I pulled the covers tight around my head and attempted to become a human burrito. The result was futile and the warmth of my breath echoing against the heavy duvet was reverberating into my frozen face and making my rosy cheeks feel clammy and the air feel stale and uncomfortable. I emerged, frustrated. Is it not June? I should not be wearing thick socks, flannel pajama pants, and a fleece hooded sweatshirt in June. Maybe the Florida sunshine had thinned my blood and filled my consciousness with the belief that a cold day simply means putting on a cardigan until the sun reemerged from behind a passing patch of gray clouds. I had been warned that Boston weather was unpredictable and checking it daily was essential. But, is it not JUNE? I stared up at the ceiling, attempting to fathom my current circumstance and finally came to the conclusion that the heat of the oven would not only warm my joints and limbs, but ease my mind. I've always found baking therapeutic. I enjoy the stark contrast of using precise measurements while whimsically tossing whatever ingredients I have stockpiled in the pantry into the recipe. Balance. I stood in front of the oven and while the chilly air prickled the back of my neck, I noted the tiny orange pre-heat light signaling that help was on the way. SOS - Save Our Sanity. It is JUNE and I should not be this cold.
The recipe, Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies, was simply a combination of all the ingredients I had in the pantry on a mission to provide me with warmth and comfort. I wanted to see the batter bubbling and rising. I wanted to inhale the cinnamon air leaking from the oven door. This cookie recipe wasn't about decadence or richness, but more for tasting the piping hot first bite as I broke apart the tender cookie centers and allowed a sliver of steam to escape. This guilt-free treat is made with wholesome rolled oats, ripe mashed banana, 50% whole wheat flour, egg white, scant bits of dark chocolate chunks, and half the sugar the original recipe called for. Soon, I retreated to the blankets, cookies tucked inside a quilted paper towel, and embraced that sometimes it can be 50 degrees in June and sometimes the most appropriate solution is making cookies.
Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Adapted From: Skinny Taste
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/8 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium ripe banana, mashed
1 large egg white
1 cups old-fashioned oats
1/8 cup dark chocolate chunks
Preheat oven to 350° In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars on medium speed.
Add the egg, followed by the mashed banana and vanilla extract.
Working by hand, stir in the flour mixture and the oats until just combined and no streaks of flour remain
Gently fold in dark chocolate chunks
Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the dough onto prepared baking sheets.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until cookies become light brown at the edges.
Let cool on baking sheet for 3 or 4 minutes (they will need to set), then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes: 1 dozen
Photos: Zac Wolf