Sometimes you just need to eat cookies
A little over a month ago, I lost my grandma, who was truly the matriarch of my family. We were very sad, and we will all miss her dearly, but I also feel extremely privileged to have known her for as long as I did. She was someone who never said a negative word about another person, and rarely complained. She had a spreadsheet outlining each grandchild’s and great grandchild’s birthdays, and we all looked forward to her singing telegrams each year (which always ended with “and many maaaw” in her thick New York accent!).
Another thing I will always remember about my grandma was that she had a sweet tooth, and loved chocolate, cake, cookies, ice cream…you name it! This is something she and I shared. My grandma didn’t just eat dessert with dinner, but also after breakfast and lunch! This may sound unhealthy to some people, but the truth is that she always indulged in her sweets in a totally balanced way– she was never one to binge on large amounts of sweets, but would rather eat just as much as she needed or wanted at that moment.
I try to take the same approach to play food (food that has little to no nutritional value, but does have intrinsic value in terms of pleasure) as my grandma always did. Just like my grandma, a lot of people tell me that they “need something sweet” after a meal. Usually they divulge this information as if confessing some horrible sin, and they wait for me to tell them that this behavior must be stopped or else they’ll gain weight/develop diabetes/have a heart attack/drop dead immediately. But is there anything wrong with enjoying something sweet after (or before or during) a meal? I don’t think so. As long as you’re listening to your hunger cues and truly enjoying it, then dessert can absolutely be part of a healthy, balanced diet. If, on the other hand, you eat your meal and you find that you’re completely satisfied from it, and that eating ice cream or cookies or cake probably wouldn’t be that satisfying because you’re not hungry at that moment, then my advice would be to respect your fullness and pass on dessert– you’re better off waiting until you’re actually hungry for it so that you can truly savor your delicious treat.
In honor of my beautiful, sweet-toothed grandma, I’d like to share a super yummy cookie recipe I’ve made a few times over the past couple of weeks and am really enjoying. I hope you enjoy it too. I know my grandma would have loved them!
- 1 1/2 cups flour, sifted or aerated (143 g, if you don't want to sift it)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup regular granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine together the flour (be sure to sift or weigh on a kitchen scale, as failing to do this will give you more flour than you need, and result in dry dough!), baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, mash the banana. Add the egg, oil, brown and granulated sugars, yogurt, and vanilla and whisk to combine.
- Add the banana-egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the oats, then fold in the chocolate chips.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Take a tablespoon of dough, form a ball and drop the cookie dough ball on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat, spacing the cookie dough balls about 2 inches apart.
- Refrigerate baking sheets with cookie dough balls for about an hour to chill the dough. This will ensure that cookies, when baked, will not flatten out, and that they will remain tall, so that we end up with thick and chewy cookies! You can also refrigerate the dough BEFORE putting them on the baking sheets, if that's easier.
- Bake for 12 minutes until cookies are slightly golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.