Good morning and happy Sunday! I have become a bit of a morning person and really savor my weekends. Usually, I will reserve one day to sleep in until my body naturally wants to rise, and the other to wake up rather early and bake something yummy to go with my coffee. It really is such a great rejuvenation and reflection time for me to get up early and sit out on my terrace with something baking in the oven, and think about the week that will unfold. I love being awake before the city is, and just sitting on my balcony staring off into the distance. I received several e-mails regarding the gluten-free pumpkin cranberry cookies I posted a few weeks ago, and so in tribute to their great feedback, I decided this morning to bake my banana oat and chocolate chip gluten free breakfast cookies. I really want to stress that you can substitute whatever you want in these recipes. Add in nuts instead of chocolate chips, use regular AP flour instead of oat flour, whatever your creative side wants to do. I offer you a base recipe and the fun in cooking and baking is to play with ingredients.
I actually really never get tired of baking. Upon returning from Paris, my first assignment I had at work was testing desserts for a client. So, I spent this past week testing up to five cake recipes a day! It’s a tough job but someone has to do it 😉
My task this week basically entailed producing up to 12-15 individual samples of delicious desserts that will be presented to a tasting panel for food buyers at national grocery chains. For confidentiality reasons, I will not share the national grocery chain the cakes are for, but eventually if they select any of my desserts to go in their stores, I will celebrate that on this blog. Also, whatever cakes/desserts they do not select I can share on this site with all of you. So it is a win-win!
My day usually starts with making notes, planning and choosing what I want to present to the food buyers. What flavors, trends, delicious cake did I see in a magazine last week?! This part is very exciting because it allows my creative side to come into play. Then I narrow my selection down…sometimes my list is 30 ideas long…
On the agenda this week~ lemon blueberry pudding cake, sticky toffee pudding with rich toffee sauce, german chocolate cake, chunky apple bundts with cider glaze, lemon coconut gooey butter pies, triple chocolate cookie pie, chocolate peanut butter lava cakes, tres leches with fresh berries, apple streusel pop tarts…YUM!
Naturally this weekend I have been cleansing with sushi, fresh juices and salads after all those tastes of cake this week! Oh except for the yummy healthy cookies I baked this morning. Recipe below….if you are craving banana bread these are also a healthy lighter calorie way to satisfy that craving. I promise in the future I will be posting savory recipes as well….my life is not ALL centered around sugar!
Banana Oat & Chocolate Chip Gluten Free Cookies
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 cup oat flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill brand found at Whole Foods)
1/2 cut rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup mashed banana (peel one large over-ripe banana and mash) * Please use an over-ripe banana- you will need the sweetness*
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine oat flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, & salt in a bowl. Set aside. Peel a large over-ripe banana and mash well. Combine mashed banana and whisk in oil and vanilla extract. Pour this wet mixture into dry mix and then fold in your chocolate chips. Mix until combined. On a baking sheet lined with parchment, portion out cookies- one tablespoon or one large spoonful and set one inch apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheet only 1 minute before removing with a spatula to a cold plate. Don’t bake any longer or these cookies will dry out.
Tip- I tend to make the cookie dough- roll into a log wrap in parchment and freeze. Then whenever I want a couple I simply slice off what I want to bake. This dough freezes so well. You can also bake these and then freeze the cookies in a tupperware container. They keep in the freezer for 4 months.