This past Sunday, Cam and I saw Toots and the Maytals play at the House of Blues. For those who don't know, The Maytals are a reggae band from Kingston, Jamaica that go way back to the 60's. As in pre-Marley. Toots coined the term "reggae." He's kind of a big deal. Their sound combines ska, reggae, soul, rock, and even gospel with hits like "Monkey Man", "Pressure Drop", and "Take Me Home Country Roads".
The crowd on Sunday was eclectic, to say the least. There were kids around 11 with their parents, all the way up to people my grandparents' age, who, by the way, looked to be having the best time out of everyone. Anyway, I tried taking pictures, but they didn't turn out well, so here's one of my favorite pictures of Toots:
And now for the recipe portion of this post...
I don't only make cookies...I promise. I have tons of recipes for salads, bowls full of grains and veggies, beverages, stir fries, sandwiches, scrambles, soups, and other goodies. But for some reason, I've been more than a little obsessed with baking recently, and cookies are so easy and satisfyingly delicious.
The other night I promised Cam some kind of baked good in exchange for bailing on going to his weekly gig at Serafinas. I had bananas in the fridge that were that perfect color of yellow-almost-brown necessary for turning into a bread, but did NOT have eggs. Now, just to warn you for future posts, I've also been unusually excited about vegan baking, so I figured, why not try substituting bananas for eggs?
I came across a recipe on Fat Free Vegan that didn't have too many ingredients. Normally when things say fat-free, I steer clear. Fat-free usually means not very good, especially when it comes to baking. However, as the title of Susan's post says, they're "lower-fat", so I decided to make an exception. And let me tell you, these were AMAZING! Also, I don't think I need to remind you that peanut butter and bananas are one of the greatest combinations in the world. So, I had to share the recipe with you.
Peanut Butter Banana Cookies: adapted from fatfreevegan.com
1/2 c. natural, no-sugar added, unsalted peanut butter (chunky or smooth) 3/4 c. raw sugar 3/4 c. mashed banana (about 2 medium bananas) 1 1/2 c. unbleached flour (you could also use whole wheat pastry flour) 1 tsp. baking powder 1/4 tsp. salt 1/2 c. non-dairy chocolate chips, optional (the original recipe called for 1/4 c. but that didn't seem like enough to me)
Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together the peanut butter and sugar, then add the mashed banana and mix until creamy.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients, a little at a time, to the peanut butter mixture. Add the chocolate chips. Avoid over-mixing the dough, otherwise the cookies may come out too dense.
Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto the cookie sheet. It's very sticky. You just have to deal. Flatten with a wet fork (yes, it's important that the fork is wet, or else the dough will stick to the fork and you'll get frustrated because there will be peanut butter dough stuck all over your fingers, hands, arms, face, and shirt...and no, I don't know that from experience). Bake for 10-12 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown. They'll be soft when you take them out, but they'll set nicely as they cool. Also, they'll stay somewhat moist because of the banana and oil in the peanut butter. Don't be alarmed. This is what makes them so good.
This recipe makes about 20 cookies. They are especially delicious dipped in almond milk.