July 20, 2005

Pass the Bean Dip, er, Cookies

I came across the recipe below in a current farm publication; it's from a fairly new cookbook, Grazing: Portable Snacks and Finger Foods for Anytime, Anywhere by Julie Van Rosendaal, published last November. Tom proclaims it an abomination and a dreadful thing to do to chocolate chips, pecans, and dried cranberries (he does have a point, especially when it comes to the chocolate), and has forbidden me to give it a go.

But part of me is perverse and wants to know just how bean-y the cookies would taste. I may have to sneak them by the family, just as an experiment. Yes, I am a sneaky mom, and because of that my kids eat pretty well -- not because I make a habit of sneaking healthy foods past their lips (grated zucchini and carrots in the meatloaves and tomato sauces) but because they are so young that basic child psychology, and some of the nifty reverse variety, work painfully easily on them. Davy loves beans. Why? Because his sneaky mom told the boy who wants to be a cattle baron when he grows up that cowboys love beans. Adore beans. And now he does, too. Laura covets my calamari when we go out to eat, and even knows that it's Italian for squid. Why? Because I told her calamari is really much too sophisticated for children, and she relishes the look on surprise on the waiter's face (there's always a look of surprise!) when she orders it for herself. Of course, they may all end up in therapy when they find out that mommy put beans in the cookies. And if you decide to sneak them by your family, come up with a different name for them.

Breakfast Bean Cookies (makes 2 dozen)

2 cups oats
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
14 oz. can of white kidney, navy, or cannellini beans
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 tbsp. ground flaxseed (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the oats in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it resembles coarse flour. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and process until combined. Transfer to a large bowl.

Put the beans into the food processor and pulse until roughly pureed. Add butter and process until well blended. Add the brown sugar, egg, and vanilla and pulse until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Pour the bean mixture [a phrase Tom says does not belong in any cookie recipe] into the oat mixture and stir by hand until almost combined; add the chocolate chips, raisins, nuts, and flaxseed and stir until just blended.

Drop large spoonfuls of dough onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray [I prefer parchment paper], and flatten each one a little with your hand; this works best if hand is dampened first. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until pale golden around the edges but still soft in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

By the way, coincidence or not that Stephanie/Lynx over at Poppins' blog gave her secret sneaky recipe for including black beans (and a zucchini) with a box of brownie mix? That would definitely take a bigger leap of faith for me, what with all the chocolate involved.

Bean Appetit, she chortled.

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