Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Marathon Cookies

I made these cookies recently and absolutely loved them. They were moist and delicious. I believe the name comes from the fact that they are very nourishing and would be just the thing to eat after a marathon – and totally healthy to boot. I have to say, though, that the amount of sesame seeds called for was inadequate for me (maybe my cookies were stickier than they should have been, or maybe I made too many – I had about two dozen – but there you have it). I made some with the white sesame seeds called for, some with black sesame seeds, and some without seeds. I preferred the crispy outer texture and taste with the sesame seeds, and the white ones looked better than the black. So be prepared to buy some sesame seeds in bulk for this! I changed the required 1/3 cup to 1 full cup, tentatively.

I didn’t have whole wheat pastry flour and suspected that plain whole wheat would be too heavy, so I used the Robin Hood Nutri flour I always keep on hand (a blend of unbleached flour and wheat bran that tastes like white flour but provides the same amount of fibre as whole wheat flour). For the beans, I made some calculations and ended up using a weight of about 13 oz (out of a 19-fluid-oz can). I’m pretty sure you can fudge that amount, though. And for the sugar, I had some demerara-style brown sugar that worked out perfectly.

2 cups rolled oats (not instant oats)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tbsp aniseed, crushed in mortar and pestle (or spice grinder)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
zest of one lemon, finely grated
½ tsp fine grain sea salt
one 15-oz can white kidney, great northern, or navy beans, rinsed & drained
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped dates
1 cup white sesame seeds

Preheat your oven to 350 °F and place a rack in the top third. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Pulse the oats in a food processor until they resemble flour. Transfer the oats to a large mixing bowl and whisk in the flour, aniseed, baking powder, baking soda, lemon zest and salt.

Pulse the beans and olive oil in the food processor until they are creamy.

Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla extract and pulse until smooth. Scrap down the sides of the bowl once or twice along the way.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until the ingredients start to come together. Sprinkle the dates across the top of the batter and stir until everything just comes together.

Place the sesame seeds in a bowl. Make each cookie with about 3-4 Tbsp of dough. Roll each scoop of dough into a ball, then coat it with sesame seeds (mine were too sticky to be made into real balls, but they smoothed out during baking). Set each ball on the prepared baking sheet and, with the palm of your hand, flatten the dough just a bit. Repeat with the remaining dough, leaving at least an inch or so between each cookie - they'll spread a bit, but not much.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until the sesame seeds around the bottom start to get golden.

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