Sunshine Cookies

Whenever I want to make up a cookie recipe, I get out the tried and true Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.

I got this mid-1960s volume at an antique store and I love it.  It’s full of margarine and Jello salads and “nutmeats,” whatever those are.  There’s also a very illuminating chart about how to pack balanced and hearty lunches for your hubby and kids.  (Don’t forget to tuck in a little note that says “I love you!”)

I always start with the basic chocolate-chip cookie recipe, to get an idea of measurements, and then substitute, add, or reduce certain ingredients.  For this batch, I used sunflower seed butter and sunflower seeds, as well as a little bit of mashed banana.  The cookies ended up tasting like glorious little cookie-shaped banana breads, with great crunch and texture from the sunflower seeds.  And, bonus—they’re vegan and taste healthy, but not TOO healthy.

I used a flax egg here, which is good for 2 reasons: 1) ground flaxseed is really good for you, and 2) when there’s no egg in the recipe you can eat the cookie dough without any salmonella worries.  To make 1 flax egg, combine 1 tbsp ground flaxseed with 3 tbsp warm water, and let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes until it sort of “gels” up like a real egg.  Then, just add it to the recipe like you would a real egg.

You could try lots of different mix-ins once you have the dough together—chocolate chips would of course be encouraged, as would some of those dried banana chips.  The inspiration for these cookies was this post from Eat Live Run—the recipe there uses chocolate-covered sunflower seeds.

Sunshine Cookies (yields 18-24)

  • 1/2 c. Earth Balance, at room temperature (could substitute butter)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 3 tbsp sunflower seed butter
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water), or one egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. white flour
  • 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 c. sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 banana, mashed with a fork

Cream the Earth Balance, sunflower seed butter, and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (around 2 minutes).  Add the flax egg and vanilla extract and mix until well-combined.  Next, add the flours and baking soda and mix until just combined (I did this by hand, but you could use your mixer if you prefer).  Fold in the mashed banana and sunflower seeds.  Drop rounded spoonfuls of dough on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.  Remove from the cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack.

Have a good weekend, cookie enthusiasts!


One response to “Sunshine Cookies

  1. I love how you incorporated the flax seed! I actually made some waffles the other day for Caitlin and me, and put a few tablespoons of flax seed in the batter. Couldn’t really taste it, but it added a nice “look” to the waffles, — they had little freckles now!

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