Somehow, it’s December. It totally snuck up on me. I was just in Boston for Thanksgiving, and in 3 weeks I’ll get back on a plane and heading home for Christmas. We are completely attached to our traditions in my family, and Christmas cookies (much like stuffing) are an unshakeable and completely irreplaceable tradition.
This is the part where I assert that my mom makes the best Christmas cookies. I think last year she made 17 different kinds, and they are all always amazing. We subscribe to the theory of small cookies, 2-3 bites at most, so you can try lots of different kinds. Everyone has their favorite cookies (currently my favorite are apricot filled half moons rolled in nuts), and while we add new kinds each year, there are just some cookies that could never be taken out of the rotation.
These cookies are not Christmas cookies, though I imagine you could make them at Christmas if you wanted. These are everyday cookies; you could practically eat them for breakfast seeing as how they’re based in bananas and oatmeal. I made them for the first time several years ago when I lived in Cambridge, and I remember sharing the first batch with my friend Emily, promising her they were “healthy” cookies. I’m not sure she believed me, but really, who doesn’t want to believe in the idea of a healthy cookie?
I’d bookmarked this recipe for months before I actually made it. I was skeptical of the healthy cookie too. These cookies will put any skepticism to rest with a single taste test. I’ve seen J put back four of them in a row. I’ve brought them to run club to share after a long run. I’ve eaten them for breakfast. I’ve snuck them in the middle of the night, much like I used to sneak the layered chocolate and peppermint Christmas cookies out of the old fridge in the house I grew up in.
A few recipes notes:
- I microwave the bananas for 45 seconds before I mash them. Heating them up makes them much easier to mash, and also helps melt the coconut oil quickly, creating a smooth consistency for the banana/coconut oil mixture.
- I’ve used dark chocolate chips, a shaved bar of dark chocolate, a mix of cappucino and chocolate chips, and peanut butter chips. Every option is a good option here.
- I always make my own almond meal by grinding up almonds in the food processor, but Trader Joe’s also sells almond meal. I’ve also subbed in gluten free flours for the almond meal (chickpea flour in particular) with no problem. I think you could even use regular flour without issue, though I haven’t tried it.
- I’ve used both sweetened and unsweetened coconut and had good luck with each. I actually like a mixture of the two best.
I’m going to start making Christmas cookies here soon, so I figured I’d better at least start the cookie season off with something we could all pretend was healthy. I imagine we’ll be drowning in cups of sugar and pounds of butter soon; I’ll endure any hardship for tradition.
What’s your favorite kind of cookie?