These cookies are addicting . . . so use caution! I spent some time experimenting with granola bar recipes and breakfast cookie recipes a couple of months ago in an attempt to come up with a recipe for a healthy-ish snack that I could take along to Allen’s track meets. It had to be something that uses real ingredients, it had to have chocolate and it needed to be gluten-free. What I ended up with is a recipe that is shaped like a cookie, but has the texture and taste of a granola bar. (My kids actually call these Granola Circles.) Everyone who has tried these has enjoyed them so much, I couldn’t resist baking up a batch and entering it into our county fair. And, it won a first place ribbon!
Ready to get started?
3 cups gluten-free rolled oats (If you don’t need these to be gluten-free, traditional rolled oats work perfectly, too!)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups of coarsely chopped pecans
3 large or 4 small ripe bananas (The riper your bananas the more banana flavor your finished cookies will have.)
1/2 cup coconut oil, warm enough to be liquid (It only needs to be about 76 degrees to melt, so don’t heat it too much.)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coarsely chop your pecans.
In a large bowl, mix oats, coconut, sea salt and chopped pecans.
Puree your bananas. ( I use the blender. If you mash them by hand, be sure that you don’t have any chunks left.) Add pureed bananas and coconut oil to the dry ingredients. If your maple syrup is coming straight from the refrigerator, mix these ingredients in before adding the maple syrup and the vanilla. If your maple syrup is room temperature, you can mix all the liquid ingredients in at the same time. (If you pour the cold maple syrup onto the melted coconut oil before mixing it in, it will harden, and you won’t be able to mix it in. I speak from experience. )
Pour in the mini chocolate chips and mix it all well. Feel free to taste the “batter” and see what you think, but don’t eat it all!
Grab a cookie cutter and place it on your baking stone or on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. I use a 2 1/2″ circle cookie cutter, but any cookie cutter in a similar size and shape will work. (Maybe hearts for Valentines Day or Christmas trees in December? How fun would that be?) Scoop out about 1/4 cup of the cookie batter and press it into the cookie cutter really well. It should end up being about 1/2″ thick.
Carefully remove the cookie cutter, leaving a perfect little circle (or heart or Christmas tree) behind.
Repeat until you’ve filled up your baking sheet.
Bake for 24 to 27 minutes or until they’re golden brown. Mine are always perfect right at 26 minutes.
Slide the cookies off onto a wire rack to cool. You can eat them warm, of course, but I think they’re best when they’ve cooled to room temperature!
I would love to hear your feedback if you give this recipe a try! I’m thinking that it would be just as yummy if you substituted dried fruit for the chocolate chips and any other chopped nut for the pecans. I’ll be making a big batch for our family trip next month!