......... The white chocolate definitely adds something!

Chocolate-Banana-Coconut Cookies (makes about 24 cookies)

Ingredients                    

2 ripe medium bananas - mashed
45g gluten free oat flour
50g coconut flour
60g gluten free oats
30g ground almonds
25g ground hazelnuts
35g shredded coconut
½ teaspoon cinnamon
pinch fine sea salt
30g coconut palm sugar
100g chocolate chunks (mix between dark, milk and white) (or carob if you prefer)
2½ tablespoons runny honey
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
85g coconut oil - melted over a bowl of steaming water or on short bursts in the microwave (setting : low)

white chocolate (melted) to decorate (I also sprinkled a little grated dark chocolate)

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
  2. Base line 2 or 3 baking trays with baking paper.
  3. Mash the bananas in a large bowl.
  4. Weigh and add the oat and coconut flours, oats, nuts, coconut, cinnamon, salt, sugar and chocolate chunks and stir through with the banana.
  5. Add the honey, maple syrup, vanilla extract and melted coconut oil and stir thoroughly.
  6. Use your hands to knead the dough slightly until smooth and firm.
  7. Break off small pieces of dough and roll into balls, then flatten with the palms of your hands so that you have dough disks about 1cm in depth.
  8. Place the disks on the baking paper with a small gap between each (they will not spread very much in the oven).
  9. Bake for about 15 minutes until the biscuits are golden.
  10. Remove from the oven and leave on the trays for about 15 minutes to begin cooling before removing to a wire rack.
  11. When cool, carefully melt white chocolate and drizzle over the cookies. Leave to set.

Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-14 unless otherwise indicated

6 comments:

  1. What a terrific way to use up bananas - I usually just end up making a banana loaf. Thanks for linking up to this month's No Waste Food Challenge.

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    1. You're welcome. These were definitely worth almost (but not quite) wasting bananas for!!

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  2. How lovely - the 'bite' photo got my attention!

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    1. Thanks CC. I promise... the 'bite' was delicious!!! And so was the rest of the cookie and the one after that.........

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  3. These look amazing! And very very healthy too. I love the drizzles of white chocolate on top...

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    1. Thanks Aimee. They really were so so good. And in true banana-style they almost matured with age! Moist, chewy, delicious!

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