There was a peanut butter week recently, and I found some recipes that are off the beaten track for this column. One thing that we have known for a long time is that making breakfast is sometimes a chore, particularly for a working mother. There have been many strategies worked out for this, and one that is good is breakfast cookies. So imagine my delight when I came across some hearty cookies that will delight children, husbands and wives any morning, even on the school bus.
I buy natural peanut butter everywhere, which is what we should always do because the process of hydrogenation damages the nutritive value of peanut butter. Just as margarine is basically a pound of saturated fat, the hydrogenation process damages peanut butter. But these days natural peanut butter is available everywhere, and I can vouch for that as well because I see it at my neighborhood Fry's Supermarket and Safeway in Tucson.
PEANUT BUTTER BREAKFAST COOKIES
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup mashed organic banana (about 1 large)
1/2 cup chunky organic peanut butter, unsweetened
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup organic rolled oats
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 Tablespoon nonfat dry milk powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/4-1/3 cup warm water
Preheat your oven to 350. Lightly coat two cookie sheets with cooking spray; set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the banana, peanut butter, honey, and vanilla; set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the oats, flour, milk powder, cinnamon, and baking soda. Stir the oat mixture into the banana mixture until combined. Stir in dried cranberries or raisins.
Using a ¼-cup measure, drop mounds of dough 3 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. With a thin metal or small plastic spatula dipped in water, flatten and spread each mound of dough to a 2¾-inch round, about ½ inch thick.
Bake, one sheet at a time, for 14 to 16 minutes or until browned. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months; thaw before serving.
You'll notice that this recipe doesn't contain shortening, so it will be perishable and the cookies need to be refrigerated. They also don't contain chocolate (chunks or chips) and so I can recommend them as a good option for breakfast or school snacks, or after-school snacks.